Pine, Strawberry Water Levels Drop

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As of Monday, water storage levels in Pine have dropped to 160,000 gallons.

In Strawberry the levels have dropped to below 100,000 gallons for the first time in more than four years.

Pine customers were placed on Stage 5 mandatory water restrictions as of June 19.

Customers in Strawberry are being urged to conserve, but formal conservation guidelines are not in effect.

The problem is there is no water in the state to bring in to relieve the Pine-Strawberry systems.

"This is a burdensome and difficult condition for both the water company and our customers," Robert Hardcastle, president of Brooke Utilities said.

"Water supply conditions have been steadily decreasing throughout Pine and Strawberry both.

"Water storage levels have decreased and water source productivity is less than it was in previous weeks. We desperately want to avoid water usage restrictions in Strawberry."

Pine and Strawberry residents should prepare to be without water at times.

"At any levels below those now existing in Pine and Strawberry we can expect to see some interruptions in service.

"We're trying to do everything we can do squeeze more water from the systems," Hardcastle said.

Because of the drought throughout the state, there is no water replenishing on the horizon.

"There are no other Brooke water systems to haul water from, and commercial wholesale water suppliers are having the same problems throughout the state. Hauling large quantities of water from outside the area is not an option this year," Hardcastle said.

Water users in Pine who do not comply with the Stage 5 restrictions will be subject to penalties.

"The penalties can be severe, including disconnection of water service without notice," Hardcastle said. "In some previous years, water wasters have had the unfortunate experience of being without water as long as four days."

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