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Thurmont issues tough water restrictions

March 08, 2002|BY JULIE E. GREENE

THURMONT, Md. - Thurmont officials are enacting stricter water conservation measures today, closing car washes and limiting laundromat hours, a town official said.

Thurmont's President and Board of Commissioners approved stricter measures at Tuesday's meeting, including a moratorium on building permits, Water Treatment Plant Superintendent Gary Dingle said Thursday.

Typically it takes three months from the time from getting the building permit to using the water, Dingle said. City officials and suspended the issuance of building permits in case the drought lasts through the summer, he said.

City officials don't want new housing putting an additional burden on the city's water system, Dingle said.

The water levels in the city's four wells are well below normal for this time of year, ranging from approximately 15 feet to 40 feet below normal, Dingle said.

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The Maryland Department of the Environment has a drought warning in effect for Frederick County.

In addition to car washes closing, the city's three car dealerships can no longer wash cars, Dingle said.

Laundromats will be open only on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, Dingle said.

Mandatory water restrictions for residents will continue.

City residents have been asked since Feb. 15 not to wash cars or sidewalks, water lawns or plants, or fill pools, Dingle said. Restaurants are not to serve water unless it is requested.

Residents also are being asked to voluntarily conserve water, Dingle said. For example, people could turn the bathroom faucet off while brushing their teeth instead of letting the water run, he said.

"Just every little thing that could help," Dingle said.

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