Castlegar draws its water from Lower Arrow Lake.

The cost of water

Though Castlegar's water reservoirs are in little danger of running low, there are other reasons to follow summer water restrictions.

As it does every summer, the City of Castlegar has put water restrictions in place to help reduce the amount of water residents use, but many people in Castlegar may not understand that capping their water usage could save the city money in the longterm.

Peak usage

Usually the demand for water is four times higher in the summer than in the winter, which is why the city imposes water restrictions.

“That’s the demand we can really help control and that’s the peak that sets the demand on the whole system is the summer flows,” said Chris Barlow, the director of transportation and civic works.

Restrictions limit sprinkling and car washing to every second day, from 5 a.m. to 11 a.m., and 5 p.m. to 11 p.m. Residents who use a water regulating system can water between 11 p.m. and 5 a.m.

But this year, water levels have increased despite the restrictions.

In 2014, Castlegar used 19,710 cubic meters of water on its peak day and started reaching those levels in late July. This year Barlow says a hotter summer saw peak water use levels in late June.

Drawing from the Arrow

Castlegar draws its water from Lower Arrow Lake, sharing an intake with Zellstoff Celgar pulp mill. The City’s water splits off and is treated before being pumped into one of eight reservoirs, which are kept 80-100 percent full at all times.

Barlow explains that though drawing from the lakes means Castegar won’t run out of water, increased usage does put pressure on the system.

“Through this year we have seen times when pumping … [was] stressing the system,” says Barlow. “[But] we haven’t had to worry about empty reservoirs, other than when we have power outages because it impacts the pumping.”

Though there’s little worry about running out of water, Barlow does stress that increased usage has consequences.

“Even though we have a good water source, we’re asking citizens to conserve because it does impact our system,” says Barlow. “The distribution system can be stressed on this peak days, and plus … these peak days determine the sizing of the system.”

The size of any future reservoirs is determined by the size needed for peak days, which means that the larger the amount of water used on peak days, the more it costs to add to the system and build bigger reservoirs.

Water metering

The city is in the midst of implementing a universal metering program.

Barlow says the majority of commercial and industrial users have been metered and billed on consumption for a number of years, but there are still 213 residential meters to be installed.

Once metering is in place for all residences, the city will begin charging by usage. Hopefully paying for water will impact the amount the people of Castlegar use, and they’ll take action to keep not only their own costs, but the costs on the system, down.

 

Just Posted

Born 1 pound, 11 ounces, Winlaw premature baby comes home

Indra Greaves was born at the Nelson hospital after just 24 weeks of gestation

Rebels beef up blueline as trade deadline closes

Tyson Soobotin, 18, was playing for the Nelson Leafs, and Elijah Havers, 17, joins the team from the Coyotes in Osooyoos

Scammers using Castlegar home for rental fraud

Local realtors say the problem is happening more frequently with their properties

Updated: Outbreak prompts advisory for visitors to extended care wing in Trail hospital

A respiratory infection has been active in Poplar Ridge Pavilion since Monday, advises IH

Trail area homicide investigation continues

Jan. 14 marked one year since Jordan Workman was discovered in the trunk of a burnt car

VIDEO: Students in MAGA hats mock Native American at Indigenous Peoples March

Diocese in Kentucky says it is investigating the matter, caught on video by onlookers

CONSUMER REPORT: What to buy each month in 2019 to save money

Resolve to buy all of the things you want and need, but pay less money for them

Want to avoid the speculation tax on your vacant home? Rent it out, Horgan says

Premier John Horgan and Sheila Malcolmson say speculation and vacancy tax addresses homelessness

UPDATE: B.C. woman and boy, 6, found safe, RCMP confirm

Roseanne Supernault says both she and her six-year-old nephew are fine and she has contacted police

PHOTOS: Women’s Marches take to the streets across B.C. and beyond

Women and allies marched worldwide protesting violence against women, calling for equality

Anxiety in Alaska as endless aftershocks rattle residents

Seismologists expect the temblors to continue for months, although the frequency has lessened

Women’s March returns across the U.S. amid shutdown and controversy

The original march in 2017, the day after President Donald Trump’s inauguration, drew hundreds of thousands of people

Federal Liberals announce former B.C. MLA as new candidate in byelection

Richard Lee will face off against federal NDP leader Jagmeet Singh

No winning ticket in $10 million Lotto Max jackpot

No win in Friday night’s draw means the next Lotto Max draw will be approximately $17 million

Most Read