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Area's water use drops, figures indicate

August 25, 1999|By SCOTT BUTKI

Three weeks after statewide water restrictions went into effect, water consumption by Hagerstown water customers remains down by an average of 1 million gallons per day, according to Hagerstown Water Department Manager Gene V. Walzl.

Maryland Gov. Parris Glendening imposed water-use restrictions on state residents, businesses and governments on Aug. 4.

In July, the city's 75,000 water customers were using an average of 11 million to 12 million gallons daily, Walzl said. During the first week of restrictions, water usage dropped to about 10 million gallons daily.

On hot, sunny days since then, the average water consumption sometimes has reached 11 million gallons, while on cooler days it drops below 10 million, Walzl said.

Usage by Washington County Water and Sewer Department customers has dropped from about 350,000 gallons per day in early July to about 304,000 gallons last week, Director Greg Murray said Wednesday. That is a 13 percent decrease.

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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.

Murray said he has not received any requests for drought restriction exemptions from county residential customers.

Some Hagerstown residents with complaints and exemption requests have called Dave Shindle, city Water Department engineer. He said he has received fewer than a dozen complaints about the restrictions in the last week.

Shindle said he has granted three exemptions in the last week.

One was for a professional detailer to use less than 100 gallons of water to wash motorcycles before doing his work at a local Harley-Davidson convention, Barnhart said.

He told a resident that she could top off her pool because she provided a note from her doctor proving that she needed to use the pool for medical reasons, he said.

On Monday he told The Maryland Theatre it could hose down the alleyway near its building to remove the smell left by those who use the alley as a bathroom, he said.

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