News Release - June 29, 2017

RDN Nanoose Bay Peninsula Water Service Area and City of Parksville Move to Stage 3 Watering Restrictions July 1st

The Regional District of Nanaimo (RDN) is asking customers in our Nanoose Bay Peninsula Water Service Area to voluntarily reduce water use as Stage 3 Watering Restrictions come into effect on July 1st. Stage 3 restrictions maintain the same even and odd day framework as Stage 2, but encourage residents to further reduce consumption in order to defer a comprehensive watering ban (Stage 4). The City of Parksville will also move to Stage 3 watering restrictions on July 1st.

The Nanoose Bay Peninsula Water Service Area and the City of Parksville are supplied in part by water from the Englishman River during the summer months. The Englishman River water intake is operated by the City of Parksville operations staff, who monitor water demands closely to ensure a continued supply for the community's needs, including fire protection. Due to complications with aging infrastructure at the Englishman River pump station, the ability to pump water has been compromised and the existing surface water intake is currently not operating at full capacity. The infiltration gallery is plugging up with fine material and as a result, only one of three pumps can be run at a time. This will be a challenge until the new intake and water treatment plant is built which is planned as part of the Englishman River Water Service project scheduled for completion in July 2019. Once constructed, the new surface water intake will be able to supply increased water demands into the future.

Although we have had a wet and cool spring, the dry weather is now upon us and Environment Canada is predicting a drier than normal summer. Residents are asked to conserve water, particularly discretionary outdoor water use such as the watering of lawns. Pro-active water conservation is critical for protecting stream flows for aquatic habitat and is essential for avoiding or deferring stricter watering restrictions as the summer progresses. Should we not see swift reductions in water consumption under Stage 3, it will be necessary to implement Stage 4 watering restrictions - a comprehensive watering ban which prohibits all lawn watering, filling of pools, washing of vehicles and pressure-washing outdoor surfaces etc.

Staff at the City of Parksville and the RDN will continue to monitor demands daily and will produce weekly graphs to report out on consumption patterns. We appreciate the efforts of residents to conserve water this summer.

As a reminder to residents, Stage 3 watering restrictions are as follows:

  • Odd numbered civic addresses may water on odd numbered days and even numbered civic addresses may water on even numbered days. In Stage 3 we encourage further minimizing watering days per week at your discretion.
  • Watering times are 7 am to 10 am OR 7 pm to 10 pm for a maximum of two hours of total allocated watering per day. In Stage 3 we encourage further reducing watering times at your discretion.
  • Residents are encouraged to voluntarily reduce watering of lawns to a minimum in an effort to avoid a potential future watering ban if water demands cannot be managed.
  • Washing vehicles, boats and siding; filling fountains, pools and hot tubs; and pressure-washing outdoor surfaces are still permitted under Stage 3. However, it is strongly encouraged that reductions be made in these areas.
  • Vegetable gardens and fruit trees are exempt from all watering restrictions.
  • Drip irrigation may continue at any time.
WaterSmart tips to make every drop count!
  • Reduce the lawn irrigation on your property - decrease the run times, cut back on watering days, or refrain from sprinkling certain lawn areas. Lawns naturally go dormant in the summer months and return with fall rains.

  • Take advantage of the new WaterSmart Garden rebate program offered by the RDN, to assist residents in retrofitting old, inefficient irrigation systems and adding mulch / topsoil to aid in landscape water retention. Funds are limited. See www.rdnrebates.ca for details.

  • 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.

  • Continue to reduce indoor use by turning off the tap when brushing your teeth or washing dishes, take shorter showers and run full loads in the washing machine and dishwasher.

Detailed information on water conservation can be found via www.teamwatersmart.ca , including an interactive map with information on watering restrictions across the region.

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