Press Release

BALTIMORE, MD (June 28, 2002) – The City of Frederick entered into a consent order today with the Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE) allowing the city to continue to draw water from the Monocacy River when the river flow is low. This is an interim measure until the City develops a long term solution to its water supply needs.
The consent order specifies that the withdrawals, in combination with withdrawals made by Frederick County, do not exceed three million gallons per day and that they do not exceed 20 percent of the flow of the river.

“In order to meet their water needs, it is important for the City of Frederick to be able to continue to draw water from the Monocacy River,” said MDE acting Secretary Merrylin Zaw-Mon. “While this consent agreement will provide temporary relief, it is critical that the City continue to conserve water and to pursue other water supply options.”

The agreement requires the City to continue water conservation efforts to reduce overall, year-round water use, including leak detection and loss; put measures in place to reduce water loss to 10 percent or less; offer promotions, rebates or other financial incentives for fixture replacement; and reduce City government water use by 10 percent. Other requirements are to develop a water allocation ordinance that will govern the City’s allocation of water over the next four years; continue to seek other sources of water for the City including wells and exploration of the Lafarge quarry. Many of these actions were already included in the City’s Strategic Interim Water Management Plan that was adopted in April 2002.

The order also requires the City to monitor the river ensure that its ecological integrity is not compromised.

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"This consent order protects current water customers - both residential and business. I am relieved that we were able to add to the safe yield of our water supply,” said Frederick Mayor Jennifer P. Dougherty. “It does not guarantee how much, if any, water can be allocated for new construction. The likely outcome in the relief of the building moratorium will more likely be seen as we locate additional water supplies and when they are permitted and connected to our water system."

In a closed session this morning, Mayor Dougherty and the Frederick Board of Aldermen approved the signing of the consent order, which has been under negotiation for six months. MDE Director of Water Management Robert M. Summers signed and executed the consent order today.