Castlegar water restrictions take effect June 15. ( Black Press file photo)

Summer water restrictions begin June 15

City limits non-essential water use to protect supply; scofflaws face fines

If you want a green lawn this summer, that’s OK. But you better do it right.

The City of Castlegar’s has issued its rules for summer residential water use, and you can be fined for not following them.

The city says residential water use can spike up to 200 per cent during the warm months, and that can cause problems of supply.

“Our residential water is pumped from the Arrow Lakes to reservoirs, from which water is supplied to residents,” says a city news release. “Excessive sprinkling during summer months reduces the water contained in our reservoirs.

“Even if the system has adequate supply, it may not be able to pump the water fast enough during this peak demand period to maintain storage for firefighting purposes.”

The main culprits are lawn and garden watering and car washing, so the city is implementing rules to try to curb water use.

– homes with even-numbered addresses can water their lawns on even-numbered days; odd-numbered addresses on odd-numbered days.

– watering is only permitted from 5:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. and from 5:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m.

– residents who have sprinkler timers and underground sprinkler systems with timers are exempt, provided they operate between 11 p.m. and 5 a.m. on alternating days.

“[T]imers and underground sprinkling systems allow the user to water during the coolest part of the day,” says the city. “Therefore, less water is required and sprinkling times should be shorter.”

Residents should advise the city if they have such timed systems installed if they want to qualify for the exemption.

Homeowners can face a fine of $50 for not complying to the water restrictions. However, there are exemptions you can apply for, if you have a new residential lawn, need a means of controlling dust, or watering within a construction or building project.

The restrictions apply to residents of Castlegar, Blueberry and Lucas Road from June 15 to September 15.

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