County tightens water use limits

June 02, 2006|By LARRY CARSON | LARRY CARSON,SUN REPORTER

Because of water supply problems stemming from a large water pipe being repaired in Baltimore County, about 66,000 Howard County residents, businesses and industrial plants must not use sprinklers or wash their vehicles at home after 5 p.m. or on weekends or holidays.

County Executive James N. Robey said that while some restrictions already were in place, water levels dropped too low over the Memorial Day weekend. The Baltimore County pipe, which is undergoing summer-long repairs, delivers up to half of Howard's public water. A lack of rain and increased warm-weather water use also contribute to the supply problem. The restrictions are needed to keep enough water pressure to fight fires, he said.

Effective immediately, no sprinklers or unattended hoses may be used to water plants, fill pools, run waterfalls, or wash outdoor surfaces such as patios or decks from 5 p.m. to midnight each Monday through Thursday. The same restrictions will be in place from 5 p.m. through midnight each Friday through Sunday, and all day on holidays.

Plants may be watered by bucket or with a hand-held hose. Commercial car washes may continue to operate.

The restrictions do not apply to people with private wells.

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