Baltimore’s Department of Public Works on Wednesday ended its request for residents in the city and surrounding counties to voluntarily limit their water usage, nearly a month after a fire damaged a pumping station in Parkville.

The July 13 fire at the Cromwell pumping station heavily damaged equipment inside the station, including two pumps, DPW previously said.

Cromwell serves the northeastern portion of the city, along with Towson, Hunt Valley, Cockeysville, Timonium and Sparks, Tim Wolfe, chief of the office of engineering and construction at DPW, told The Banner last month. In response, the city had to reconfigure the remaining 17 pumping stations in its network to maintain pressure.

In an effort to conserve water, residents in Baltimore City and Baltimore, Harford and Howard counties were asked to avoid watering their lawns or gardens, washing cars or other equipment, and to not use more water than needed to for teeth brushing or shaving.

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Harford County, which buys untreated water from the city, was removed from the list a day after the fire.

Mayor Brandon Scott and DPW said Wednesday the water system has stabilized, and Scott said he was grateful to community members from Baltimore City and Baltimore and Howard counties who voluntarily participated in conserving water.

“It’s because of everyone’s unwavering commitment to protect the region’s water system we were able to alleviate the strain on our water resources,” Scott said in a statement.

The facility’s pumping capacity and electricity have been restored, officials said, after repairs were made to the valving and control systems to two of the station’s four pump motors.

The site will undergo “a more thorough rehabilitation” in the coming months, the city said.

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Residents and businesses are still encouraged to practice more water-efficient habits, the city said, adding that, “it is an important aspect of maintaining the sustainability and resilience of [the] local water supply.”

“Our water system delivers high-quality water and is one of the Baltimore region’s greatest assets. When it comes to water use, we should always keep in mind that every drop counts,” Interim DPW Director Richard J. Luna said.

Penelope Blackwell is a Breaking News reporter with The Banner. Previously, she covered local government in Durham, NC, for The News & Observer. She received her bachelor’s degree in journalism from Morgan State University and her master’s in journalism from Columbia University's Graduate School of Journalism.

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