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Water use restrictions are issued

August 12, 2004|by DON AINES

chambersburg@herald-mail.com

ST. THOMAS, PA. - Too much rain from thunderstorms has been cited as the reason for water restrictions imposed this week by the Bear Valley Water Authority.

On Monday, the authority issued mandatory restrictions on nonessential water use, including washing vehicles, filling or topping off pools, watering athletic fields and trees and shrubs. Watering lawns also is prohibited, except for newly seeded areas, which can be watered only between 5 p.m. and 9 a.m.

The authority, which serves about 4,000 connections in St. Thomas, Peters and Hamilton townships, has gotten too much rain in recent weeks, according to manager Robert John. The area got 9 inches of rain in the summer, much of that in the form of heavy thunderstorms that muddied the waterway that feeds the treatment plant.

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The sediment proved too much for the filters of the treatment plant, which was shut down, John said. He said the authority's system is connected to the Borough of Chambersburg, from which it is now getting its water.

Before the restrictions, John said Chambersburg was supplying about 60 percent of Bear Valley's water.

Despite plentiful rainfall over the past two years, the system has a moratorium on new development, according to John. A drought a few years ago contributed to that, but John said "our supply has not kept up with our demand."

The authority can treat 500,000 gallons a day and plans to expand the capacity to 1.5 million gallons, a project that will take about two years to complete, John said.

The restrictions on nonessential water use will remain in effect until further notice, according to an authority statement.

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