The Aiken County Parks, Recreation and Tourism Department urges all Langley Pond boaters to use extreme caution as the pond's level began to be lowered Jan. 5. Officials began lowering the water level of Langley Pond for routine maintenance and inspection, according to Emory Langston, the department's acting director. "It is still routine maintenance. But we pushed back the lowering date to Jan. 5 (from the original date of Dec. 1)," she said. The routine maintenance and inspection is conducted at the request of the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control, especially since Langley Pond has an earthen dam. "It will take about a week before the pond gets to the lowest level," Langston said. "The pond will be coming back up by the end of January or early February." While the water level is low, inspections will be conducted of the swim area beach and dam. Crews also will pick up trash and do any necessary cleaning. Users should expect the pond to be unavailable for most boating during this time. Vehicles and trailers that are used to lower watercrafts to the water's edge can become mired in the mud exposed by the water's low level. Watercrafts able to use the pond, like canoes and kayaks, should use extreme caution. Those who use boats on the pond during this time are asked to do so at their own risk. For more information, call the Aiken County Parks, Recreation and Tourism Department at 642-7559.