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Water usage dropping

August 12, 1999|By SCOTT BUTKI

Daily water consumption by city water customers has dropped by more than 1 million gallons a day since mandatory statewide water restrictions were imposed Aug. 4, according to Hagerstown Water Department Manager Gene V. Walzl.

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The city's 75,000 water customers have been using an average of 10 million gallons a day since Maryland Gov. Parris Glendening imposed water-use restrictions on residents, businesses and governments, Walzl said.

During the weeks leading up to Glendening's order, the city was using an average of 11 million to 12 million gallons daily, he said Wednesday.

Walzl attributed the reduction of roughly 10 percent to 20 percent daily to a combination of the water restrictions and cooler weather.

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Usage by Washington County Water and Sewer Department customers has dropped by about 15 percent since July 21 and about 5 percent since the Aug. 4 emergency order by Gov. Parris N. Glendening, Director Greg Murray said Thursday.

The county, which serves about 1,500 water users, instituted mandatory requirements for the Mount Aetna area July 21 and the Highfield area July 22, he said.

Some of those restrictions were even more stringent than the state's. For instance, all watering of outside plants is prohibited as opposed to the state's restriction limiting watering to hand-held hoses or watering cans, he said.

Estimates on how much the usage has dropped statewide since the restrictions took effect won't be available until at least next week, a Maryland Department of the Environment spokesman said Thursday.

The city of Hagerstown continues cleaning the streets but started using recycled water for the task when the mandatory restrictions were issued, Public Information Manager Karen Giffin said.

The city needs to clean the streets for public health reasons because dust accumulates on the roads otherwise, she said.

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