In order to avoid serious water shortages

Time to tap out says City of Nelson

The City of Nelson is asking home and business owners to ease up on their water usage

With sizzling summer weather here and our high country snowpack soon to reach its seasonal low, it’s time for Nelson residents to begin conserving water.

The City of Nelson is asking home and business owners to ease up on their water usage by following a number of conservation measures.

“It’s not an emergency situation, yet,” says City of Nelson utilities supervisor Gil Bogaard. “But with the extended spells of hot weather we’ve been getting, and the remainder of the snowpack quickly shrinking, our creeks will start dropping too — and those are our main sources of drinking water.”

Bogaard says this is the time of year when water usage increases by as much as 50 percent, putting more strain on the city’s main and secondary reservoirs, primarily because of lawn and garden watering, and car washing.

“So we’re asking people to restrict water usage to a bare minimum, and to use whatever water they need at appropriate times.”

Bogaard says Nelson was in a similar situation in the summer of 2010, and when residents were asked to help save water, they responded “very, very quickly.”

He’s hoping Nelsonites do the same this time around too.

“Nelson residents understand the importance of our water, and of conserving it. That’s a good thing. We need to keep our supply as high as we can for possible firefighting purposes and to maintain our backup drinking water supply.”

What can you do to help conserve Nelson’s water? Here are a few tips:

• Water every other day only. Premises with “even” numbered civic addresses may sprinkle on “even” numbered days (ie: 2nd, 4th, 6th, etc.) and premises with “odd” numbered civic addresses may sprinkle on “odd” numbered days (ie: 1st, 3rd, 5th, etc.).

• Water in the early morning, before 10 a.m, or early evening, after 6 p.m, otherwise, water simply evaporates before it gets to the roots of plants and grass.

• Ensure that water does not over-spray onto sidewalks, driveways, fences or roads.

• Let your lawn “brown.”

• Check underground sprinkler systems for leaks and re-set your timer to give the lawn only one hour’s worth of water each week, because that’s all it needs.

With the city’s main water source — Five Mile Creek — being heavily relied on as of late, the City will be tapping into its two secondary water sources over the next few weeks.

Anderson Creek will be on line by week’s end. And if need be, Selous Creek will be drawn from towards the end of next week. In the meantime, the city is relying on alternative sources including Kootenay Lake’s West Arm, for water supplies needed for Nelson greenspaces like the Lakeside Park sports fields.

For more information on water conservation tips and videos, visit the City of Nelson’s website (under Public Notices) at nelson.ca/water (all lower case) or e-mail: publicworks@nelson.ca.