Carroll County has entered the hardware business and is scrambling for buyers. Profit would be tallied in water conservation, not dollars.
Although prices are rock bottom for water conserving devices, sales are sluggish, said Catherine M. Rappe, chief of the water resource management bureau, which is selling the items at cost.
"We aren't getting a lot of orders," Ms. Rappe said yesterday at the quarterly mayors' meeting.
Summer water use increases in the county by as much as 80 percent, particularly in the Freedom area, she said. "It's primarily outside use and primarily a matter of educating people," she said. "We are working with all the towns to distribute information and materials."
The hardware items include a device to lessen the flow of water from shower heads and one to prevent leakage from toilet tanks.
The items are available at the County Office Building and at some town offices.
Information packets detailing simple conservation measures also are going home in student report cards.
"A small leak can add to a water bill and we are giving away leak detection tablets," Ms. Rappe said. "Water conservation can mean a savings on energy bills, too."
Manchester Mayor Elmer C. Lippy said the average family can save about 60 gallons of water a day through simple conservation measures.
The county also would like to review past and present municipal water use records this summer.
"In the fall, we will look at use trends to see how effective our information was," Ms. Rappe said.
For more information, call 857-2150.