Three new wells are found, and county looks for more to ease its water woes Others are needed to prevent shortages

January 14, 1998|By Mary Gail Hare | Mary Gail Hare,SUN STAFF

Carroll County has found three new wells and is looking for three more to ease the water woes that have troubled South Carroll, particularly during hot, dry summers.

Three wells have been drilled on the Springfield Hospital Center property along Route 32. The wells can yield 500,000 gallons per day, but another half-million-gallon capacity is necessary to supplement the current system and prevent seasonal water shortages in the Freedom District, the county's most populous dTC area with about 27,000 residents.

"We are getting good quality and great quantity from the three wells," said J. Michael Evans, director of the county Department of Public Works. "We have half of what we have targeted as our daily need, and drilling will continue."

Evans said he expects to locate more sites and drill three more wells on the hospital property, which he called the area's most prolific spot for water. The construction cost is about $5,000 per well.

Once all six wells are on line, they will be linked together and connected into a small chlorination plant, which has not been built.

Well water must meet stringent water-quality standards before it is delivered to South Carroll's 6,000 households.

At its current capacity, the Freedom system can process 3 million gallons a day. During the drought last summer, use frequently reached that capacity, forcing the county to institute an alternate-day water ban that remained in effect through September.

If usage exceeds capacity, the Freedom system would have to draw water from the 1.3 gallons it has stored in two tanks. Only half that supply is available to consumers, however. The remainder must be reserved for fire emergencies.

Two new water towers under construction -- one near Liberty High School and the other on Linton Road -- will boost storage capacity to 3 million gallons by late 1998.

The 1997 drought produced the driest conditions in three decades but has had little effect on Liberty Reservoir, which supplies the Freedom system. Residents can see larger portions of the surrounding beach than usual, however.

"The shallow areas are receding because of the dry summer and winter," Evans said. "But we draw water from a 90-foot-deep pool that has not been affected by the drought. The amount of water available to us is still there."

While South Carroll draws 3 million gallons a day, the city of Baltimore, which owns the reservoir, takes 80 million gallons daily from the lake.

"We have not been alerted to any problems with the water supply by the city," Evans said.

Pub Date: 1/14/98

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