Ban on weekend outdoor water use is to begin Friday

May 16, 2007|By Sandy Alexander | Sandy Alexander,sun reporter

Starting Friday, lawn watering, car washing, pool filling and other outdoor water uses will be banned on weekends for about 66,000 Howard County residents using the public water system.

The restrictions apply from 6 p.m. Fridays until 12:01 a.m. Mondays and all day on holidays for all homes, businesses and institutions connected to the public water system. Residents using private wells will not be affected.

This is the second summer that repairs to a water main in Baltimore County have led to water restrictions in Howard. The 54-inch pipe is one of two major sources for Howard's public water system and has been shut down since last summer.

Officials hope repairs will be completed by July 1, according to the Baltimore County Department of Public Works.

Howard County officials said they are concerned that without the ban, the increased use of water outdoors in the summer could leave too little water and water pressure for basic customer service and for fire emergencies.

During the restricted times, public water users may not:

Water lawns or plants with sprinklers or free-running hoses.

Wash paved or outdoor surfaces and structures, such as sidewalks, driveways and patios.

Use water for nonrecycling ornamental purposes such as waterfalls, misting machines and reflective pools.

Use power washers.

Use water for noncommercial washing of vehicles.

Fill or top off swimming pools, unless they are newly constructed or repaired.

County residents may water gardens and plants with buckets, watering cans or hand-held hoses with nozzles that shut off automatically. They may also use commercial car washes.

Violators could be forced to pay a fine, face criminal charges or be cut off from the water supply.

Information: Howard's water restriction information line, 410-313-4949 or the county's Bureau of Utilities, 410-313-4900.

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