Carroll water use reflects unseasonably hot weather...

CARROLL COUNTY DIGEST

April 26, 2002

Carroll water use reflects unseasonably hot weather

Demand for water from Carroll's Freedom treatment plant increased significantly during the unseasonable hot spell last week and hit 2.5 million gallons April 17. Use fell back to 2 million gallons by the end of the week, county officials said yesterday.

Because of the drought throughout Central Maryland, the state has imposed restrictions on outdoor water use. Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE) is calling for weekly reports from public systems, such as Carroll's, which supplies about 20,000 people. The county can draw up to 3 million gallons daily from Liberty Reservoir, but operating its 30-year-old plant at that capacity for prolonged periods stresses the equipment.

"MDE re-evaluates every month and could go to the next level of water restrictions," said James Slater, Carroll's environmental compliance specialist. "Conservation is the main thing."

Commissioners hold line on water and sewer rates

Carroll residents will see no increase in water and sewer rates next fiscal year and homebuyers will not pay higher impact fees. The county commissioners voted yesterday to hold the line on those charges for the next fiscal year, which begins July 1.

A deficit in operating the sewer system offset the $60,000 profit in the water system, making the actual gain about $30,000, said county Comptroller Eugene Curfman, who recommended maintaining the rates at current levels. He reported $3 million in revenues from the systems, which serve nearly 10,000 households throughout the county, but predominantly in South Carroll.

Increases in the cost of water, which the county purchases from Baltimore City's Liberty Reservoir, the persistent drought and residents' conservation efforts are factors that might affect rates in the future, he said.

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