Jun 20, 2018

Level 4 Water Conservation

Due to extremely low water levels caused by record-breaking dry weather conditions and the absence of any significant snowpack over the winter, the City of Parksville has moved to Stage 4 Water Conservation, a comprehensive watering ban.

Frequently Asked Questions

Comprehensive Watering Ban – Level 4 Water Conservation

Why has the City of Parksville moved to a comprehensive watering ban?
This ban is necessary due to extremely low water levels caused by record-breaking dry weather conditions and no snowpack. Vancouver Island is ranked as “extremely dry” drought conditions by the province and with hotter temperatures and almost no precipitation in the forecast, there will be continued, unprecedented pressure on the our water resources. We are experiencing a reduction in emergency water storage levels which could severely impact our ability to fight a large fire or, after using water resources to fight fire, impact our ability to meet water requirements for residents and businesses.

What about vegetable gardens, flower beds and trees?
Between the hours of 6 am to 10 am and 6 pm to 10 pm, watering of vegetable gardens, shrubs, trees and flowers is restricted to a hand-held container or a hose equipped with a shut-off nozzle or a drip-irrigation system. (This does not include soaker, weeper hoses or micro-sprayers – drip irrigation only.)

The main objective is to dramatically reduce water use during a time when our water supply is very stressed. Hand watering and drip irrigation are allowed because they are the least impactful.

Can I fill my child’s wading pool?
No, filling of wading pools, hot tubs and swimming pools is not allowed under this ban. The Community Park water park is open daily from 11 am to 5 pm as a place for little people to cool down.

Can my kids still play in the sprinkler?
No, level 4 is a complete watering ban which includes recreational use as well.

Do these restrictions apply to soaker hoses or in-ground sprinkler systems?
Yes, all outdoor sprinkling as well as soaker hoses are prohibited.

What is a drip irrigation system?
Drip irrigation is an automatic irrigation system that uses low volume emitters, operating at low pressure (under 25 PSI) to deliver a precise amount of water to the root zone of the plant they are irrigating. They literally drip water and are 95% efficient, which very little water lost to evaporation or run-off. A drip irrigation system is allowed between 6 am to 10 am and 6 pm to 10 pm and only on vegetable gardens, shrubs, trees and flowers.

Why between 6 am to 10 am and 6 pm to 10 pm?
Watering during the morning and evening reduces the amount of evaporation which occurs. We do not expect people to water for the whole 4 hour window; rather we just provide that timeframe for people to work within.

With a total sprinkling ban, will my lawn die?
Your lawn will naturally go dormant and turn brown during a hot, dry spell. A substantial rainfall or cooler weather will help your lawn to recover quickly.

Can I power wash my house?
No, under Level 4, washing of such surfaces as driveways, sidewalks or exterior building surfaces is not allowed.

I’ve noticed my neighbour is watering or pressure washing, what should I do?
You could speak with your neighbour to see if they are aware of the watering restrictions. If they are not aware, please direct them to the City’s website (Parksville.ca). If you are uncomfortable speaking with your neighbour or if you have a complaint, contact bylaw compliance at 250 954-3060 or by email bylaw@parksville.ca

What happens if I don’t follow the water restrictions? How does the City enforce the bylaw/restrictions?
We encourage everyone to conserve water during these unprecedented times. Reports of a violation will be followed up by the City’s bylaw compliance and water utilities crew. The homeowner or business will be provided with information about the watering ban. If non-compliance continues, a fine will be levied. Those not complying will receive one warning notice before ticketing.

What are the fines?
Fines of $100 for violations to the water conservation regulations will be levied for non-compliance.

Why are sports fields exempt from Level 4?
Playing fields are a significant asset for the City so we will continue to water critical fields to protect the field from damage and also ensure it is available for user groups.

What steps has the City taken to conserve water during these excessively dry conditions?
The City is working hard to be efficient and responsible in its water use. Some of the initiatives are listed here – please see the City’s website for more ongoing and initiatives:

  • Many areas will no longer be irrigated – such as areas of Springwood Park, medians and boulevards along the Island Highway, downtown, in the Community Park and at the Parksville Civic and Technology Centre. Average daily water savings from these areas is estimated to be about 28,000 gallons.
  • We will no longer water the 4-acre kite field from north of the skateboard park to near the labyrinth.
  • Use of gator watering bags for newer trees.
  • Planters with non-potable water and looking at other areas to be watered in the same manner, such as the Pym Street and Island Highway will be watered with non-potable water and we are pursuing other ways to water with non-potable water.
  • Recapture of water used for back-flushing the intake gallery in the Englishman River.

Where can I read a copy of the bylaw regulating water conservation levels in the City of Parksville?
•    Bylaw 1320-19 Water Conservation

Where can I go to find water saving tips and other resources?
Team WaterSmart of which the City of Parksville is a partner along with the Regional District of Nanaimo and other municipalities, is a resource for information on indoor and outdoor water conservation as well as other general information.

Operations Department
City of Parksville

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