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Residents urged to cut back water use

July 25, 2002|by ANDREW SCHOTZ

martinsburg@herald-mail.com

GREENCASTLE, Pa. - With water supply still a concern, the borough of Greencastle is replacing a well pump, creating a source protection plan and reminding the public to conserve.

Despite state-imposed restrictions on water use because of the current drought, average water usage in the borough rose from 617,000 gallons per day in May to 652,000 gallons per day in June, or 5.7 percent, Borough Manager Kenneth Myers said Wednesday.

Midway through July, the level was 684,000 gallons a day, up 4.9 percent so far from June, Myers said.

Franklin and Fulton are among several Pennsylvania counties that remain under a drought emergency, as declared by Gov. Mark Schweiker more than five months ago.

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Residents in those counties are forbidden from watering lawns, and restaurants cannot serve water unless customers request it first, among other restrictions.

Myers said there have been reports of people using water to clean sidewalks or houses.

"If we get a timely complaint, the police will go out and give a warning," Myers said.

Most reports, though, come well after the fact.

Myers said the borough was able to keep its reservoir full until about the first week of July, but it's starting to drop. As of Monday, it was down 22 inches, he said.

The borough's water authority has hired Eichelberger Well Drilling of Mechanicsburg, Pa., to replace a 25-year-old pump at one of the borough's two wells.

The work will begin soon and take about five or six weeks, Myers said.

In March, the borough had a problem with sediment building up in the well. The pump was removed and the well was cleaned.

While the pump was out, it was examined and found to be wearing out. Myers said the new pump will be more reliable and efficient.

The pump at the borough's other well was installed in 1985.

The water authority has received a grant of about $49,000 from the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection to create a source water protection plan. It's a matching grant, so the authority is contributing an additional $5,000 or so, Myers said.

The plan will delineate water sources, identify potential contaminants, outline conservation strategies, develop an emergency response plan and suggest ways to educate the public.

At a meeting last week, the authority also discussed potential new water sources and approved a water main extension to serve 44 proposed homes for Phase IV of the Greens of Greencastle.

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