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Drought-Water restrictions

February 20, 2002

Drought-Water restrictions



The following are current conditions and water restrictions that are applied when circumstances warrant in the Tri-State area.

MARYLAND



The western region of Maryland, including Washington County, is in a drought watch, according to the Maryland State Department of the Environment.

Watch status results when precipitation levels are at or below 75 percent for three months, stream flows and ground water fall between the 10th and 25th percentile and reservoirs contain between 90 and 120 days of storage.

A drought watch requires monitoring conditions. A drought warning requires coordinated preparations for worsening conditions. A drought emergency requires that mandatory water use restrictions be imposed.

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If Washington County enters a drought emergency residents and businesses will be prohibited from:

HEIGHT="6" ALT="* "> Watering lawns.

HEIGHT="6" ALT="* "> Irrigating gardens, landscape areas and other outdoor plants.

HEIGHT="6" ALT="* "> Irrigating and watering golf courses.

HEIGHT="6" ALT="* "> Washing paved surfaces such as streets, roads, sidewalks, driveways, parking areas, tennis courts and patios.

HEIGHT="6" ALT="* "> Using water for the operation of ornamental fountains.

HEIGHT="6" ALT="* "> Washing cars and other vehicles and mobile equipment.

HEIGHT="6" ALT="* "> Filling pools.

HEIGHT="6" ALT="* "> Power-washing houses, fences or decks.

HEIGHT="6" ALT="* "> Serving water in restaurants unless requested by customers.

PENNSYLVANIA



Franklin and Fulton counties are under a drought emergency. All nonessential uses of water are prohibited, including:

HEIGHT="6" ALT="* "> Watering lawns.

HEIGHT="6" ALT="* "> Watering outdoor gardens and landscaped areas.

HEIGHT="6" ALT="* "> Washing cars and other vehicles and mobile equipment.

HEIGHT="6" ALT="* "> Watering athletic fields and golf courses.

HEIGHT="6" ALT="* "> Washing paved surfaces such as streets, sidewalks, driveways, garages, patios, tennis courts and decks.

HEIGHT="6" ALT="* "> Operating fountains, artificial waterfalls and reflecting pools.

HEIGHT="6" ALT="* "> Filling and topping off swimming pools.

HEIGHT="6" ALT="* "> Serving water in restaurants unless requested by customers.

There are several exceptions for each restriction. A complete list is available at the Department of Environmental Protection's Web site at www.dep.state.pa.us.

WEST VIRGINIA



The Eastern Panhandle has experienced a rain deficit of 5 to 7 inches over a three-month period, said Dwayne O'Dell, assistant director of marketing and development for the West Virginia Department of Agriculture.

If the level of precipitation remains low there will be a drought emergency in the Panhandle, Dell said. There are currently no mandatory water restrictions in place.

The Berkeley County Public Service Water District issued a voluntary water conservation notice to all the district's customers in January. It is still in effect. Under voluntary conservation, residents are urged to not:

HEIGHT="6" ALT="* "> Wash driveways, streets, home exteriors or other outdoor surfaces.

HEIGHT="6" ALT="* "> Water golf course fairways.

HEIGHT="6" ALT="* "> Fill swimming pools.

- Compiled by staff writers Sarah Mullin and Stacey Danzuso

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