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City requests residents, customers conserve water

LOCK HAVEN — A noticeable lack of rainfall has city staff requesting its residents and customers conserve water.

“Due to minimal rainfall in 2022, the City of Lock Haven Water Department is asking that all residents and customers do their part in conserving water,” a notice from the city said. “We are recommending reducing water consumption by 10 percent.”

According to City Public Works Director Tony Stopper, the city is attempting to avoid taking any further measures.

“We have not met the level to activate our Drought Contingency Plan but we are experiencing a lower level at the Ohl Reservoir (in Loganton),” Stopper said. “This is an advance notice to reduce water use which will hopefully slow the levels.”

Stopper said the city monitors both Ohl and Keller Reservoir at Zindel Park — receiving daily logs for each’s water elevation.

“The goal is to keep Keller full so that it may overflow and feed into McElhattan Creek. Not only does this keep McElhattan Creek flowing, but it creates moving water in the reservoir so that fresh water is circulated and sent to the filtration plant for treatment and then to our service lines for drinking,” Stopper explained.

Stopper added the creek is also monitored at Zindel Park where the staff keep a certain “level of flow” as well.

If the rain continues to stay away, and levels at the reservoirs lower, that’s when the Drought Contingency Plan would take effect. Stopper broke down each level of the plan:

— Before reaching stage one, Stopper will send out a notice and ask customers to reduce its water consumption.

— Stage 1: the city will provide another update to the notice.

— Stage 2: the city asks water customers to reduce its consumption by 20 percent.

— Stage 3: the city prepares for rationing and reduction across the entire system, including residential and commercial use by 30 percent.

“Each state is based off the levels of the reservoirs, rainfall deficit, and if the state declares a drought watch/warning,” Stopper said. “According to the state… all counties are listed as ‘normal.'”

The city hasn’t seen itself reach a worst-case scenario for nearly 20 years, according to Stopper. But there are plans in place if that were to happen.

“Should we ever be in a worst-case scenario, which I think happened close to 15 years ago, we would look at alternative sources,” he said. “They did draw water from the Susquehanna River for the alternate source then.”

The city has a total of 3,236 customers with 1,042 outside of the city limits and 2,194 inside.

The city’s water department is asking residents and customers to consider some of the following to help conserve water:

— Avoid letting faucets run.

— Reduce showering times and frequency.

— Use dishwasher or laundry appliances with full loads.

— Avoid watering landscapes or washing vehicles.

More information regarding conserving water can be found on the city’s website at lockhavenpa.gov/dept/public-works/water/savewater/ where you can calculate your water footprint and learn how you can help conserve water.

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