Barriere water users asked to take a look at what they are doing

Barriere water users asked to take a look at what they are doing

“Millions and millions of gallons of water for green grass is unreasonable,” says Utilities Manager

In a recent interview with District of Barriere CAO Bob Payette and Utilities Manager Ian Crosson, the CAO noted how proud he was of District staff who worked throughout the summer to define and repair a number of water leaks which has resulted in “really tightening up the municipal distribution system for water”.

As Barriere continues to remain on stage 2 water restrictions for now and into the foreseeable future, how can this be rectified?

Payette says the District recently did the calculations, commenting, “Our total consumption of water divided by our population currently equals 500 litres of usage per day, per person.”

A number equivalent to approximately 10 bathtubs of water per day, per person!

”Of the 500 litres, 160 litres of that is what is actually being consumed or used inside of the house; showers, toilets, cooking, dishes, drinking water,” added Crosson, “The balance of that water (340 litres) is being consumed exterior of the house. The standard in North America is that one person maximum would consume or use 250 litres of water a day. The generic standard for a family of four per day is one cubic meter, and that would include life (drinking, dishes, laundry, tub time, kids), but not grass.”

“We had to do a report yesterday to the Federal Government on our water usage and the numbers and data is clear,” told Payette, “We actually got a little alert that popped up from Stats Canada when we punched in our water use numbers that basically asked us to check our numbers again – which we then double checked, and they were the same.”

He notes that the changing of the rate structure has been a help to educate and promote water conservation to residents of the community, but there is a serious need for water users to take a look at what they are doing.

“Watering lawns, especially with soaker hoses, are like having a leak in the system – and they really add up,” said Crosson. “People don’t realize how bad soaker hoses are. They consume over five times the amount of water that an irrigation system would use. The new low flow, drip irrigation systems that you can get are worth promoting. People can water their grass for an hour, or every other day, or once a week, and they would still have green grass. But those soaker hoses, you might as well leave your tap open all day.”

He added, “Another portion of the soaker hose problem is that everyone hides them.”

The average water consumption for the municipal water system in Barriere is between 5.5 million gallons to 7 million gallons per month. That falls from this time of year when irrigating stops, to when it starts again in the spring.

“That’s a steady trend – we have that data going back 10 years,” said Crosson, “We’re doing five, six million gallons – that sustains life, and sustains the fire department. That number goes up seven times during the irrigation season. In July of 2018 Barriere used about 35 million gallons of water, which converts to 133,000 cubic meters used in a month! That equates to 133 million litres of water in one month!

Payette says Barriere’s water report will be quite a bit better for 2020, “As most people are following stage 2 concurrent restrictions, and also the staff have found some big residential and commercial leaks that have been identified and repaired. Our statistics for this year are going to look pretty good compared to 2019.”

He notes that 2020 has seen most residents following the irrigation and watering restrictions, and they are also doing their part to conserve water and report leaks. “Staff have been working with residents to identify leaks and it has been very successful,” he says.

For now though, the water regulations are going to stay the same while Payette and Crosson continue to work on improving the system.

“Barriere has ample water for domestic use but for irrigation we have to be careful,” says Crosson, “Irrigation is a prioritized schedule. I am a gardener, I am a horticulturist by trade as well. Growing a garden is without a doubt something that I will be doing for the rest of my life and I promote that. But blatant eight hours a day of watering your grass is on the very bottom of the priority list. It’s nice to have beautiful gardens and flowers and all that, and I believe in Barriere you can do that and accomplish those goals. But millions and millions of gallons of water for green grass is just unreasonable. The communication process is best achieved as a two way street, so if residents do have questions I will take the time out of my day anytime to have a diplomatic conversation with them about the system, about watering, and so on. Getting that feedback from them is important. Questions such as “my irrigation system is leaking”, or “how can I better water my grass”. I am more than willing to have that conversation with interested residents.”

“We don’t want to go backwards, – we weren’t here,” said Bob, “We want to move ahead with the town and get it done right.”

