Front Royal residents on the municipal water system are being asked to observe mandatory water conservation measures due to reduced river water flow.
The following press release was issued by the city today:
The Town of Front Royal Department of Environmental Services has observed that as of October 12, the 14-day rolling average stream flow rate of the South Fork of the Shenandoah River has dropped below 340 cubic feet per second (cfs), or approximately 220 million gallons per day.
The average river flow for 2008 as measured by the United States Geological Survey was 873.4 cfs, indicating that the river is flowing at 39% of last year's average flow.
The Town's permit for water withdrawal from the river issued by the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality stipulates certain river flow rates require various conservation measures.
As a result of this reduced river flow and in compliance with the issued withdrawal permit, all users of the Town of Front Royal's municipal water system are requested to observe MANDATORY water conservation efforts.
During periods of mandatory water conservation, all users of Front Royal municipal water
system shall be prohibited from the following:
1. The watering of shrubbery, trees, lawns, grass, plants, or any other vegetation from Town water supplies (except indoor plantings, greenhouse and commercial nursery stocks, and new plantings less than one year old) between the hours of 9:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m.
2. The outdoor washing of automobiles, trucks, trailers, boats, airplanes, or other types of mobile equipment, except in a commercial vehicle wash facility.
3. The washing of private streets, driveways, parking lots, service station grounds, or other paved outdoor surfaces.
4. The operation of any ornamental fountains, unless the water is recycled. Municipal ornamental fountains shall be cleaned and closed within two (2) days of the mandatory water conservation restriction declaration.
5. The filling of swimming and/or wading pools, except that filled pools may be topped off to maintain the appropriate levels for use.
Violation of any of these mandatory water conservation activities can be punished by a fine up to $1000 per offense committed. In addition, each day that a violation occurs can be punished as a separate offense. Water users are urged to comply with these efforts.
Water users are requested to continue to reduce water usage through various other water conservation measures. Voluntary water conservation practices include the following:
1. Serving drinking water in restaurants only upon patron request.
2. Operating only fully loaded dishwashers and clothes washing machines.
3. Take short showers instead of baths.
4. Turn off the tap while shaving or brushing teeth.
5. Use two basins when washing dishes by hand, one for washing and one for rinsing, rather than letting the tap run.
6. Reduce all non-essential water usage.
7. Repair or replace all water fixtures with reduced flow fixtures.
Conserving water will not only assist during this drought period, but will also save consumers money on their utility bills.
The current flow rate of the Shenandoah River is 233 cfs. If sufficient rain does not occur and the 14-day rolling average drops below 240 cfs, the Town will enact Emergency Water Conservation measures as specified in the Town Code Section 134-81.D. Based upon the river's current flow rate, this could occur within two weeks.
Thank you for your assistance in conserving our water resources during this low river flow time period. Please monitor your local media sources for future reports of water conservation efforts in the Town of Front Royal.
If you have any questions about this project, please contact the Department of Environmental Services at (540) 635-7819