Save water - it's the law in Durham

May 5, 2009 

Year-round water conservation becomes the law in Durham June 1.

The ordinance restricts spray watering outdoors, bans excessive runoff from landscape irrigation, requires rain or soil-moisture sensors for new irrigation systems and outlaws irrigation when it's raining.

The City Council approved the ordinance, recommended by the water department earlier this spring, at its meeting Monday night.

Under the ordinance, residents

* With odd-number addresses may spray-water once on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays, before 10 a.m. or after 6 p.m.

* With even-number addresses may spray-water once on Sundays, Wednesdays and Fridays, before 10 a.m. or after 6 p.m.

* May not spray-water between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m. any time

* May water by hand or with drip systems any time they like

* May get temporary exemption licenses to establish new landscaping

* Must fix leaks within 30 days of their discovery.

According to deputy water director Vicki Westbrook, Durham landscapes need no more than an inch of water per week.

The new law is part of an effort to coordinate conservation and drought-response measures throughout the Triangle.

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