10/26/07 — Now it's official: No more watering

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Now it's official: No more watering

By Anessa Myers
Published in News on October 26, 2007 1:46 PM

Goldsboro water users only have a little more than a week left to get their lawns watered -- or to wash their cars at home.

As of Nov. 5, Goldsboro will enter the third -- and most restrictive -- phase of water conservation rules, Goldsboro City Council members decided at a special meeting Thursday.

The council adopted the revisions of the Water Shortage Response Ordinance -- and decided to give residents until the first week of November to adjust to the changes.

The vote ended a couple of weeks of discussion concerning just how much citizens will be required to conserve to deal with dwindling water supplies caused by the statewide drought.

The discussion of stricter rules came after a statewide call for increased conservation by Gov. Mike Easley last week.

In the meantime, city officials are still watching the water supply here.

Officials also said the rain over the past few days has not gotten the city water levels out of the danger zone.

"The river is rising," Public Utilities Director Karen Brashear said. "The (U.S. Army) Corps of Engineers reduced releases from the dam. It's a good beginning."

Mayor Al King said residents should not be lulled into a sense of security based on the recent rain.

"It's a good start, but we're not there," he said. "We're still in the woods."

Mrs. Brashear said that the Neuse River should see a wave of water come through in a few days, but city officials will not know how much the rain helped the drought situation until then.

So, until the water levels are more secure, city residents will need to observe stricter regulation.

At this point, Phase III:

* Prohibits residential watering of plants and vegetation.

* Prohibits personal car washing except at commercial car washes that reduce usage by 30 percent.

* Prohibits filling of ornamental pools or fountains.

* Prohibits water served at restaurants except upon request.,

* Prohibits use of hydrant water for anything other than fire or emergencies and no bulk sales.

* States that water-cooled equipment must recycle water except when health and safety are adversely affected.

* Prohibits watering of golf courses and athletic fields.

* Prohibits water use for dust control and compaction.

* States that large water users must plan to reduce water use by 15 to 33 percent or face excess demand surcharges.

* Prohibits intentional misuse or wasting of water.

* States that leaks must be repaired within 24 hours of discovery.

* States that a bond is required for delay of required landscaping and if installed, any irrigation must be brought from outside the city's public water system.

Other mandatory conservation measures are included in the revision of the ordinance. One of those other measures is the addition of an excess demand surcharge, which means that if the resident or business uses more than their annual average, they will be charged double rates for both water and sewer.

The ordinance will also include revisions to the water shortage crisis phase and other phases of the ordinance.

The end version is expected to be made public on the city's Web site on Monday.