In response to the dry weather and low river water levels, the Town is enacting our Level 1 Water Restriction under Bylaw #1637 - Water Rationing Bylaw. The level 1 restriction is a voluntary restriction. We ask that community members look at their individual water usage and conserve where appropriate. Please note that water levels in our water treatment plant reservoirs are good and there is no concerns about potable water shortages or quality issues at this time. Should the water supply situation get any worse this fall, additional mandatory restriction measures may be required. Please contact the Town office if you have any questions about the Town water restriction program.
Residents are encouraged to voluntarily curb unnecessary outdoor watering. This is due to:
- the low snow packs in the Oldman River watershed;
- the low flow rates in Lee Creek and the St Mary River, the two primary sources of water for the Town; and
- the potential of an extended period of little rain in our region.
Level I Water Restrictions are preparatory in nature, in that we are seeking to educate the public about the current water shortages and to help them to find ways to conserve water on their own, prior to prohibiting some non-essential water usages with a Level II Water Restriction, should that become necessary at a later date. For your information, the three water rationing levels in the new bylaw are available for your to view at the here: Bylaw #1637 - Water Rationing Bylaw.
We are trying to preserve the water in our reservoirs for essential uses like drinking, cooking, bathing, and dishwashing, as well as preserving water in our watershed for other downstream user communities.
Here are some tips that could help you conserve water:
- Do not water your yard between 9 AM and 8 PM. The heat will evaporate a lot of the water you are intending for your lawn and garden. The best times to water is in the early morning and the late evening. If you're a late riser or an early to bed type, this can be most easily achieved by setting your sprinkler timer.
- Make sure that your sprinkler isn't watering the sidewalk or road as well as your lawn and garden.
- Raise your lawn mower to its highest settings. The longer your grass is, the better the soil beneath will retain moisture. Also, most grass types are designed to be cut at the highest lawnmower settings. You can have a very green lawn with minimal watering with this trick.
- Don't water your lawn every day. A typical lawn only needs about an inch of water every week, which it can get from a solid 30 minutes with a sprinkler per week. Also, a lawn can go dormant and can withstand up to 2 months of no moisture at all. To save lots of water and time, simply don't water your lawn and let it go dormant for a month. No harm done!
- Don't water on rainy days. This might sound simple, but if you have a sprinkler timer it will water no matter what. Keep this in mind and remember to turn off your timer for the day if it has rained. One way to automate this process is to have a moisture sensor installed for your system.
- Use a broom to sweep, not a hose. Sweep your driveway with a broom instead of washing it off with a hose.
- Use Grey Water for watering your garden and potted plants. Grey water is water that has already been used for another purpose like dish washing, rinsing, or cleaning. This means that the water goes to your garden instead of to the sanitary sewer plant, saving that much more energy to re-clean the water.
- Check your faucets for leaks and fix them. Faucet leaks can waste incredible amounts of water every day, week, and month. Fixing leaky faucets is a great DIY project.
- Install water flow restrictors and aerators in your taps. Property owners pay for water three times—once to buy it, once to heat it using natural gas or electricity, and once to dispose of it as wastewater. That’s why flow restrictors and faucet aerators, available from local hardware stores, can save you a lot of money and conserve a lot of water.
- Don't rinse your dishes prior to putting them in the dishwasher. Most dishwashers are built to clean dishes very effectively. Even older models do a great job of getting dishes clean. If you're worried about residual food particles, instead of pre-rinsing your dishes just follow your mother's instructions and "Clean your plate!"