Coping with water restrictions in Maryland

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Thursday, July 8, 2010

In the July 6 Metro article "Limits on water extended in Md.," officials in Prince George's and Montgomery counties were said to have exhausted every option to inform the public of the restrictions imposed after a damaged water main was discovered. In fact, The Post has been the only source from which I have received information about the restriction, and the vast majority of my neighbors have been unaware of the problem. Here are a few simple ideas that came up within a minute of reading the article:

-- Every public elementary school in Montgomery County has the ability to send out phone and e-mail messages to all parents. Make use of that.

-- A portion of the key time for reduction of usage was over the weekend. Ask churches, synagogues, etc., to announce the restrictions during services (and/or by e-mail lists).

-- Place signs at major intersections.

-- Ask supermarkets and other businesses to display posters.

-- Ask major employers in the area to inform workers.

-- Ask those who have been informed to notify neighbors and friends.

I hope that both counties will use this as an opportunity to come up with better plans for informing the public about important issues before the next problem arises, rather than waiting until it is too late.

John Fourkas, Bethesda

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Of course people did not respond to the mandatory water restrictions. How could they believe there was a problem? According to the Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission (WSSC), if there were an emergency and if the rerouted water supply couldn't handle it, we might have had a crisis. With those statements, it was hard to believe even the WSSC believed we faced an emergency.


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