'Voluntary Water Restriction' Issued for Baltimore-Area Residents, Businesses

Green banner with DPW logo and text "Department of Public Works Press Release"

Out of an abundance of caution, the Baltimore City Department of Public Works (DPW), in conjunction with county and state partners across the broader Baltimore Region, is issuing a ‘Voluntary Water Restriction,’ urging residents and businesses throughout the regional service area to voluntarily reduce excessive water usage. This system-wide water conservation request is effective immediately for Baltimore City, Baltimore County, Harford County, and Howard County.

This issuance is a result of a fire Thursday morning at one of DPW’s drinking-water pumping stations, located in Baltimore County. The fire caused the pumping station to lose power and damaged two of the facility’s pumps, adding strain to the entire system.

“This ‘Voluntary Water Restriction’ is about our region collectively working together to protect our water system by limiting excessive and unnecessary water usage,” said Mayor Brandon M. Scott. “Currently, avoiding an additional strain on the system is our main concern and there are not currently any disruptions expected. With everyone’s help, we can help protect the system for the entire region and ensure no disruption occurs.”

Residents and businesses are being asked to reduce the amount of water used to avoid placing additional stress on the system while repairs are underway.

“We are asking everyone in our service area to work together to support the region’s drinking water system by taking steps to limit any unnecessary strain while DPW works to bring the Cromwell Water Pumping station back online,” said DPW Interim Director Richard J. Luna. “Currently, there is plenty of water to meet our needs, and DPW is working with state and county partners to quickly address the necessary system repairs.”

Residents and businesses across the entire region are encouraged to take voluntary steps to reduce their personal water usage like:

  • Avoiding watering lawns and gardens
  • Avoiding washing cars, vehicles, boats, or other outdoor equipment
  • Avoiding washing outdoor surfaces like driveways, sidewalks, parking areas, and patios
  • Not letting the faucet flow unnecessarily while brushing your teeth or shaving
  • Using the proper water level or load size selection on the washing machine
  • Running the dishwasher only when full and avoid pre-rinsing dishes 
  • Running full loads of laundry, versus smaller loads
  • Repair or replace leaking hoses and sprinklers

Important note: the current request for ‘voluntary water restriction’ does not include any need to limit normal water usage for drinking, cooking, or cleaning.

Updates regarding the progress of repairs and any changes to the incident will be provided through official channels, including the Mayor’s and DPW’s social media platforms, and local news outlets. Additional information on ways to conserve water is available on the Maryland Department of the Environment website.

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