The Town of Apex continues to encourage the following voluntary water conservation practices:
- Do not irrigate during the hottest time of the day, as much of the water is lost to evaporation. Early morning or late at night is best
- Avoid mowing during droughts as it adds stress to grass and is only relieved by more irrigation
- Limit vehicle washing to a minimum
- Refrain from washing down impervious areas such as sidewalks, driveways, and patios
- Refrain from leaving faucets running while shaving, brushing teeth, and rinsing dishes
- Only run full loads for laundry and dish washing
- Check for leaks and repair them promptly
- Track your water usage by registering for eServices
- Calculate how much water you use with the online water usage calculator
- Take showers instead of baths
Please do your part to help conserve this precious resource! Remember that every drop counts!
Current Water Restrictions
The odd/even irrigation schedule for all Apex water customers is enforceable year-round.
The Town closely monitors Jordan Lake levels and could implement more restrictive measures as necessary. Apex water customers may irrigate lawns and/or landscapes 3 days a week according to the schedule below:
- Odd Address Irrigation: Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday
- Even Address Irrigation: Wednesday, Friday, and Sunday
- Hand Watering: Allowed Everyday
Lawn irrigation is not allowed on Mondays. Hand held hose watering is allowed everyday. Apex water customers may obtain a 45-Day New Landscape Permit online (preferred method) or by visiting the Water Resources Department at 105-B Upchurch Street. This permit allows for irrigation of new plantings including large commercial plantings or the installation of new sod or seed to a bare area of more than 50% of the grassed or proposed grassed area of a residential yard. Such a permit will not be granted for over-seeding of established grass.
If you wish to deactivate your irrigation system, please complete the Irrigation Deactivation form found at Deactivate Irrigation. If you have any questions about this process, please contact Jessica Sloan, Water Resources Program Coordinator, at (919) 372-7478.
A written notice will be issued for a first violation of the new mandatory rules. Upon additional observation of violations, the violator will be subject to a civil penalty of up to $1,000 per violation per day. To report a violation, contact the Water Resources Department at (919) 362-8166. Please give the address, date and time of the observed violation. Staff will investigate all reports of violations.
Water Conservation Ordinance
As early as 1973, the Town of Apex recognized water as a valuable natural resource and adopted its first water conservation ordinance.
Our current Water Conservation Ordinance details certain continuing water conservation measures. In order to prevent the unnecessary depletion the potable water supply, the following measures apply to all town water customers at all times whether or not a water shortage exists. These measures include:
- No person shall operate an irrigation system in a manner that allows water to fall on impervious surfaces, such as driveways, roads, sidewalks and/or the like.
- No person shall operate an irrigation system in a manner that allows water to accumulate to the extent that it runs off the property.
- Rain sensors are required on all automatic irrigation systems. Rain sensors are devices that measure rainfall and override the irrigation systems, thus shutting it off.
- To meet the requirements of this ordinance, meters should shut off irrigation systems when 1/4 inch or more of rain has fallen.
Conservation Tips in the Home
Did you know that (other than irrigation) most families use more water for flushing toilets than for any other household use? New toilets use 1.6 gallons of water every time they are flushed. If you live in a house built before 1994, your toilet could use as much as 7 gallons of water per flush.
- If possible, invest in a low-flow toilet.
- Put a bottle in the tank. You can greatly reduce your water usage by placing a plastic 2-liter bottle full of water in your toilet tank to save 2 liters of water per flush. (Don’t use bricks as they may crumble over time.)
- Listen for leaks. If you hear water running in your toilet, adjust or replace the leaky float valve.
A 5-minute shower uses roughly 14 gallons of water while an average bath uses as much as 50 gallons. Switch to a low-flow shower head to save 25 gallons of water for every 5-minute shower.
Turn the Water Off
Don’t leave the water running while shaving or brushing teeth.
Check for Leaky Faucets
Did you know a single dripping water faucet can waste more water in a single day than 1 person could drink in a week? Dripping faucets can usually be easily fixed by simply replacing washers.
Wash Dishes & Laundry Conservatively
When washing dishes by hand, don’t leave the water running for rinsing. When using a dishwasher, make sure it’s fully loaded before you run it. Do the same when you wash your clothes: load the washer fully before running it.
Start a Compost Pile
Garbage disposals require a large amount of water to operate properly. Compost food scraps (vegetable peels, coffee grounds, etc.) outside in a compost pile. You can then use the compost to fertilize landscaping, which may help to reduce the need for watering plants.
Did you know that during the hot summer months, irrigation accounts for more than 60% of residential water use? This "peak demand" requires millions of dollars in infrastructure investment, including the expansion of the Cary/Apex Water Treatment Plant.
- Use a soaker hose. These drip systems irrigate efficiently without water loss to evaporation. They also eliminate accidental watering of impervious surfaces such as driveways and sidewalks, which is illegal per town ordinance.
- Water early. If you do choose to irrigate your lawn, watering 1st thing in the morning on your scheduled day is best. Irrigating mid-day will lose much more water to evaporation and irrigating in the evening can cause fungal growth.
- Water less frequently. Irrigating less often but deeply will encourage roots to grow deeper and be better able to survive our hot summers with less watering. Frequent shallow watering leads to weak, shallow-rooted landscapes.
Signs of Over-Watering
In the summer, fescue naturally goes semi-dormant (brown) during extremes of hot and/or dry weather conditions. It can survive up to 3 weeks with no water. If you have seen or continue to see any of the following, you are over-watering your landscape:
- Algae and mushrooms are growing.
- Leaves are green but brittle.
- Leaves turn a lighter shade of green.
- Soil is constantly damp.
- Water runs off area being irrigated.
- Young shoots are wilted.
- Mow during the coolest part of the day.
- Mow high and often. Fescue should be cut no shorter than 2.5 inches high. The higher you cut, the deeper your root system will grow and the more shade your lawn will provide itself.
- Leave the grass clippings on your lawn. The clippings fertilize your grass naturally as they decompose quickly. They also will discourage weed germination and help preserve soil moisture.
Choosing what and where to plant can help you conserve water.
- Plant strategically. Plant shade trees on the east and west sides of your home if possible. The net cooling effect of a healthy, mature tree is equivalent to 10 room-sized air conditioners running 20 hours a day.
- Choose drought-tolerant plants. One of the best ways to conserve water is to use plants that are drought-tolerant and that are adapted to the Apex area. Drought-tolerant or low-water use plants can continue to survive once they are established, even during times of little rainfall. Some low-water use plants for Apex include:
- Chinese and Japanese Hollies
- Crape Myrtle
- Eastern Red Cedar
- Glossy Abelia