Water usage still low

September 14, 1999|By SCOTT BUTKI

Statewide mandatory water restrictions have been lifted but daily water consumption by city water customers hasn't jumped back up, according to Hagerstown Water Department Manager Gene V. Walzl.

Maryland Gov. Parris Glendening, citing one of the state's worst droughts this century, on Aug. 4 imposed water-use restrictions on residents, businesses and governments.

He removed the restrictions Sept. 1.

In July, the city's 75,000 water customers used an average of 11 million to 12 million gallons daily, Walzl said.

Water usage was down on average by at least 1 million gallons per day while the restrictions were in place, he said. Daily use was usually around 10 million, although it sometimes dropped to 9.5 million.

Customers continue to use about 1 million fewer gallons per day even though the restrictions were lifted.

He credited the cooler weather, school starting and rain over Labor Day weekend as reasons why the numbers aren't as high as they were in July.


In addition to state restrictions the Washington County Water and Sewer Department instituted mandatory requirements for the Mount Aetna area July 21 and for the Highfield area July 22.

Director Gregory Murray decided Monday to keep the restrictions in place. They could be lifted later if the region gets more rain but recent precipitation has not been sufficient to warrant that action, he said.

Between early July and late August, usage by the county's 1,500 water users dropped 13 percent, from about 350,000 gallons per day to about 304,000 gallons daily, Murray said.

Water usage has increased since the restrictions were lifted but it is still, on average, below the July level, Murray said.

The decrease in water use between early July and last week is about 8.6 percent, Murray said.

The Herald-Mail Articles