Summerlike temperatures have prompted a call for voluntary water conservation in the Freedom District, Carroll County's most populous area.
The Freedom water treatment plant serves about 6,000 households in South Carroll and includes Eldersburg and Sykesville.
The area suffers from seasonal water shortages, and the county Bureau of Utilities hopes an early warning can avoid water bans such as those imposed in the severe drought last year.
"We want to get the notice out prior to any panic," said Wayne Lewns, chief of the county Bureau of Utilities. "There is no problem now, and we want to head off any problem in the future."
The bureau has instituted several conservation programs in schools and neighborhoods, Lewns said.
"We are asking people to conserve and to think about what happened last summer," Lewns said. "Now is a good time with temperatures reaching the high 80s."
Last summer, the driest in three decades, led to bans on outdoor water use throughout South Carroll from June through September. Residents who violated the ban faced fines and cutoffs.
"We don't want to get into warning tags and odd/even days," said Lewns. "We are getting a jump start now."
The Freedom plant draws from Liberty Reservoir and operates at a 3-million-gallon daily capacity.
When demand exceeds capacity, as it did several times last summer, the system relies on water held in two 1-million-gallon water towers -- one on Marsh Road and the other on Bartholow Road.
The county is building two water towers to bring the storage capacity to 3.5 million gallons.
Pub Date: 5/29/98