Drought-Community status reports

February 20, 2002

Drought-Community status reports

Following is a glance at the effects of the drought on municipalities in the Tri-State area.


Washington County


The city reports the water supply, which is fed by the Potomac River, is low, but not at a critical level.

Mount Aetna

The spring and well that supply public water to the Mount Aetna area are at low levels. Water use restrictions that are in effect prohibit washing cars, sidewalks or houses and require residents to fix leaks and take quick showers.


The town reports no problems with its water supply, which comes from two wells.

Boonsboro, Keedysville

There has been no significant drop in the water supply for the towns, which comes from two wells and from Keedysville and Warrenteltz springs.


Clear Spring

The town is served by three wells that empty into a reservoir, where the water level is reported stable. The historic spring from which the town derives its name has gone dry. It did not supply water to the town.

Williamsport, Funkstown, Smithsburg

All three towns get their water from Hagerstown. No problems with the water supply were reported.


Water is supplied by Washington County. No problems were reported.

Frederick County


The city of Frederick is under a drought warning mandated by the Maryland Department of Environment. Water restrictions are voluntary for the city's 57,000 water users. A drought warning is issued when stream flows and ground water levels fall below a designated level and reservoirs contain between 60 and 90 days of storage.

The Monocacy River, Linganore Creek and a mountain source feeding into a 7,000-acre watershed are the water sources for the city. Director of Public Works Fred Eisenhart said the river is running at 25 percent of its normal flow, and the mountain source is feeding into the reservoir at about one-third of its normal rate.

Linganore Lake is full, but the level of water flowing into the spillway is greatly reduced, causing a noticeable difference in the creek flow, he said.


Franklin and Fulton Counties are under a drought emergency. Nonessential use of water is prohibited.

Franklin County


The reservoir serving Waynesboro is down 13 feet 11 inches. The reservoir is fed by East Branch of Antietam Creek. The reservoir, which holds 150 million gallons, is at 40 percent capacity. Antietam Creek is running at one-third its normal capacity, said John Verrico, spokesperson for the Maryland Department of Environment.


The 13 million-gallon reservoir is a foot below normal. The borough pumps directly from two springs to a water treatment plant for direct use, while water from three springs and two wells goes directly into the reservoir. During normal precipitation levels the reservoir is overflowing and the wells are not used, said Ken Myers, area water authority manager. The reservoir is used as a back-up water supply. The springs and wells are producing at less than half their normal capacity.


The reservoir is 16 feet below the spillway, or at about 60 percent capacity.


The reservoir is fed by Mountain and Buck Run wells. Borough Manager Thelma Ambrose said they are flowing at a sufficient rate, but residents are asked to conserve water.

Mont Alto

The reservoir is in an overflow state. They have cut back the amount of water pumped from the well by about 50 million gallons per minute due to the sediment found in the water. The cut back is not due to precipitation levels.


Berkeley County


The town receives its water from springs and a quarry. Martinsburg Mayor George Karos said the water supply is low but there are no restrictions on water use, although residents are being asked to conserve.

Morgan County

Berkeley Springs

The Lord Fairfax Springs that supply Berkeley Springs with water are producing a sufficient amount to meet the needs of the approximately 4,000 users, Director of Public Utilities Thomas Hall said.

Jefferson County

Harpers Ferry, Bolivar

The water source for Harpers Ferry and Bolivar is Elk Creek, which Harpers Ferry Mayor Jim Addy said is running fairly well but is somewhat low. He said if the precipitation level remains the same, water restrictions will be implemented by summer


The town uses the Potomac River as its water source, and supplies the surrounding area within a two-mile radius. Water Department Superintendent Bill Myers said the river is the lowest it has been in a while, but at this time he doesn't foresee the need for restrictions. Maryland has jurisdiction over the river, so if the state implements water restrictions, Shepherdstown must abide by them.

Charles Town, Ranson

Those towns and the surrounding area receive their water from the Shenandoah River. Charles Town City Manager Jane Arnett said there has been no drop in the water levels, and the drought has had no impact on the water supply.

- Compiled by staff writer Sarah Mullin

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