Although Kimberley was experiencing a welcome respite from the dry heat while Council sat Monday evening, one evening’s rain did not make a difference.
Council voted Monday to make watering restrictions mandatory under the water bylaw until further notice.
As reported in the Bulletin last Friday, the city’s reservoir behind the Mark Creek damn is at a level it usually only reaches in September, right before snow begins to replenish it.
Mandatory restrictions are as follows:
• Residents of properties with even-numbered addresses should water only on even-numbered days.
• Residents of properties with odd-numbered addresses should water only on odd-numbered days.
• Watering should be done between the hours of 4 a.m. to 10 a.m. and 8 p.m. to 12 p.m. That 8 p.m. time is new, it used to be 4 p.m.
• Automatic irrigation systems usually offer the option of activating the system at specified times. Optimum times are between the hours of 12 midnight and 4 a.m. using the odd/even system described above.
• All outdoor hoses should be equipped with spring-loaded shut-off nozzles for any use by hand.
• Hand watering of plants using a hose with a spring-loaded shut-off nozzle or a hand-held container can be done at any time.
• More frequent watering of newly laid sod or newly seeded lawns is expected. Please call City Hall to advise if you plan additional watering for new lawns.
There will be penalties for those who don’t obey. The City will have the authority to cut off water to a home which ignores the restrictions. It will cost $70 to get it turned back on. Fines under the bylaw can go as high as $2000.
“It’s pretty obvious the dry period we’ve had —which ended abruptly two hours ago —is pretty serious,” said Coun. Darryl Oakley. “It’s okay to have a brown lawn.”
Coun. Albert Hoglund said the City won’t be shutting water off right away, there will be warnings issued, but it is serious.
“If there is a major fire, that three inch overflow we have right now will be gone.”
“We are never off voluntary water restrictions,” said Mayor Don McCormick. “We’re just saying right now it’s not voluntary any more.”
Coun. Nigel Kitto pointed out that a lot of people simply ignore the voluntary restrictions. “We need to get tougher,” he said.
Coun. Kent Goodwin said he thought there might be some push back on moving the allowable time for evening watering back to 8 p.m.
“The majority of people get it,” said McCormick. “We are issuing notice that we need to be careful.”
City CAO Scott Sommerville said he did believe that once Kimberley residents realized the situation was serious they would comply.
“Since the story on water levels appeared in the Bulletin on Friday we saw a difference in water use of 40 litres per second,” he said.