Castlegar watering restrictions start this week

No watering or car washing allowed between 11 a.m. and 5 p.m.

Summer is coming and that means that it’s time for watering restrictions for Castlegar residents.

Restrictions start Saturday and will be in place until September 15.

The watering restrictions are primarily put in place to spread out the peak demand to the water system that occurs during the summer.

Residents are only permitted to do outdoor watering and car-washing between the hours of 5 and 11 a.m. and then again between 5 and 11 p.m. every second day.

Residents with odd-numbered street addresses water on odd calendar dates and residents with even addresses water on even calendar dates. Residents who use a water-regulating system such as timers and underground sprinklers are exempt as long as they water between 11 p.m. and 5 a.m. on alternating days.

Every year the same question is asked: why do we need watering restrictions when we have a lake full of water as our water supply?

The answer is that the entire water system has to be built and maintained to accommodate the peak demand to the system. So by reducing the peak flow by only allowing half of the residents to water each day and ensuring they are watering at the most efficient time of day, the pressures on the whole system can be reduced.

According to Castlegar’s CAO Chris Barlow, peak demand is used for all of the calculations for reservoir sizing, treatment facility sizing and purification and delivery systems.

“By putting in water restrictions, we reduce the overall demand of the whole network by reducing those peak periods,” Barlow said.

He also explained this not only reduces strains on the existing system, reducing costs and potentially extending the life of the system, but also affects any future water system projects that will take place.

Barlow said even with the restrictions in place, some summer days can still see a peak demand of 10 times more than typical winter days.

He says even with the addition of water meters, the restrictions are still necessary to spread out outdoor water use. By using an every-other-day model, peak demand on any given day is moderated. In addition, the restrictions also stagger usage times by allowing those on automatic sprinkler systems to water at a different time.

A fine can be levied for non-compliance with the regulations.

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