Westminster water ideas sought

October 31, 2006|By Laura McCandlish | Laura McCandlish,Sun reporter

In a meeting yesterday to explore ways to solve a water shortage that has frozen development in Westminster, representatives of the state Department of the Environment asked officials from the Carroll County seat to submit a list of proposed solutions by the end of the week, the city's mayor said.

Speaking after the closed-door meeting, Mayor Thomas K. Ferguson said Westminster will have to solve a water deficit of about 900,000 gallons per day for the system, which serves about 35,000 city and county residents. Westminster also will recalculate how much new sources of water are projected to yield, Ferguson said.

"We've got more work to do, but the folks from MDE very clearly are interested in working with the city," the mayor said. "They seem to agree for Carroll County more reservoir storage capacity is going to be necessary."

The environmental department has encouraged the city to expand its 115 million-gallon Cranberry Reservoir, construct a pipeline from the reservoir to Medford Quarry on Route 31 and pump water daily from a backup well.

Building permits have been on hold in Westminster since Sept. 21, when the environmental department imposed the moratorium until new water options are agreed upon. MDE had first asked Westminster to recalculate its water supply plan after water had to be trucked in during a 2002 drought.laura.mccandlish@baltsun.com

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