Water conservation is critical in achieving sustainable water usage for the City of Prince George. Average water consumption demands can double during the summer months, as over one-third of this amount is due to lawn sprinkling.
Water Conservation Tips
Most water in a typical home flows down toilets or is absorbed into lawns. Surprisingly little of it is used for actual drinking. Learn how to conserve water use at home with the following tips:
Efficient Lawn Watering
- Lawns require about two and a half (2.5) centimetres of water per week. This takes about a half hour of sprinkling, twice a week, on your designated sprinkling day.
- Establishing a new lawn requires three weeks of sprinkling, and it is important to ensure top soil is put under your sod to retain water.
- Remember that less watering promotes deeper, healthier lawn roots.
- Minimize water evaporation, mould, and fungus by watering in the mornings or evenings. Evaporation is greatest between 10:00am and 5:00pm, and can result in 50 per cent of water not even reaching your lawn.
- Avoid watering on windy days.
- Aerate lawns to allow air, water, and fertilizer to reach the roots.
- Make sure automatic irrigation systems are set within the permitted times. Turn the timer off when it rains and reset it afterwards.
- Remember lawns stay moist when it is cut five (5) to seven and a half (7.5) centimetres in length. Tall grass shades and cools the soil, grows at a slower rate, and requires less mowing.
- Make sure that paved areas and sidewalks are not watered.
- Turn off the tap while brushing teeth, washing hands, washing dishes or shaving.
- Run dishwashers and washing machines with full loads.
- When washing dishes by hand, use a sink half full of rinse water rather than letting the water run.
- Keep a jug of drinking water in the fridge to keep it cool, instead of running the tap.
- Use a lid when boiling water on the stove to prevent water loss through evaporation.
- Water houseplants and gardens with cooled cooking water or vegetable and fruit rinse water.
- Limit showers to five (5) minutes.
- Fix leaks as soon as they're found. Leaky taps and toilets cost money.
Reduce water use in the bathroom by:
- Installing faucet aerators
- Replacing old showerheads with low-flow models. This can save 10 litres of water per minute.
- Replacing old toilets with a low-flow six-litre flush model to reduce overall water consumption by 20 per cent.
Other Tips to Conserve Water Outdoors
- Use a spring-loaded nozzle when washing vehicles.
- Use a broom instead of a hose to clean driveways and sidewalks.
- Put a layer of mulch around the base of trees and shrubs to retain moisture and reduce weed growth.
- Plant draft-resistant trees and plants.
- Purchase a rain barrel from Recycling and Environmental Action Planning Society to water your plants.
For more information:
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Water Use Restrictions
Water use restrictions in Prince George are in effect year-round and governed by the City of Prince George Water Regulations and Rates Bylaw No. 7479, 2003. For more information on restriction and exemptions:
Hours of Water Use Restrictions
Sprinkling is permitted for even house numbers on even numbered days and odd house numbers on odd numbered days within the prescribed hours of the day.
NOTE: Water use restrictions are in effect 365 days a year. The fine for sprinkling violators is $50.00.
- No sprinkling from 8:00am to 5:00pm
- This includes properties abutting: Cinch Loop, Hartman Road, Cantle Drive, Corral Road, and Western Road, and the frontage road north of Highway 16 West, from the 8100 block of Highway 16 West to the City's western boundary.
ALL OTHER AREAS
- No sprinkling from 12:00pm to 5:00pm
Benefits of rain barrels:
- Rainwater is free.
- Rainwater is better for lawns and gardens as it is not treated with chlorine.
- Using rainwater reduces demand on storm water systems
- Stored rainwater is warmer and will not shock plants or lawns
- Pumping is not required so there are no electricity costs
- Setup is easy and little maintenance is required
Rain barrels can be purchased at many garden supply centres and through Recycling and Environmental Action Planning Society.
Water Use Restriction Exemption
Residents who feel they have a special circumstance with regard to water use can apply online for an exemption to the Water Use Restrictions or call: 250-561-7550.
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Volunteer Residential Watering Meter Program
Water consumption in Prince George is currently higher than both the provincial and the national average, making conservation important. Water meters allow residents to accurately track their water use, conserve water, and save money. Water metres also make it easier to detect and repair leaks that can waste thousands of litres of water every year.
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Water Conservation Plan
The benefits of water conservation are both economic and environmental, and include:
- Alleviating water supply constraints.
- Deferring infrastructure replacement costs.
- Reducing operational costs.
- Minimizing the environmental impact of extracting and releasing treated water.
- Protecting groundwater source for future generations.
Council approved the City of Prince George Water Conservation Plan 2016 with the stated goal of reducing water demand by 20 per cent over a period of 10 years. The Plan identified five (5) Water Conservation Strategies to meet this objective:
- Sprinkling Restrictions
- Water Metering
- Water Loss Management Program
- Leak Detection and Repair Program
- Educational and Outreach Programs
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