In Part of Schuylkill County, A Water Advisory Because of Drought

SCHUYKILL COUNTY -- The Mahanoy Township Water Authority serves about 2-thousand households in the Township, Mahanoy City and the nearby Borough of Gilberton.

But this year, there have been problems: construction on one reservoir and a serious lack of rain.

So, Friday some folks got a message on their phones from the water authority, asking them to conserve water by not water plants, shrubs or lawns, washing their vehicles or serving water to customers in bars and restaurants unless they ask for it.

"Everybody uses water in town here, it's definitely worrying,” said Nico Bailey of Mahanoy City.

People say they were expecting something like this.

"I knew it was gonna go soon, it was going to get dry because my daughter goes up to the spring and she gets water, you know. And she said it was dry then and that was 2 weeks ago,” said Lois Vezo of Mahanoy City.

"We haven't really had rain all summer, and in the spring, we had a lousy spring and the winter, we had not had much snow so it doesn't surprise me at all,” said Julie Hohelend of Mahanoy City.

Patricia Cunningham owns McNiff's Irish Pub in Mahanoy City.

"I'll have to do bottled water. It would be more costful but that's ok if it's safer,” she said about no longer pouring water for customers.

Officials with the water authority say right now they are in Stage 1 of conserving water.

There's a Stage 2 which is stricter and then there's Stage 3.

In Stage 3, they say they will be checking peoples' water meters and potentially fining them if they use too much.

"Once we go to stage 3, then we'll have to start checking meters and that limits them to about 40 gallons a day,” Joseph Fegley, the general manager of Mahanoy Township Water Authority.

Officials say any precipitation will help, rain or snow, they need it badly.

"I know we need the rain, the snow we could do without but I'm hoping for some rain,” said Tom Tempest of Mahanoy City.

Water authority officials say they've had a drought situation like this in 2010.

Before that, it was the 1990's.

They do have a small dam which they say they can start pumping from, if they have to.

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