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24th February 2016
by Karl Yu - Nanaimo News Bulletin
posted Feb 22, 2016 at 8:00 PM

After different water restriction levels between the Regional District of Nanaimo and City of Nanaimo caused confusion last summer, water suppliers have developed common guidelines.

Water service areas in the region, including the city, regional district and Lantzville, worked on standard watering restriction definitions and it is hoped protocols will be uniform in the region, according to a regional district report.

Under the framework, Stage 1 restrictions would be in effect between April and October. Sprinkling and watering of lawns and plants would be permissible between 7 p.m. and 7 a.m.

Stage 2 restrictions, in effect between May and September, would see sprinkling a maximum of two hours between 7 to 10 a.m. or 7 to 10 p.m. Even-numbered addresses would water on even days and odd addresses would follow suit on odd days.

Under stages 1 and 2, hand watering, drip irrigation, watering of vegetable gardens and fruit trees, washing of sidewalks and driveways and filling of fountains, pools and hot tubs would be permissible any time.

Stage 3 would entail voluntary heightened water use reductions. Stage 4 would see a ban on lawn watering, washing of cars and sidewalks, or filling of pools and hot tubs.

“Each water purveyor has to operate their system as they see fit and there’ll be operational reasons why they may or may not choose to move up and down on the different stages,” said Mike Donnelly, regional district water and utility services manager. “The important piece is we’re all speaking in the same language, so that stage 1, 2, 3 and 4 mean the same thing across the region.”

The regional district board is expected to vote on the guidelines tonight (Feb. 23).

Bill Sims, city manager of water resources, said staff expect to go before council in March.

Lantzville Mayor Colin Haime said the framework would be on the agenda at Lantzville’s council meeting Monday.

The regional district will maintain a website with information related to the new framework. It is anticipated to have a $3,000 startup cost.