Sprinkling regulation not too watered down

Lake Cowichan’s chief administrative officer puts forward two recommendations for sprinkling regulations

Joseph Fernandes, the town of Lake Cowichan’s chief administrative officer, put forward two recommendations for sprinkling regulations going into 2013 at the Public Works Committee meeting held on Tuesday, Nov. 6.

Both recommendations included allowing sprinkling from 6 a.m. to 10 a.m. only from June 1 to Sept. 30, and eliminating the 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. sprinkling time that is currently allowed.

The first recommendation was to allow sprinkling for even residential addresses on Monday, Wednesday and Saturday, and odd addresses on Tuesday, Thursday, and Sunday. It recommended that non-residential addresses be allowed sprinkling on Monday and Wednesday for even addresses, and Tuesday and Thursday for odd addresses.

The second recommended sprinkling on even days for even addresses and odd days for odd addresses for both residential and non-residential.

“Every summer, water use just about doubles while rainfall is at lowest or non-existent,” says Fernandez’s report. “Despite restrictions in place, sprinkling currently occurs at all hours of the day and this year it even extended into October. By not permitting afternoon or evening sprinkling, the spikes in water consumption are flattened and peak demands on the water system are reduced so that extensive and expensive upgrades to the water delivery system can be avoided.”

“I agree we have to do something to reduce it a little bit but we also have to remember that we will be metering and that might be a deterrent to people as well for watering as long as they do now,” said Mayor Ross Forrest.

“We currently allow sprinkling basically all year round,” said Fernandez. “And most places (municipalities) don’t, they have a limited period . . . and this year we had a long summer, people were watering right up into October.”

In the end, mayor and council decided to recommend a sprinkling regulation policy for both residential and non-residential addresses that would be set at 6 a.m. to 10 a.m. from June 1 to Sept. 30, with odd houses sprinkling on Wednesday, Friday, and Sunday, and even houses sprinkling on Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday, with no watering on Monday.

“You only have to water once a week, I know that’s the general consensus,” said Fernandez.

When discussing the impact this change would have on those residents who are used to watering in the evening, most of council and those present at the Public Works Committee meeting agreed that due to the drought conditions this year, these changes would be well worth adapting to.

“I think that with the drought we experienced this summer, it’s the right time to hit,” added Nagi Rizk, the town’s superintendent of Public Works.