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Mandatory Nonessential Water Use Restriction Update

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Update to Mandatory Nonessential Water Use Restriction Announced September 15, 2023

Update December 1, 2023:

As of the last week of November, our watershed is in a 15.6” precipitation deficit.

We received 1.63” of rain this month, which helped redirect the downward water in storage trend.

Let’s all cross our fingers for some rain in the coming days.

The refilling of Lake Williams may begin as early as January 1, 2024, but is a phased process that will occur over at least 6 months. This estimate is dependent on weather conditions and must be done in accordance with an approved phased plan when initiating reservoir reestablishment behind a new dam.

We ask our customers to remain vigilant and thoughtful about their water use as we navigate the continued drought conditions.

The Mandatory Use Restrictions remain in place.

Update November 17, 2023:

Dear York Water Customers,

The downward water storage trend continues this week; Lake Redman has received 0.1” rain since the beginning of November. November was expected to be dry, but this month is even drier than the average. In order to restore our supply in Lake Redman, we would need about 4” of rain over a 12-day period. Please continue to conserve and do what you can to encourage your holiday guests to do so as well.

Wishing you and yours a safe and happy Thanksgiving!

– The York Water Company

Update November 10, 2023:

Drought Conditions Remain

Another week and no measured precipitation and none in the forecast for the week ahead. Lake Redman is holding steady, with some reduction in stored volume. We are relying on our customers to continue conscious and conservative use of water to get us through our driest month of the year, November. Please avoid unnecessary use of water while you enjoy the dry fall weather. We very much appreciate your consideration.

Update November 1, 2023:

Since October 23, 2023,  Lake Redman received 0.15” of rain, increasing the YTD total precipitation deficit to 14.2”.

Lake Redman has dropped 32 million gallons since October 23rd. Regional small water suppliers are also experiencing well supply limitations, further evidencing the drought and broader customer impact in southcentral Pennsylvania.

York Water customers are still under mandatory restricted water use. November is historically the driest month of the year in our region. Please take this opportunity to consider what you can do to reduce your water use as we turn the calendar page to November.

Update October 27, 2023:

Our source watershed has still not received enough rain to refill Lake Redman or to get us out of drought conditions. Please continue to be conscious and employ water conservation practices. It is important that we continue to minimize the effects of the drought and store as much water as possible for emergency and critical functions in our community.

The average person in York Water’s service area uses about 60 gallons of water each day. A family of 4 uses 240 gallons per day.

How can we conserve water as a community?

  • Take shorter showers
  • Draw shallower baths
  • Do not run water while brushing teeth or washing dishes
  • Only run dishwashers when they are full and on “efficiency” mode
  • Avoid activities like washing cars and power washing at home during drought
  • Skip fall flower planting and turn off automatic irrigation
  • Choose fall décor that does not require water
  • Wait for spring to plant landscape features
  • Wait to fill hot tubs
  • If you have broken fixtures, consider replacing with low flow fixtures
  • Recycle water in processes
  • Do not automatically fill water glasses when dining out

A lot of people doing small things every day makes a difference. We can gain significant storage if we all participate.

Update October 23, 2023:

Conservation guidelines should remain steady. We received 0.04” rain on Thursday, October 19th, and there has been no measured rainfall since. In the past week, the Lake Redman watershed has received 0.05” of rain. The Lake Redman level is holding steady. York Water appreciates our customers’ continued efforts to conserve our water supply.

Update October 17, 2023:

We hope you found fun things to do indoors this past weekend. Lake Redman received approximately 1.04’” of rain, which is less than portions of York County, but every little bit helps. High usage is preventing us from getting ahead of the drought conditions in storage. In order to hold the supply steady, we are still asking our customers to continue to minimize water use.

Update October 10, 2023:

According to The York Water Company, the watershed has received 0.19” of rain in the past 7 days. The weather forecast for the next five days indicates the next chance of rain is the evening of Friday, October 13th into Saturday, October 14th, with cool temperatures in the mid to upper 60’s though Friday. Mandatory water restrictions have continued yielding an average daily decrease in water use of just under 6%, roughly 1.1 million gallons per day. The water level at Lake Redman has been stable the past four days from inflow from the East Branch Codorus Creek. With the forecasted prospect of another 0.5” of rain in the next five days, the Company is evaluating its conservation and restriction measures. Until then, customers of The York Water Company remain in a mandatory conservation condition. York Water appreciates our customers’ continued efforts to conserve today so our water supply is available for tomorrow’s essential needs.

