News release - July 11, 2017

Stage 3 Watering Restrictions Emphasized for Water Customers in Nanoose Bay Peninsula and City of Parksville

On July 1, the RDN Nanoose Bay Peninsula Water Service Area and the City of Parksville moved to Stage 3 watering restrictions in an effort to curb increasing water demand. Stage 3 restrictions maintain the same even and odd day watering framework as Stage 2, yet encourage residents to further reduce consumption in order to defer a comprehensive watering ban. Stage 3 is required because the water intake on the Englishman River is not operating at full capacity due to infrastructure complications and the new intake and filtration plant are currently under construction.

Unfortunately, during the first week of Stage 3 restrictions, water demand continued to increase well beyond normal summer consumption. The RDN and City of Parksville wish to emphasize that it is critical for residents to be efficient with their water use to maintain reservoir levels for fire protection. Water staff will continue to monitor water demand and if this trend of high water use continues, imposing a Stage 4 outdoor watering ban will be necessary to ensure that water supply for essential household use, community use and fire protection can be maintained.

Stage 3 offers flexibility for residents to decide where and how they cut back on water use; however, it is critical that reductions are implemented. Here are some helpful tips on how to cut back on water use:

  • Reduce the lawn irrigation on your property by decreasing run times, cutting back on the number of watering days and refraining from sprinkling certain lawn areas. Lawns naturally go dormant in the summer months and return with fall rains.
  • Avoid washing vehicles or boats unnecessarily, unless for safety reasons (windows and headlights).
  • Sweep outdoor surfaces such as driveways or decks with a broom rather than using a hose or power washing.
  • Retrofit old, inefficient irrigation systems.
  • Add mulch/topsoil to aid in landscape water retention.
The Regional District of Nanaimo now offers a new WaterSmart Garden Rebate for conducting landscape efficiency upgrades including irrigation system improvements and soil and mulch amendment. This is a pilot program and funds are limited. www.rdnrebates.ca

We appreciate the efforts of residents to conserve water this summer. Not all water service areas are under Stage 3 - Information about watering restrictions in the region, along with additional tips on saving water can be found at www.teamwatersmart.ca.

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Julie Pisani
Drinking Water and Watershed Protection Coordinator
Regional District of Nanaimo