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17th July 2015
$250 fine for breaking sprinkler ban

Wednesday, Jul 15, 2015 06:00 am
By: Kevin Ma

ALBERTA: County residents can now be fined $250 if they water their lawns during a sprinkler ban.

County council amended its Water Works bylaw this week in response to ongoing water shortages in the county.

Administrators brought in a non-essential watering ban over the weekend in response to extremely low water levels in the Allin Ridge Reservoir. The ban applies to Sturgeon Valley, Cardiff Echoes, Sturgeon Industrial Park, Riviere Qui Barre, and Villeneuve.

Water levels in the reservoir were expected to dip to 35 per cent this week , the point at which the county actually enforces the ban, but recent rains boosted them up to about 60 as of Monday, county commissioner Peter Tarnawsky said.

The old law did not feature any penalties that the county could impose on people who violated the ban, Tarnawsky said. The new one allows for a $250 fine.

In an interview, Tarnawsky said that these fines would not be issued unless reservoir capacity dipped below 35 per cent. Residents would get a warning before any fine was issued.

Tarnawsky told council that administration’s water use readings showed that average daily water demand on the Allin Ridge reservoir was close to 2,500 cubic metres last month – about 40 per cent more than it was that time last year. Water demand also peaked at 4 a.m., which he believed was due to automated sprinkler systems.
Coun. Karen Shaw emphasized the importance of public education when it came to water shortages.

Do you want to flush your toilet or have green grass? It’s pretty simple.”

A $7.8-million expansion to the Allin Ridge reservoir has been delayed due to problems getting the land for it, a report to council said.
The non-essential watering ban in the valley remains in effect. Visit for details.