06/05/07 — Goldsboro Council calls for voluntary water conservation

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Goldsboro Council calls for voluntary water conservation

By Kenneth Fine
Published in News on June 5, 2007 1:48 PM

Some might start taking showers instead of baths. Others will turn the faucet off while brushing their teeth.

Goldsboro City Council members said it does not matter what residents do to save water in the coming weeks -- as long as they are doing something.

Mayor Al King called for voluntary conservation of water Monday after levels at the Neuse River slipped below the trigger for taking such measures last week.

How to save water under voluntary conservation:

*Take 5-minute showers instead of baths.

*Do not let water run while shaving, brushing teeth and rinsing dishes.

*Keep a bottle of chilled water in the refrigerator for drinking, so as not to run the tap to get cold water.

*Only run dishwasher or clothes washing machine when you have full loads. Washing dishes by hand saves about 25 gallons of water.

*Inspect and repair leaky faucets and toilets.

*Install water-saving devices.

*Do not allow children to play with hose or sprinklers.

*Limit lawn and outside watering to the evening to reduce evaporation.

*Position sprinklers to water lawn to avoid watering pavement.

*Consider delaying the seeding or sodding of new lawns.

*Golf courses and athletic fields shall attempt to reduce water consumption by 50 percent.

*While waiting for water to get hot, catch running water from sink and tub and use for animals to drink and to water plants.

*Use a broom instead of water to wash down sidewalks, patios and driveways.

*Do not fill empty swimming pools or wading pools.

*Limit toilet flushes.

*Be ready to catch rainfall when it occurs.

*Keep sprinkler heads clean to prevent uneven watering.

*Install automatic shut off devices on sprinkler systems.

Calling recent drought conditions "a very serious issue," he warned that if steps are not taken now to reduce water consumption inside the city limits, mandatory conservation might be warranted.

Public Utilities director Karen Brashear said the problem is a lack of education -- that people just do not seem to grasp how precious water really is.

"We are not treating water like the valuable resource it is. We waste," she said. "How much water do you really need to live comfortably and cleanly? How much is just too much?"

And when residents combine a wasteful mentality with drought, problems arise, she added.

"We're seeing now what happens," Mrs. Brashear said. "People need to start educating themselves and their children now. How many times do we run just a few items in the dishwasher? Couldn't you just wait until you have a full load? How many gallons would that save?"

The answer is in the hundreds.

But it is not too late, she added. There are several ways local residents can limit the amount of water they use -- and help avoid mandatory conservation measures.

King said he will sacrifice his lush, green lawn this year. Running the irrigation system it would take to keep it beautiful just seems wasteful, he said.

Council member and former police Chief Jackie Warrick has been collecting rainwater in barrels -- water he then uses for his plants and garden.

Both represent ways to stop the waste, Mrs. Brashear said.

King said he hopes residents take action to avoid more serious measures, an event that would occur if levels at the Neuse fail to rise soon.

"It tears me up to know I'm not going to have green grass," he said. "But I feel like I need to lead. Follow me and feel my pain. Let's conserve."