10/24/07 — Walnut Creek to cut water consumption

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Walnut Creek to cut water consumption

By Anessa Myers
Published in News on October 24, 2007 2:26 PM

The Village of Walnut Creek is following suit in water conservation.

Mayor Ken Ritt implemented mandatory conservation last Thursday because Gov. Mike Easley encouraged communities to cut down.

With Easley's push to decrease consumption 50 percent by Halloween, village officials are encouraging residents to listen up and cut back.

"We have been under mandatory conservation since last week, but we haven't advertised it as much," Village Administrator Lou Cook said. "We want people to know what we are asking for before we go knocking on doors."

The village has its own water system, consisting of two deep water wells. Soon, residents will get more of a water source from a third deep water well. All drinking water comes from those wells, and 100 percent of the residents are serviced by the system, Cook said.

About 20 to 25 percent of residents have private wells that they use for irrigation or filling swimming pools, Cook added.

But just because the residents use wells, Cook said that it doesn't make a difference when it comes to conservation.

"Some people ask, 'What if we have a private well?'" Cook said. "The answer is water is water. The governor hasn't stipulated, nor have we stipulated, where the water is coming from."

The village's mandatory water conservation ordinance includes the following measures:

*Continue all voluntary conservation measures.

*Watering lawns, gardens and plant material is allowed only one day per week. You may water from Friday at 7 p.m. to Saturday at 7 a.m., if you are located on the U.S. Highway 70 side of the Lake Wackena Dam. You may water from 7 p.m. Saturday to Sunday at 7 a.m., if you live on the Walnut Creek Country Club side of the Lake Wackena Dam. Set a timer to remind you to turn off the water. Six hundred gallons of water can be wasted in one hour.

*No washing of houses, driveways, rain gutters, etc.

*No personal or commercial vehicle washing.

*Do not fill ornamental pools or fountains.

*Water will not be served in restaurants except when requested by customers. It takes water to wash the glasses too.

*No use of water from public or private hydrants for any purpose other than fire suppression or other public emergency or water utility needs. No bulk sales.

*Do not operate water-cooled equipment that does not recycle cooling water, except when health and safety are adversely affected.

*Golf courses and athletic fields must reduce water by 70 percent.

*No use of water for dust control/compaction.

*Large water users must formulate and implement a plan to reduce water by 30 percent.

*Do not misuse or intentionally waste water.

Residential penalties for not following the restrictions are as follows:

*1st offense: warning

*2nd offense: $100 fine

*Subsequent offenses: $200 fine

Non-residential penalties include:

*1st offense: warning

*2nd offense: $200 fine

*Subsequent offenses: $1,000 fine

Cook said that he believes most residents will understand these measures.

On Monday, he said he received 25 inquiries of residents just wanting to know where the village stood with the water situation.

"They asked me what I wanted them to do to help," he said. "Ninety-nine percent of the people were positive about the measures. They said, 'We know its the right thing to do, and we're behind you.'

"I told them it's kind of like getting a flu shot. We don't want to roll our sleeves up, but it's a good thing to do."