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Southern end of county in water 'crisis'

March 13, 2002|BY SARAH MULLIN

BERKELEY COUNTY, W.Va. - The Berkeley County Public Service District is asking all residents and businesses in south Berkeley County to conserve as much water as they can until Monday.

"This will buy us enough time to get the Inwood (W.Va.) quarry on line, but if not, they will run out of water," said Paul Fisher, executive director of the district.

"This is a critical plea. We are facing a crisis situation from now until Monday," he said.

Southern Berkeley County includes Inwood, Bunker Hill and the surrounding areas.

The district is in the process of laying pipe and installing a pump at an Inwood quarry owned by D. L. Morgan. The pipe will connect to the district's Bunker Hill treatment plant about a mile away.

Once on-line, the district will be able to pump 400 gallons of water a minute to the plant and pass it on to its 16,000 consumers. The water currently is being pumped into Mill Creek and is not being used as a source.

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Fisher said the quarry should be on-line by Saturday evening.

Consumers are asked not to use water outside and to use only what is necessary inside.

"Any water saved will buy us time. Everybody still needs to pray for rain," Fisher said.

The water district will consider implementing stage three of the drought contingency plan, which involves water rationing to the south Berkeley area.

Fisher said the implementation of water rationing depends on the amount of rain the area receives.

The quarry will replace the water the county is pumping from Baker Heights quarries.

Fisher said the Baker Heights quarries are almost drained of water.

Large water consumers in the area are doing what they can to conserve, Fisher said.

The 167th Air Lift Wing of the West Virginia Air National Guard in Martinsburg, W.Va., has made a commitment to not wash vehicles or airplanes during the water crisis, Fisher said.

And Knouse Foods in Inwood has decreased its daily water consumption by 12,000 gallons a day, Fisher said.

The county is still under a mandatory water conservation measure, which prohibits all nonessential uses of water.

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