Water conservation order to be lifted at dawn today in Baltimore County


The water conservation order in Baltimore County was to be lifted at dawn today after repairs were completed last night to a pumping station and broken water main, a Baltimore Department of Public Works spokesman said.

"We're going to replenish the Towson Reservoir [overnight] so voluntary conservation efforts can be lifted in the morning," spokesman Kurt Kocher said.

"We deeply appreciate the conservation efforts made by the citizens of Baltimore County and the cooperation we received from county government," Kocher said.

The Guilford pumping station on Cold Spring Lane -- where faulty circuit boards led to the problems -- was restarted at 8:15 last night, Kocher said. Repairs to a broken water main at the Cromwell pumping station in Baltimore County were completed about 45 minutes later, he said.

Water customers have reported no disruptions in service.

A chain reaction of problems began Friday night at the Cromwell and Guilford pumping stations and caused water levels to drop at the Towson Reservoir, near Hillen Road and Stevenson Lane, which supplies Cockeysville, Dulaney Valley, Hunt Valley, Lutherville, Ruxton, Sparks, Timonium, Towson and other areas.

At the peak of the problem, the reservoir's water level was dropping a foot an hour and public works officials were asking residents to reduce water consumption until further notice.

The first problem occurred when circuitry that controls two pumps at the Guilford station, on Old Cold Spring Lane near Loyola College, failed about 11 p.m. Friday. Workers got new circuit boards from the manufacturer in New Jersey and installed them about 4:30 p.m. yesterday, but they didn't work, Kocher said.

After the Guilford pumps failed, public works officials decided to turn on one of the large pumps at the Cromwell station on Cromwell Bridge Road, which had been out of operation so that it could be upgraded. Within 10 minutes after the pump was brought into service, the main burst and water started pouring from the curb and coming out of manholes.

Yesterday, crews determined that they did not have to remove the damaged section of pipe to repair it, Kocher said. While the crews dealt with that problem, others worked on the Cromwell pump to ensure that it would be in shape to resume operation when the main was repaired.

"We're looking at some of the evidence of corrosion where this break occurred, and we're going to send that part of the pipe to be tested," Kocher said.

Conservation was the key to resolving the problem without a major crisis, Kocher said.

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