Front Royal issues water conservation alert

FRONT ROYAL – Town officials have asked residents and business to conserve water after flow levels dropped for the South Fork of the Shenandoah River.

Town Manager Joseph Waltz announced Monday that the Department of Public Works observed that the 14-day rolling average stream-flow rate of the rover dropped below 400 cubic feet per second or approximately 260 million gallons per day.

The town’s permit issued by the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality for water withdrawal from the river stipulates that certain flow rates trigger conservation measures. As a result of the reduced river flow, the town requests that all users of the municipal water system observe voluntary conservation efforts.

Voluntary conservation practices include:

• Watering 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) before 9 a.m. and after 4 p.m.

• Limiting washing automobiles, trucks, trailers, boats, airplanes or other types of mobile equipment to only once a week and only before 9 a.m. and after 4 p.m. Use of a commercial vehicle wash facility does not need to follow these time restrictions

• Washing of private streets, driveways, parking lots, service station grounds or other paved outdoor surfaces before 9 a.m. and after 4 p.m.

• Limiting the operation of any ornamental fountains, unless the water is recycled.

• Limit filling of swimming and/or wading pools, except that filled pools may be topped off to maintain the appropriate levels for use

• Serving drinking water in restaurants only upon patron request

• Operating only fully loaded dishwashers and clothes washing machines.

• Take short showers instead of baths.

• Turn off the tap while shaving or brushing teeth.

• Use two basins when washing dishes by hand, one for washing and one for rinsing, rather than letting the tap run

• Reduce all non-essential water usage.

• Repair or replace all water fixtures with reduced flow fixtures.

Contact the Department of Public Works at 540-635-7819 for more information about the voluntary water restriction.