 

Barriere water users asked to take a look at what they are doing

Just Posted

Okanagan Lake (File photo)
Thompson-Okanagan ready to welcome back tourists

The Thompson-Okanagan Tourism Association expects this summer to be a busy one

teaser
Dynamic drives and pitiful putting helped even the score

Another Ladies’ Night has come and gone. This season is passing by… Continue reading

Tim Schewe
Drivesmart column: Traffic cop humour

He demands to know what sort of device had been used to measure his speed

(L-r) Cody Lee with six-year-old daughter Paisley, and Joshua Burleigh with his seven-year-old son Noah are extremely thankfull to Heffley Creek residents and First Responders for the help they received after their canoe capsized in rapids on the North Thompson River on Sunday, June 13. (Facebook photo)(L-r) Cody Lee with six-year-old daughter Paisley, and Joshua Burleigh with his seven-year-old son Noah are extremely thankfull to Heffley Creek residents and First Responders for the help they received after their canoe capsized in rapids on the North Thompson River on Sunday, June 13. (Facebook photo)
North Thompson River canoe trip almost ends in disaster

‘Only way I managed to get us to shore was the thought of not letting my boy drown’

A for sale sign is shown in by new homes in Beckwith, Ont., just outside Ottawa, on Wednesday, Jan. 11, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Thompson-Okanagan population grew despite COVID-19: report

The Chartered Professional Accountants of BC said there are 8,462 new residents in the region

Maxwell Johnson is seen in Bella Bella, B.C., in an undated photo. The Indigenous man from British Columbia has filed complaints with the B.C. Human Rights Tribunal and the Canadian Human Rights Commission after he and his granddaughter were handcuffed when they tried to open a bank account. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO-Heiltsuk Nation, Damien Gillis, *MANDATORY CREDIT*
VIDEO: Chiefs join human rights case of Indigenous man handcuffed by police in B.C. bank

Maxwell Johnson said he wants change, not just words, from Vancouver police

For more than a year, Rene Doyharcabal and a small group of neighbours in Langley’s Brookswood neighbourhood have been going out every evening to show support for first responders by honking horns and banging pots and drums. Now, a neighbour has filed a noise complaint. (Langley Advance Times file)
Noise complaint filed against nightly show of support for health care workers in B.C. city

Langley Township contacted group to advise of complaint, but no immediate action is expected

A nurse prepares a shot of the COVID-19 vaccine at the Yukon Convention Centre in Whitehorse on Wednesday, March 3, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Mike Thomas
Vancouver couple pleads guilty to breaking Yukon COVID rules, travelling for vaccine

Chief Judge Michael Cozens agreed with a joint sentencing submission,

An inmate in solitary confinement given lunch on Tuesday, May 10, 2016. THE CANADIAN/Lars Hagberg
22-hour cap on solitary confinement for youth in custody still too long: B.C. lawyer

Jennifer Metcalfe was horrified to hear a youth had spent a total of 78 straight days in isolation

People line up to get their COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination centre, Thursday, June 10, 2021 in Montreal. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Vaccines, low COVID case counts increase Father’s Day hope, but risk is still there

Expert says people will have to do their own risk calculus before popping in on Papa

B.C. Premier John Horgan listens as Finance Minister Selina Robinson presents the province’s latest budget, April 20, 2021. The budget projects $19 billion in deficits over three years. (Hansard TV)
B.C. government budget balloons, beyond COVID-19 response

Provincial payroll up 104,000 positions, $10 billion since 2017

COVID-related trash is washing up on shorelines across the world, including Coldstream’s Kal Beach, as pictured in this May 2021 photograph. (Jennifer Smith - Black Press)
Shoreline cleanup finds COVID-related trash increased during height of the pandemic

Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup reports litter from single-use food packaging nearly doubled

Doctor David Vallejo and his fiancee Doctor Mavelin Bonilla hold photos of themselves working, as they kiss at their home in Quito, Ecuador, Wednesday, June 9, 2021. Doctor Vallejo and Doctor Bonilla suspended their wedding in order to tend to COVID-19 patients and in the process Vallejo got sick himself with the disease, ending up in an ICU for several days. (AP Photo/Dolores Ochoa)
Love, sacrifice and surviving COVID-19: one couple’s story

COVID hits Ecuadorian doctors who delayed wedding to treat sick

St. Joseph's Mission site is located about six kilometres from Williams Lake First Nation. (Photo submitted)
Williams Lake First Nation to search residential school site for unmarked graves

St. Joseph’s Mission Indian Residential School operated from 1886 to 1981

Most Read