Curbs Remain On Water
Triple-digit temperatures have sent lawn lovers back to their old water-wasting ways.
A continuing surge in water usage in recent 100-degree weather has prompted Moore County Public Utilities to remind customers across the system that mandatory water conservation measures remain in force. And they are legally enforceable.
"It's just a reminder," said Dennis Brobst, director of public works, when asked if the water systems operated by the county are in danger of running out.
Brobst said the water supply is adequate for now, but will not remain so if water usage continues at the pace documented in the past week. He said water usage climbed above the mandatory 30 percent conservation level in both Pinehurst and Seven Lakes during the severe hot weather this weekend.
"We just want everybody to help us out," Brobst said. "We exceeded our goal in Pinehurst and we exceeded our goal in Seven Lakes. And it's hot and it's dry. I saw so many people watering their yards when I came in to work this morning."
In fact, he wants customers to be patient and wait out the heat wave, because additional water should be available by late July to ease conditions for Pinehurst customers. And besides, water is sufficient for most essential purposes.
Rainy weather earlier in the spring encouraged the county to ease water restrictions slightly. However, the county did not lift all water restrictions. Customers in Pinehurst, Pinewild, Seven Lakes, McLendon Hills, Love Grove and West End remain under Stage 2 Moderate Mandatory Water Restrictions.
Customers in Vass, Hyland Hills/Niagara, The Carolina, Addor, Robbins Community Development Block Grant area, and East Moore Water District remain under Stage 1 Voluntary Water Restrictions.
Brobst said that water usage is permitted in all these areas, but customers are merely asked to cut back all but essential usage.
For example, customers under Stage 2 restrictions can still water lawns, gardens and shrubbery twice a week as long as watering is confined to the hours between 5 p.m. and midnight.
"Twice a week is plenty," Brobst said.
Brobst said his staff checked with local nurseries and learned that watering more frequently can actually hurt grass, because it encourages roots to grow deeper, weakening the plant.
Work is progressing on extension of water lines from the East Moore Water District to Pinehurst, and Brobst expects the connection to be completed within six weeks, certainly some time in July. The extension allows Moore County to buy water from Harnett County to pump along new lines connecting the county and East Moore districts at the McCaskill Road and U.S. 15-501 intersection. Although East Moore is a separate district, it is operated under contract by the county, with water purchased from Harnett County. The county is contracting to buy additional water from Harnett County to boost capacity to serve Pinehurst.
Under Stage 2 mandatory restrictions, customers are prohibited from watering lawns, grass, trees, shrubbery, flowers, golf greens or vegetable gardens except between the hours of 5 p.m. and midnight and no more frequently than twice a week.
Other Stage 2 prohibitions include filling up wading pools or swimming pools except to the extent necessary to replenish water losses due to evaporation or spillage and to maintain the operation of chemical feed equipment; washing down outside areas, such as sidewalks, patios, driveways or similar purposes; putting water into any decorative fountain, pool or pond except where recycled water is used;
Serving water in a restaurant or similar establishment, except upon request; using water for any unnecessary purpose or intentionally waste water; and washing the exterior of a motor vehicle except for commercial washing or where a private well system is used.
All industrial, manufacturing and commercial enterprises are also to cut consumption, with a reduction goal of 30 percent. The county water conservation ordinance requires that such enterprises document the specific efforts made to reduce consumption.
Water consumption restrictions are less severe in the areas under Stage 1 voluntary restrictions. This means that customers in the Vass, Addor, Hyland Hills/Niagara, Robbins CDBG system, East Moore Water District and The Carolina are asked to reduce water usage by 20 percent.
These Stage 1 customers are asked to reduce irrigation activity to three days a week and to refrain from watering activity between the hours of 10 a.m. and 7 p.m., when evaporation rates are higher. They are asked to save water by repairing known leaks, such as dripping faucets and leaky toilets; to refrain from washing vehicles; to eliminate washing paved surfaces, unless necessary for health or safety reasons; and to turn off decorative fountains, unless they use recirculated water.
Water customers under all restrictions are reminded that many golf courses in Moore County are not on county water and use water from their own sources, so they are not subject to mandatory or voluntary restrictions. Some courses use recirculated water for irrigation purposes.
These restrictions apply only to Moore County Public Utilities customers. Southern Pines, Aberdeen, Carthage and Robbins water customers and customers served by other municipal and private systems are subject to restrictions established by their systems.
Contact Florence Gilkeson at 947-4962 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
More like this story