Update October 2, 2023:

According to The York Water Company, the watershed has received 0.21” of rain in the past 7 days. The weather forecast for the next five days indicates the next chance of rain is Friday with dry, warm temperatures in the low 80’s through Thursday. Mandatory water restrictions have yielded an average daily decrease in water use of just under 6%, roughly 1.1 million gallons per day. While the water level at Lake Redman had been increasing from inflow from the East Branch Codorus Creek and the Company’s pumping from the Susquehanna River, the water level is again falling. York County is the only county in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania under a Drought Warning and York Water appreciates our customers’ continued efforts to conserve today so our water supply is available for tomorrow’s essential needs.

Update September 25, 2023:

The rain came! Although it felt like more than the 1.53 inches, we hope you found enjoyment indoors this weekend. We did add about 1.6 feet to Lake Redman, reducing the YTD deficit to 12.5 inches. The drought conditions and mandatory water conservation remain in place.

Please continue to hope for more precipitation and conserve water at your homes and businesses. We appreciate the community coming together to preserve our water supply.

Update September 18, 2023:

Thank you to our community for being aware of the drought. While we are thankful for the bit of rain we received on Sunday, September 17th, , it was only 0.69” of rain. This amount of rain does not take us out of the drought conditions and the East Branch of the Codorus Creek still remains low. Please continue to conserve as a community. Every little bit helps. Mandatory restrictions remain in place.

 

The following is a detailed description of prohibited nonessential water uses and exceptions to the prohibition(s) —

(1)  The use of any water for watering of grass, except:

(i)   Water may be applied to grass areas approved prior to or during the emergency as part of a sewage or storm water treatment system utilizing spray irrigation which system was approved in a permit issued by the Department of Environmental Protection prior to the water supply restriction.

(ii)   Water may be used to establish and maintain newly seeded and sodded grass areas when applied between the hours of 5 p.m. and 9 a.m. by means of a bucket, can or hand-held hose equipped with an automatic shut-off nozzle, or when applied between the hours of 7 p.m. and 11 p.m. by any other means designed and operated to ensure effective conservation.

(iii)   Water may be applied by a professional landscaper to establish and maintain newly seeded and sodded grass areas during working hours by any means designed and operated to ensure effective conservation.

(iv)   Water may be used by professional landscapers or irrigation contractors for the purpose of testing newly installed or repaired irrigation equipment for a period not to exceed 10 minutes per irrigation zone.

(v)   Water may be applied for the purpose of grub control one time during the effective period of the water supply restriction.

(vi)   Water may be used, in a manner that ensures effective conservation, to implement revegetation following earthmoving, where revegetation is required under an erosion and sedimentation control plan adopted under state law or regulation. Revegetation use shall comply with applicable best conservation management practices for revegetation prescribed by the County Conservation Districts.

(2)  The use of any water for watering athletic fields, except:

(i)   Water may be applied to athletic field grass areas approved prior to or during the water supply restriction as part of a sewage or stormwater treatment system utilizing spray irrigation, which system was approved in a permit issued by the Department of Environmental Protection prior to the water supply restriction.

(ii)   Water may be applied to maintain tennis courts, by means of a bucket, can or hand-held hose equipped with an automatic shutoff nozzle or by means of an irrigation system that is designed and operated to restrict the timing or total volume of water, when applied between the hours of 5 p.m. and 9 a.m. in a manner that ensures effective conservation.

(iii)   Water may be applied to athletic field grass areas and sand-based athletic field grass areas, by a means and in a manner that ensures effective conservation, between 5 p.m. and 9 a.m. during 1 night per calendar week.

(v)   Water may be applied to establish and maintain newly seeded or sodded grass areas by means and in a manner that ensures effective conservation.

(vi)   Water may be applied to athletic field nongrass areas to control dust during an athletic event, by means and in a manner that ensures effective conservation, only where dust control is necessary to protect health or safety.

(vii)   Water may be used by professional landscapers or irrigation contractors for the purpose of testing newly installed or repaired irrigation equipment for a period not to exceed 10 minutes per irrigation zone.

(3)  The use of water for irrigation and watering of outdoor gardens, landscaped areas, trees, shrubs and other outdoor plants, except that water may be:

(i)   Used for irrigation for the production of food and fiber, and the maintenance of livestock and poultry.

