YORK, Pa. (WHTM) — Following several weeks of limited rainfall, the York Water Company has implemented a mandatory restriction on nonessential water use effective immediately.

Under the restriction, the use of water for the following is prohibited. A complete list of restrictions is also available on the company’s website.

  • Watering of grass, athletic fields, and irrigation of outdoor gardens, landscaped
    areas, trees, shrubs, and other outdoor plants.
  • Watering any portion of golf courses.
  • The use of any water for washing paved surfaces, for ornamental purposes, including fountains, artificial waterfalls, and reflecting pools.
  • Washing or cleaning of mobile equipment, like vehicles.
  • Serving of water in restaurants, clubs, or eating places, unless specifically requested by an individual.
  • The use of any water to fill and top off swimming pools.
  • The use of water from a fire hydrant—including sprinkler caps—for any purpose, except for firefighting or testing apparatus with prior notice to York Water.
  • The use of any water that is not necessary to serve essential health, safety, or economic needs, including the maintenance of human, animal, and plant life.

“This is not a situation any of us want to be in, but nature is not cooperating, and we must ensure that our customers have water when they need it. We are most concerned about public health and ask our community to come together at this critical point,” the company wrote in a statement.

According to the company, this restriction comes after the area has had only 0.9” of rainfall since September 1st and a deficit of over 12” year to date. The company says this has caused its watershed to enter a state of drought.

“The weather patterns have been frustrating to watch, consistently skirting the watershed, or evaporating before reaching it. Despite the public’s response to our voluntary restriction requests, this has not resulted in sufficient reduced water demand on our system. In spite of our efforts to pump over 11 million gallons per day from the Susquehanna River to our Lake Redman Reservoir, our water supply is in decline. It is now absolutely critical for our customers to conserve, to protect the water resource, and ensure it is available for the most vulnerable and highest priority water needs of the community,” JT Hand, the company’s president and CEO said.

The York Water Company serves York, Adams and Franklin Counties.