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29th May 2015
Christina Martens/Wetaskiwin Times
Wednesday, May 27, 2015 3:58:30 MDT PM

The hot, dry weather that prompted a fire ban in the County of Wetaskiwin is bringing out water restrictions in the city.

Last week, the City of Wetaskiwin announced a Class 1 water restriction would be in place from June 1 to Sept. 1. This means even-numbered homes can water lawns, gardens and wash vehicles on even-numbered days. Homes with odd numbers can water and wash on odd-numbered days.

Commercial businesses are exempt from the current Class 1 restriction.

“We do it every year,” said City of Wetaskiwin’s Communications coordinator John Vandenbeld. “In the summer, there’s a greater use of water and a greater need to protect the functionality of our water treatment system.”

In the past, said Vandenbeld, city residents have been generally respectful of the annual restriction.

“People really respect and understand the need to keep the water treatment facility protected. It’s a small sacrifice they’re willing to make.”

According to city bylaw officer Trent Jager, the water restrictions are not something he has ever had to enforce.

“We’ve never had a complaint about it,” he said. “If we did (get a complaint), we’d have to write them a ticket and send them to court.”

Jager said the water restrictions don’t come with specified penalties, so offenders go straight to court. Suggested penalties range from $400 to $2,500 fines or, in default of payment, jail time not exceeding six months.

— with files from Sarah O. Swenson