South Carroll's water worries intact despite consumption drop

August 25, 1999|By Mary Gail Hare | Mary Gail Hare,SUN STAFF

Residents of Carroll's most populated area are using more than a million gallons of water less a day this month than in May, county officials said yesterday.

In South Carroll, home to about 28,000 people, water use dropped from a record daily high of nearly 3.5 million gallons in May to 2.2 million gallons a day for the first 22 days of August.

The county banned all outdoor water use in South Carroll on June 1, and modified the ban 15 days later to outdoor use on alternating days.

"I think people are taking the water crisis seriously," said Gary Horst, county director of enterprise and recreation services. "They are seeing this is not just a Carroll County problem, but one affecting the entire state. Usage has been down since the end of July."

But the decrease may not be enough to continue building in South Carroll, whose population has tripled since the 1970s. Without an increase in the supply, development cannot continue, Horst said.

Freedom Water Treatment Plant, which can process 3 million gallons a day drawn from Liberty Reservoir, has operated at full capacity several days this summer. It then must rely on water held in several storage tanks.

In a report delivered to county commissioners yesterday, Horst attributed the decrease in demand to conservation and to bans on outdoor use.

"You can make anything you want of the numbers, but the 1 million gallons was probably water that would have been used outdoors," Horst said.

Max Bair, county administrator, said he would like every household to be aware of water conservation.

Pub Date: 8/25/99

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