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Boonsboro lifts water ban

July 18, 1997

By VANDANA SINHA

Staff Writer

Boonsboro, its reservoir levels up, lifted its ban on outdoor water use Thursday, but similar bans remained in effect in four other towns in the Tri-State area.

Boonsboro lifted its ban after the reservoir returned to normal levels, thanks to cooperative citizens and repaired leaks in Boonsboro and Keedysville pipes, Boonsboro Mayor Charles Kauffman said.

"But we're still stressing that these are drought conditions and ask people to use their water wisely," he said.

Bans on outdoor water use remained in effect in Smithsburg in Washington County and in Emmitsburg and Myersville in Frederick County. A voluntary ban was in effect in Woodsboro, Md., and officials there warned it might be upgraded to mandatory.

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The water level in Boonsboro's reservoir has risen to more than 19 feet, about two feet higher than it was last Friday, Kauffman said.

The maximum level that the reservoir can sustain is 19 feet, 6 inches, he said.

Boonsboro officials were waiting for a price on an appropriate system to be used to temporarily filter the Crestview Well in Boonsboro.

They also were seeking ways to bring a water pump on line at a new 505-foot well drilled Friday in the north end of Shafer Park. The well would add 150 gallons a minute and more than 200,000 gallons a day to the town's water supply.

Woodsboro officials said they may have to make their voluntary water ban on outdoor use, instituted on July 8, compulsory if dry weather conditions continue.

Emmitsburg, Md., the fourth town to announce a mandatory restriction, notified residents Wednesday and Thursday of an immediate water ban on outdoor activities in the town.

The dry weather there has depleted the normally steady flow of water from the town's Rainbow Lake over a spillway into the stream that feeds its reservoir.

"Now it's at a point where the water is just trickling over," said Doug Wantz, town water superintendent.

Emmitsburg has received 17.41 inches of rainfall so far this year, a significant drop from the 43 inches that had fallen on the town during the same period last year, according to weather observer Lucille Beale.

In Hagerstown, about 17 inches of precipitation has fallen since January, compared to 45.69 inches of rain that fell on the city through last July, said Greg Keefer, Hagerstown weather observer.

Officials in Smithsburg and Myersville, Md., said Thursday they are waiting for several days of steady, soaking rain before they can lift their three-week-long water bans on outdoor use.

Because Hauvers Spring in Smithsburg is so low, the town has been getting water from the Hagerstown reservoir, its main water source now, daily since July 2.

The National Weather Service says the weather will remain mainly hot and dry this week, with a chance of thunderstorms Saturday and Monday.

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