The winter drought has prompted
town officials to ban non-essential water consumption,
according to Dan Fissel, the water and waste water
systems superintendent. The mandatory restrictions,
imposed last week, ban watering lawns,. watering gardens
with fresh water and filling pools. Ponds should only be
filled enough to keep aquatic life alive. Car washing
can only be done at commercial car washes, and
restrictive nozzles should be used.
Rainbow Lake, the towns water
reservoir, is 3.5 feet below its normal level, said Mr.
Fissel. "We're calling this a drought. Our big
concern is rainfall may not be happening."
Toilets should be checked for
leaks, Mr. Fissel said. "This is a big issue. If
it's leaking, it means it is running a lot of
water." Rainbow Lake is the town's main source of
water, but there are also five wells the town is using
conservatively because of the lack of precipitation, Mr.
Flssel said. "That's why we're running more from
Wells take longer to recharge
because the groundwater needs to filter down. It could
take a couple months," he said. Mr. Fissel said
he's studying a couple of wells drilled in the 1960s and
1970s to see if they can be revived. He said the town is
also looking for a place to possibly drill a new one.
Residents have been asked to use
water wisely, said Mike Marschner, director of the
Frederick County Division of Utilities and Solid Waste
Management. Some towns are restricting or conserving
water voluntarily. Middletown has voluntary limits said
Town Administrator Drew Bowen. Repairs to Mount Airy's
water system are complete, but the restrictions there
were not lifted because of the dry weather, said Water
Commissioner Delaine Hobbs. Thurmont has imposed
mandatory restrictions on both business and residential
customers. The entire state of Maryland is under a
drought warning with the exception of customers served
by the City of Baltimore and those served by the
Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission, said Richard
McIntire, spokesman for the Maryland Department of the
Frederick County is under a
drought warning even though some customers use sources
that draw from the Potomac River, he said. "A watch
means there is absolutely no problem meeting the
unrestricted demands of the community, but flows are
below normal," said Mr. Marschner.
A warning means mandatory
restrictions will be ordered if there is not substantial
rain in the next two months. In Pennsylvania, a
23-county emergency drought plan is already in effect,
said Wendy McPherson, a hydrologist for the U.S.
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Emmitsburg Town Government