(ii)   Applied by means of a bucket, can, hand-held hose equipped with an automatic shut-off nozzle, or an irrigation system that is designed and operated to restrict the timing or total volume of water and to restrict the application to specific plantings and that ensures effective conservation, when applied between the hours of 5 p.m. and 9 a.m. Sources of water, other than public water, shall be used to the extent available.

(iii)   Used by nurseries to maintain stock, by a means that ensures effective conservation, only to the extent that sources of water other than public water adequate to supply needs are not available or feasible to use.

(iv)   Used by public gardens of regional significance, or arboretums to preserve specimens, by a means that ensures effective conservation, only to the extent that sources of water other than public water adequate to supply needs are not available or feasible to use.

(v)   Used by a professional landscaper or irrigation contractor during working hours, by a means that ensures effective conservation.

(vi)   Used, in a manner that ensures effective conservation, to implement revegetation following earthmoving, where revegetation is required under an approved erosion and sedimentation control plan adopted under state law or regulation, to the extent that sources of water, other than public water, adequate to supply needs are not available or feasible to use. Revegetation use shall comply with applicable best conservation management practices for revegetation prescribed by the County conservation districts.

(4)  The use of any water for watering any portion of golf courses, except water may be applied to greens, tees and fairways in a manner that ensures effective conservation. A reduction in water use of at least 15% should be the goal of the conservation measures. Water should be applied between the hours of 5 p.m. and 10 a.m.

(5)  The use of any water for washing paved surfaces, except water may be used:

(i)   For prewashing in preparation for recoating and sealing.

(ii)   At the minimum rate necessary for the maintenance of tennis courts composed of clay or similar materials, by means of a bucket, can or hand-held hose equipped with an automatic shutoff nozzle.

(iii)   At the minimum rate necessary for sanitation of the premises of raw or processed food, pharmaceutical or vaccine processing, storage or vending establishments, including restaurants and grocery stores.

(iv)   At the minimum rate necessary for the sanitation of the premises of waste handling, storage and disposal facilities.

(v)   At the minimum rate necessary to comply with permit conditions or other regulatory requirements.

(6)  The use of any water for ornamental purposes, including fountains, artificial waterfalls and reflecting pools, except:

(i)   Fountains or waterfalls may be operated to perform the primary and necessary aeration function for a pond that supports fish life.

(ii)   Water may be used to top off ornamental water gardens or fish ponds to the minimum extent necessary to maintain fish and aquatic life.

(7)  The use of any water for washing or cleaning of mobile equipment, except that:

(i)   An individual may wash personally owned or leased vehicles by buckets and may use a hand-held hose equipped with an automatic shutoff nozzle to prerinse and rinse (total spray period not to exceed 2 minutes)

(ii)   Water may be used by commercial car washes at the minimum rate necessary to ensure an effective wash.

(iii)   Water may be used for cleaning of construction, emergency, public transportation or government vehicles if necessary to preserve the proper functioning and safe operation of the vehicle.

(iv)   Water may be used for cleaning and sanitizing equipment used for hauling or vending raw or processed food, pharmaceuticals or vaccines for human or livestock use, or for handling waste products.

(v)   Water may be used for the cleaning of new and used cars which are part of a dealer’s sales inventory in accordance with the following restrictions:

(A)   A vehicle may be washed in preparation for sale at the time the vehicle is received from the manufacturer or prior owner.

(B)   A vehicle should be washed no more than once every 7 days.

(C)   A vehicle may be washed following sale immediately prior to delivery to the purchaser.

(8)  The serving of water in restaurants, clubs or eating places, unless specifically requested by an individual.

(9)  The use of any water to fill and top off swimming pools, except that water may be used to fill and top off:

(i)   Public swimming pools and residential swimming pools serving 25 or more dwelling units, if the pools have filtration equipment allowing for continued use and recycling of water over the swimming season.

(ii)   Swimming pools operated by health care facilities used in relation to patient care and rehabilitation.

(10)  The use of water from a fire hydrant—including sprinkler caps—for any purpose, except for the following permissible uses:

(i)   Firefighting.

(ii)   Testing of firefighting apparatus or conducting water flow tests for fire insurance classification or reclassification, if approved by York Water.

(iii)   Flushing sewers, water mains or hydrants when needed to protect public health and safety, if approved by York Water.

(11)  The use of any water that is not for a beneficial use.

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