Answers to your questions about water

August 10, 1999

Many Marylanders are still confused about what is and is not permitted under the governor's order limiting water use. Here are answers to questions frequently asked of state officials.

May I wash my boat to rinse off the salt?

Yes. Although you can't wash your car at home, you can douse your boat. In the interests of conservation, state officials wish you would do it less often and use less water when you do.

What about water outdoors for my dogs? Or for the birds?

Animals need water, too. You can keep putting out containers for pets, and refill your bird baths.

I just paid several hundred dollars to have my lawn re-sodded. Do I have to watch that die?

No. Although watering your grass is prohibited, state officials have decided to exempt newly seeded or sodded lawns from that ban. The lawn must have been installed since July 1 but before the governor's executive order last Wednesday. You may water it only between 8 p.m. and 8 a.m., and you can use only buckets, cans or a hand-held hose.

I heard I can use treated sewage for watering my gardens and shrubbery. How do I get some?

Baltimore City officials have offered the public wastewater from the Back River treatment plant. It is being used to water Oriole Park at Camden Yards. Contact the city's Department of Public Works, 410-396-3500.

I want to conserve, but my faucets leak. Is there anyone who can help me fix them?

If you're poor or a senior citizen, the governor has set aside $250,000 in grants to help you save water by fixing leaks or installing low-flow shower heads and the like. Call 1-800-492-7127 for information.

For more information, call the state's drought hot line, 1-877-437-6844, from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. on weekdays or 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on weekends. Or check the Department of the Environment's Web site at www.mde.state.md.us.

Pub Date: 8/10/99

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