The drought has affected all aspects of life in the region, and last week it became Lackey High School's turn when school officials reported water shortages there.

So, when school opened Monday, two backup storage tanks were in place behind the school. Each tank can hold 4,000 gallons. If needed, the water from the storage tanks will flow into a 5,000-gallon holding tank in the school, which will pump water throughout the building.

This summer's renovation work at the school, combined with the drought, proved to be a strain on Lackey's 30-year-old well, which will soon be replaced by a deeper one.

During the renovations, workers had to fill newly installed pipes to check for any leaks. They also drained and replenished the sprinkler system for testing. Meanwhile, contractors working on the swimming pool discovered two ruptured lines.

"The well is still holding, but we're bringing in the tanks to be sure," said Chuck Wineland, executive director of support services.

Charles County Schools Superintendent James E. Richmond said parents should not be alarmed about the water shortage. "There will be water for the students and staff to use at Lackey," he said.

Construction of the new well probably will begin this week, Wineland said. At 1,000 feet deep, the new well will have nearly twice the capacity of the old one.