Watering restrictions coming Monday

The city is asking residents to reduce consumption by 50 per cent.

Residents are being asked to dramatically cut outdoor watering with new watering restrictions coming into effect city-wide on Monday.

According to a statement posted to the city’s website Friday, the watering restrictions are a response to the provincial drought levels. The city is asking residents to cut consumption by 50 per cent.

Stage 3 watering restrictions ask residents to water once weekly. For even numbered addresses, watering will be restricted to Saturdays, while off numbered addresses will water on Sundays. Manual sprinklers can operate from 7 a.m. to 9 a.m. and 7 p.m. to 9 p.m., while automatic sprinklers can operate from midnight to 4 a.m. or 7 a.m. to 9 a.m. and 7 p.m. to 9 p.m.; however not both.

The restriction also prohibits filling swimming pools, hot tubs, ponders, fountains and washing vehicles with water.

Flower and vegetable gardens, as well as new lawns can be hand watered at any time using a hand-held nozzle.

Any sprinklers operating Monday to Friday will be subject to bylaw enforcement, the statement notes.

In August, the city’s water system used 321,360 metres squares of water (or enough to fill 129 Olympic swimming pools), approximately one third of which was used indoors. The balance was used for irrigation, the statement said.

Deputy Manager of Operations Cavan Gates said while that figure is higher than last year, it is not out of line with previous years.

In response to the provincial drought, the city has committed to not watering parks, with the exceptions of the cemetery, James Donaldson Park and Central Avenue boulevards. Those watering schedules will all be reduced by 50 per cent.

“Despite using groundwater to supply the water system, the aquifer we draw from interacts with and affects the Kettle River. Our water supply is not as risk of failing at this time but the Kettle River is approaching critical low flows and the fish habitat is at risk…” the statement notes.

“We all bear responsibility for the impact we have on the environment and the city is being proactive in reducing water demand.”