Switzer Dam Running Low

By: Leigh Abraham Email
By: Leigh Abraham Email

The lake behind Switzer Dam is almost dried up. There may be rain in the forecast, but the damage may already be done.

The Valley is suffering and officials in Harrisonburg are preparing for even worse drought conditions.

The city of Harrisonburg uses 52 million gallons of water a week during the early fall. Mike Collins, the director of public utilities for the city, says there are two sources of water for Harrisonburg. One is the North River, and the other is Switzer Dam.

Collins says, "Switzer Dam has been dropping since late July due to lack of surface water. It’s about fifty percent full."

The water is clearly receding and it may soon be time for Collins to take action. About a week ago, he started thinking ahead.

"We have approximately 60 days left of support before that source will be in danger," said Collins last week. "Prior to that point, we would probably have some conservation measures a month from now at the earliest I would think."

Collins says a significant amount of rain is required to refill the dam.

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