St. Mary's County Implements Water Restrictions Due To Drought

HOLLYWOOD, Md. (July 24, 2007) - The St. Mary's County Metropolitan Commission (MetCom) announced today that effective immediately, the county government is implementing Level I water restrictions for the following public water systems: Breton Bay, Cedar Cove, Charlotte Hall, Country Lakes, Forrest Farms, Greenbrier, Hunting Quarters, Lexington Park , Mulberry South, Persimmon Hills, Piney Point, Piney Point Landings, Rolling Acres, Villages of Leonardtown, and Wilderness Run.

According to MetCom officials, these restrictions are being imposed as a result of recent and continued drought conditions and drastic increases in water usage in these communities. These restrictions will continue through the duration of the drought conditions. The restrictions do not apply to private water wells.

Level I water restrictions are defined as follows:

* Watering of lawns, gardens, landscaped areas, trees, shrubs, and other outdoor plants are permitted every day between the hours of 8 pm and 7 am only;

* Irrigation must be personally supervised at all times to eliminate run-off or excessive watering;

* Washing of paved surfaces such as streets, roads, sidewalks, driveways, garages, parking areas, tennis courts, and patios are permitted only under the following conditions:

-- For pre-washing in preparation of asphalt street or driveway recoating and sealing;
-- At the minimum rate necessary for sanitation or public health purposes, such as eating and drinking areas;
-- At the minimum rate necessary to maintain effective dust control during the construction of highways and roads.

* The use of water for washing or cleaning of mobile equipment including automobiles, trucks, trailers, and boats are permitted under the following conditions:

-- The use of commercial car washes are highly encouraged, as they utilize recycling;
-- Cleaning of construction, commercial, emergency and public transportation vehicles only as necessary to preserve the proper functioning and safe operation of the vehicle;
-- Privately owned vehicles may be washed once per week only by means of a bucket or hand-held hose equipped with an automatic shut-off nozzle;
-- Fundraising car washes are permitted.

* No limitations on filling pools;

* The Hydrant Water Withdraw List for existing permit holders will be amended to limit or prevent hydrant withdraw from the water systems identified in these restrictions. No new hydrant water withdraw permits will be issued during Level I water restrictions.

Penalties for violating these restrictions range from written warnings to termination of water service.

MetCom was created by the State Legislature in 1957 as a quasi-governmental, non-profit body, to supply water and sewer service to St. Mary's County. MetCom has been providing service since 1964. The Operations Department of the St. Mary's County Metropolitan Commission at (301) 373-4733, extension 217.

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