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Tri-State drought conditions

April 29, 2002

Maryland

Washington County

The county is under a drought warning. That means it must prepare for the possibility of restrictions on water use and encourage residents to conserve.

- Hagerstown

Dave Shindle, an engineer with the Hagerstown Water Department, said there have been no problems with the city's water supply, which is fed by the Potomac River. He said users should practice "normal everyday conservation."

- Mount Aetna

The spring and well that supply public water are at low levels. Water use restrictions are in effect. Residents are prohibited from washing cars, sidewalks or houses and are required to fix leaks and take quick showers.

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- Sharpsburg, Highfield, Sandy Hook, Elk Ridge

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

- Hancock

The town's water supply, which comes from two wells, is "just fine," said Town Manager Lou Close. Residents are asked to voluntarily conserve water.

- Boonsboro, Keedysville

Water levels are down but sufficient. Boonsboro Town Administrator Eldon Jones said the water table stands at 69 feet above intake, which is about 18 feet below normal. Residents have been asked to voluntarily conserve water. The water supply 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 to be stable. Voluntarily water conservation measures are in effect. The town has cut off sales to bulk water haulers.

- Williamsport, Funkstown, Smithsburg

No problems with the water supply were reported. All three towns get their water from Hagerstown. Residents have been asked to be "conscientious" about water use.

Frederick County

The county is under a drought emergency. That means it must impose mandatory restrictions on nonessential water use.

- Frederick

The city's two reservoirs, Linganore Creek and Fishing Creek, are full, but the Monocacy River is very low. Recent rain has lifted the river from 11 percent of its normal flow to between 15 and 30 percent.

- Thurmont

Thurmont's water supply in its four wells has risen slightly in the last five weeks, but is "nowhere near normal," Water Treatment Plant Superintendent Gary Dingle said. Dingle said the town is trying to get two more wells in operation to help.

The town enacted a usage ban in February, and a moratorium on building permits was enacted March 8 to prevent additional strain on the water supply. Hardship cases are now being considered, and six building permits were issued a week ago.

The city has imposed restrictions on car washes, car dealerships and Laundromats. Residents are prohibited from washing cars and sidewalks, watering lawns and plants and filling pools. Restaurants are not to serve water unless customers request it. Residents are being asked to voluntarily conserve water.

West Virginia

Berkeley County

Customers of the Berkeley County Public Service Water District are under mandatory water conservation measures. Customers are prohibited from nonessential water uses such as washing streets, noncommercial 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 is discontinued.

Paul Fisher, executive director of the water district, said the water level at Glenwood Forest well is 19 feet above the pump. In January and February it was 16 feet above the pump. Normally, it is 42 feet above. LeFever Springs is producing 44 percent less water than last year at this time. Baker Lakes quarries, which had been drying up, are no longer being used as an alternative water source. Water reserves at Inwood Quarry are being used in place of Baker Lakes quarries. Ben Spec Spring is producing 44 percent less water than last year at this time.

- Martinsburg

Water users in the city are under voluntary water restrictions. Consumers have been asked to repair all leaks, keep bottled water in the refrigerator instead of running the tap and look into water-saving devices such as faucets and toilets designed to conserve water.

A 15- to 18-inch perception deficit has reduced water levels in the city's water supply at Kilmer Springs and Big Springs, Utilities Director Stephen Knipe said.

Morgan County

- Berkeley Springs

The Lord Fairfax Springs that supply Berkeley Springs with water are producing a sufficient amount, Director of Public Utilities Thomas Hall said. There are no water restrictions.

Jefferson County

- Harpers Ferry, Bolivar

The water source for Harpers Ferry and Bolivar is Elk Run. There are no water restrictions at this time.

- Shepherdstown

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 there are no restrictions at this time.

- Charles Town, Ranson

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