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County preparing for drought now

Finding emergency water sources and preparing for possible drought now will help more residents fare better in this summer’s heat, county officials said Thursday.

Friday, May 04, 2001

Finding emergency water sources and preparing for possible drought now will help more residents fare better in this summer’s heat, county officials said Thursday.

"With the weather leaning toward drought again, we need to be prepared," said Mike Boster, deputy director of the Lawrence County Emergency Management Agency.

Boster gave a Water Management-Drought Task Force report to commissioners Thursday.

The task force was established during the summer of 1999’s drought, bringing together state and county emergency management officials, township trustees, soil and water and Farm Service Agency representatives, forestry officials, water company representatives, CAO representatives and the media to address critical drinking water issues.

Boster said the accomplishments of the county task force were many, including:

– Managed a drinking water distribution system that helped 440 families.

– Secured and managed donations of packaged water in excess of 20,000 gallons.

– Purchased four 425-gallon bulk tanks for water distribution.

– Purchased a trailer to haul the water tanks.

– Supported water source development projects within the county (Hecla Water).

The task force also identified seven potential sites for public water taps for drought relief and endorsed a CAO Imminent Threat Grant application that resulted in a $10,000 line item (for public water-tap site development) in a state-approved water line project, Boster said.

The taps would make drinking water available in a drought at specific locations around the county.

Although the sites have not been developed, they are in the process of being identified so that the county is prepared in case of another drought, the county said.

Boster also reported on the status of water line projects, with information courtesy of Hecla Water. The projects will lessen any drought impact because it serves new areas with drinkable water:

– Hecla has added one well and has a well in progress.

– Water lines are in service on County Road 19 (Sharp’s Creek Road).

– Water lines are installed but not in service on County Road 25 (White Oak).

– Water lines are being installed on Township Road 155-E (Fox Hollow-Prickly Ash).

– The Ohio 93 portion of the project (to the foot of Telegraph Hill, T-258, T-166 and T-207) should be completed by Thanksgiving.

– EMERGENCY TAPS can be installed where there are existing water lines at any time.