Watershed Opens Tomorrow, March 15

New Rules and Fees in Effect

| News Release

OFFICE OF COMMUNICATIONS AND COMMUNITY RELATIONS

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Laurel – March 14, 2013: New Watershed Use Regulations and fees go into effect when WSSC’s watershed opens tomorrow, March 15. The regulations and fees have been posted on our website at wsscwater.com. A hotline (301-206-4FUN) has been set up so users can check the open/closed status of the watershed or inquire about Boarding Stable Owner and Adjacent Landowner Direct Access permits. Other important phone numbers include 301-206-8888 to reach security, or 301-206-7485 for maintenance issues.

Permits can be purchased through the WSSC website. For those wishing to purchase permits in person, we will have extra staff at the Brighton Dam Cabin on Friday, Saturday and Sunday starting at 7 a.m.

This is still a work in progress. Much of the preparatory work, including the marking and clearing of trails, was hampered by bad weather. WSSC will have temporary signs in place while we work on new signs in English and Spanish. Trail maps will be posted on the website and will be updated as work on the watershed progresses.

Some of the changes include:

  • We expanded the season by 30 days, opening the watershed 15 days earlier in the spring, and keeping it open 15 days later in the fall.
  • The watershed will open 30 minutes before sunrise, but we will keep the current closing time at sunset for safety reasons.
  • We have added hiking and bird watching to permitted watershed activities.
  • People picnicking will now need a Watershed Use Permit for their group.
  • No animal waste can be left on the WSSC parking lots and roadways.
  • Smoking has been banned.
  • Fees for single day and seasonal Watershed Use Permits have gone up slightly, and we have instituted fees for Boarding Stable Owner and Adjacent Landowner Direct Access permits

 

The new regulations reflect the key findings and recommendations of the EA Engineering study of WSSC’s portion of the Patuxent watershed, and the input from dozens of groups and hundreds of individuals over the last eight months. That input came from stakeholder meetings, as well as from written comments.

“We want to thank everyone who has taken part in the process to help us draft our new Watershed Use Regulations,” said General Manager/CEO Jerry N. Johnson. “The new regulations represent an effort to allow reasonable recreational use of the watershed while maintaining our responsibility and commitment to WSSC customers to protect water quality. We will continue to work with the many stakeholders to improve the watershed as we move forward to establish a long-range watershed management plan.”

For 100 years, WSSC has proudly served the citizens of Prince George’s and Montgomery counties – providing drinking water that has always met strict Safe Drinking Water Act standards and protecting the environment through vital water resource recovery services. Our vision is to be THE world-class water utility, where excellent products and services are always on tap.

 

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