Erie Water Works Asks College to Reduce Water Use

Erie Water Works has asked all customers, including Penn State Erie, The Behrend College, to reduce their water usage by 25 percent until further notice. Dry weather and construction delays at the utility’s primary water treatment plant have left water levels well below normal, officials said.

Erie Water Works took its Sommerheim Drive facility offline in early 2011 to allow for a $42 million upgrade. That work has been slowed by equipment delays, officials said.

Hot weather has complicated the situation. “With the continuation of warm weather, the lack of rain, and increased customer demand, storage levels have been reduced over the last two weeks,” said Craig Palmer, engineering services manager for Erie Water Works.

The utility asked customers to limit their water use beginning June 28. A day later, the restrictions were made mandatory.

Customers have been asked to not wash vehicles or water lawns or gardens. Municipal officials have suspended street-sweeping and limited fire hydrant use to emergencies.

For more information, and for water-saving tips, go to