Rocky Mount Set For Mandatory Water Restrictions

Drought conditions have now forced Rocky Mount officials to call for mandatory water conservation.

The city's Tar River reservoir is currently at 50 percent capacity.

The restrictions begin Saturday. The city says it's been five years since it last had to impose mandatory limits on the amount of water customers can use.

The restrictions affect lawn watering, car washing, pool filling... even the serving of water in a restaurant unless a customer asks for it.

Rocky Mount supplies water to both Nash and Edgecombe Counties, as well as the municipalities of Nashville, Sharpsburg, Whitakers, and Dortches. Those areas are included in the water restrictions.

Police will enforce the restrictions and the city says repeat offenders will be fined.

Here is Rocky Mount's news release with a list of restrictions:


City Manager Stephen Raper today called for a state of mandatory water conservation due to the continuing water shortage in Rocky Mount. The mandatory restrictions, which apply to residential, commercial, and resale water customers, will be effective Saturday, August 11, 2007. The City has not implemented mandatory water restrictions since June 2002.

An official declaration of the water shortage, including a state of voluntary water conservation, has been in effect since July 4. Area rainfall has been measured at 12 inches below average for the preceding seven month period. The Tar River Reservoir is currently at 50% capacity.

Mandatory conservation measures include the restriction of:

· Watering lawns, plantings, and gardens. The use of automated sprinkler systems is prohibited at all times. Residents may use a handheld hose or container or a drip irrigation system between the hours of 6:00 and 9:00 pm, according to the following geographic and time limitations:

§ Wednesdays & Saturdays - residents of areas EAST of Hwy. 301-Bypass/Wesleyan Blvd.
§ Thursdays & Sundays - residents of areas WEST of Hwy. 301-Bypass/Wesleyan Blvd.

· Filling swimming pools or other water retaining pools. Private and public swimming pools that are currently operational may stay in use. Pools may not be drained and refilled. The Denton Street Pool and the Senior Center pool will remain open. The spraygrounds at both Sunset Park and South Rocky Mount Community Center will close at the end of business on Friday, August 10.

· Using water to wash outside areas for any purpose other than public safety. This restriction includes the use of water for dust control or pressure washing.

· Washing vehicles at any place other than a commercial washing facility.

· Withdrawing water directly from the Tar River Reservoir for any purpose is prohibited.

· Serving water in restaurants except upon request by patrons.

These restrictions apply to all water customers of the City of Rocky Mount, including resale customers.

The City of Rocky Mount provides water to both Nash and Edgecombe Counties, as well as the municipalities of Nashville, Sharpsburg, Whitakers, and Dortches.

Certain conditions and exceptions apply in the case of these restrictions. Some types of commercial establishments, such as healthcare facilities, plant nurseries, automotive dealerships, and sanitary services, are subject to modified restrictions. Automotive dealerships may wash vehicles at the site of their business when the vehicles are first received and at the point of sale or lease.

The Rocky Mount Police Department will enforce these restrictions, per City Code (Ch. 2, Art. 5). Repeat offenders will be subject to fines.

Residents may call Rocky Mount Public Utilities Dispatch at (252) 972-1278 with questions or to report possible violations.