Drought, municipalities update

March 11, 2002


The city reports the water supply, which is fed by the Potomac River, is low, but not at a critical level. Water Department Manager Gene Walzl is asking users to be conscientious about how they use water.

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.

Sharpsburg, Highfield, Sandy Hook, Elk Ridge

Water is supplied by Washington County. The Washington County Water and Sewer Department has asked residents in these areas to voluntarily conserve water.


The town reports no problems with its water supply, which comes from two wells. Town Manager Lou Close is asking residents to voluntarily conserve water.

Boonsboro, Keedysville

Water levels remain sufficient, but are recovering slowly from the drought so the towns have asked residents to voluntarily conserve water until the drought ends. The water supply for the towns comes from two wells and from Keedysville and Warrenfeltz 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.

The Washington County Water and Sewer Department, which manages the town's water supply, has asked residents in these areas to voluntarily conserve water.

Williamsport, Funkstown, Smithsburg

All three towns get their water from Hagerstown. No problems with the water supply were reported. Hagerstown Water Department Manager Gene Walzl is asking users to be conscientious about how they use water.

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. The river is running at 11 percent of its normal flow. Fishing Creek Reservoir was full this week.


Thurmont's water supply is four wells, which had water levels well below normal for this time of year, Water Treatment Plant Superintendent Gary Dingle said.

A moratorium on building permits was enacted March 8 to prevent additional strain on the water supply.

The city has closed car washes, prohibited dealerships from washing cars and restricted laundromats to only be open Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.

Residents are prohibited from washing their cars and sidewalks, watering lawns and plants, and filling pools. Restaurants are not to serve water unless it is requested.

Residents also are being asked to voluntarily conserve water.

West Virginia

Berkeley County

Customers of the Berkeley County Public Service Water District are now under mandatory water conservation measures.

The 30,000 customers are prohibited from non-essential water uses such as, washing streets, non-commercial washing of motor vehicles, serving water in restaurants unless requested, ornamental water uses, and the watering of lawns or golf courses.

The approval of new water main extensions will be discontinued.

Executive Director of the water district Paul Fisher said the water level at Glenwood Forest well is 16 feet above the pump, normally it is 42 feet above. LeFever Springs is producing 54 percent less water than last year at this time. The county's alternative water source at Baker Lakes quarries is drying up and Ben Spec Spring is producing 44 percent less water than last year at this time, he said.


The 15,000 water users in the city are under voluntary water restrictions.

The city has asked consumers to refrain from the watering of outdoor shrubbery with a hose, washing of streets, washing of automobiles - excluding commercial carwashes because they recycle water, non essential flushing of hydrants and sewer lines unless there are health and safety concerns, the watering of sports areas such as fields and golf courses, and restaurants should not fill water glasses unless requested by customer.

They have also asked consumers to locate and repair all leaks, keep bottled water in the refrigerator instead of running the tap, and to look into water saving devices such as faucets and toilets designed to conserve water.

The voluntary restrictions are a result of the 15- to 18-inch perception deficit in the area, which has reduced the water levels in the city's water supply at Kilmer Springs and Big Springs, Utilities Director Stephen Knipe said.

Morgan County

Berkeley Springs

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