The Richmond Register

December 10, 2012

Weekend rains raise water levels for Berea

By Ronica Shannon
Senior News Writer

RICHMOND — Weekend rains have had a dramatic impact on Berea’s water supply after residents were asked last week to voluntarily conserve water.

“As of this morning, there was approximately three-and-a-half to four-inches of rain that we’ve received,” said Ed Fortner, director of Berea Municipal Utilities. “That was at the water plant. At Owsley Fork, it’s gained over two feet of water in the lake. That’s a significant gain. We still encourage folks to voluntarily conserve water. But, we’re happy for the rain we got and pray for a little more.”

The Owsley Fork Reservoir is one of the Berea’s largest sources of water.

Berea City Administrator Randy Stone told the Dec. 4 city council meeting that citizens might want to consider voluntarily conserving water because of the descending Owsley Fork water levels.

Customers of Berea Municipal Utilities and the Southern Madison Water District, which is supplied by Berea, were notified via mail about the importance of conserving water, Stone said.

The flow of the Kentucky River, which is Richmond’s water source, has quadrupled with the recent rain, according to Richmond Utilities Superintendent Scott Althauser.

Prior to the rains, the river level “was getting close to some levels that we saw this summer,” he said. “We weren’t near going to a restriction, but it was getting down to way below average for this time of year. We have seen a drastic improvement and a much-needed rain to help increase the water levels.”

Ronica Shannon can be reached at rshannon@ or 624-6608.