Town of Emmitsburg
300A S. Seton Ave Emmitsburg, Maryland

September 2002

Report on the status of Town water wells

The current water ban in effect in Emmitsburg is in place due to the statewide mandate and as a good management practice by the Town. Although the town staff and town officials believe that Emmitsburg's water is not dangerously low, we do believe that, as much as possible, everyone should always conserve water and not waste it.

Emmitsburg receives its water from a reservoir (Rainbow Lake) and wells located on the town watershed property. The wells on the watershed property are numbered 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6. Recently we drilled well number 7 in Emmit Gardens. The town has not yet received the final approval for the use of well number 7 , but in its preliminary approval the Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE) stated that the town will receive a permit for the town to pump 83,000 gallons of water per day from it. This is equal to 57.5 gallons of water per minute. At this time well number 7 is not connected to the Town water system, and there has been no formal cost estimate for connecting it. However, the town has received several preliminary estimates that range from as little as $50,000 to as much as $250,000.

Well number 1 and well number 2 have a joint permit that allows for a maximum of 168,000 Gallons of water Per Day (GPD) to be pumped out if these wells. Currently the Town's Water Superintendent is pumping 100,000 GPD from these wells. Well number 1 normally has water in the shaft up to 42 feet; currently the water is down to 56 feet. Well number 2 normally has water in the shaft at 8 feet; currently the water is at 28 feet.

Well number 3 and well number 5 have a joint permit that allows for a maximum of 87,000 GPD to be pumped out of these wells. Currently the town's Water Superintendent is pumping 72,000 GPD from these wells. Well number 3 normally has water in the shaft at 37 feet; currently that water is down to 146 feet. Well number 5 normally has water at 9 feet; currently the water is at 132 feet.

Well number 4 has an allocation permit for 40,000 GPD. This well is not currently connected to the town water system. It was drilled two years ago and currently remains in reserve for future growth. To connect this well to the town's system would cost approximately $50,000. No additional treatment facility would be needed for this well. It will be connected in to the same line as well number 3 and well number 5 and the reservoir prior to entering the water treatment plant.

As a precaution the town constructed a permanent connection from the town's service to Mt. St. Mary's College service. The Town holds a 20-year contract with Mt. St. Mary's that the town may purchase up to 100,000 gallons of water per day if we feel we need more water. The town does not purchase water from Mt. St. Mary's on a regular basis. But, we have exercised this option several times while the town's water plant had to be shut down for short periods to test the new plant.

Well number 6 is located above the reservoir and is permitted to pump 7 gallons per minute. This well has not been in use for several years. When it was, the water from it was pumped into Rainbow Lake. This well has no permanent connection to the town water system and the town is considering abandoning it in order to receive a higher water allocation on one of the other wells that has a permanent connection to the town's water system.

Rainbow Lake has a maximum allocation permit for 168,000 GPD to be pumped out if it. Currently the Town's Water Superintendent is pumping out 125,000 GPD. Rainbow Lake is approximately 18 feet deep (at its deepest point) and its water is currently 2 feet below the spillway.

The above information gives the maximum amount of water each of the town wells and Rainbow Lake may provide, and it shows the amount of water that our Water Superintendent feels comfortable with pumping from each during our worse time of year. The information also shows that well number 3 and number 5 are below their normal levels. These two wells have held steady at their current depth for approximately six weeks.

Our Water Superintendent monitors our wells and Rainbow Lake daily. The Town does not pump the maximum amount of water on a regular basis from any well or Rainbow Lake. As a good manager the Water Superintendent alternates the amount of water pumped from the wells to help prevent any well from getting too low.

Emmitsburg is currently using an average of 295,000 GPD (or 205 gallons per minute). Due to additional outside water use this time of year is our highest demand period. We must use our highest demand period to calculate our actual water needs. During cooler months of the year water consumption is as much as 25 percent lower.

If you have any questions, please feel free to call the town office, or e-mail us

Jim Hoover

Read a short history on the Town's water system

Read Past Issues of From Mayor Jim's Desk