Water restrictions were on the agenda at the District of Barriere Council Meeting held April 25, with reports and recommendations presented by staff.
The municipality is currently on level 2 Water Restrictions, with hand-watering only for lawns, gardens, flowers, trees and shrubs, etc., only during the prescribed watering times of 7-9 a.m. and 7-9 p.m. during the assigned odd/even days for residents on the water system.
At the Committee of the Whole Meeting held on April 11, 2022, council had received updated information regarding the situation and condition of the new DW3 well and had discussed the possibility of reverting back to Stage 1, or Stage 1 with additional conditions in order to allow some residential irrigation this spring and summer season.
At that time additional information was provided on running DW2, DW3 and PW1 into the water system:
• DW2 – has a new pump installed and is back on line, at 600 gpm
• DW3 (new well) – was still undergoing conditioning (which was ongoing) with the pump running separately at 500 gpm
• PW1 well’s maximum output is 300 gpm, with some discoloration caused by mineral reactions; blending into the system is possible to reduce the discoloration.
The report states volumes are expected to increase as staff continue to monitor the wells.
It was pointed out that more conditioning and time is required to confirm at what rates both the DW2 and DW3 wells can run concurrently and what the affect would have on the drawdown of the aquifer.
The District of Barriere Water Bylaw No. 189 states the following:
“Notwithstanding any other provision of this bylaw it shall be lawful for the council, when in their opinion, there is, or there is likely to be, a shortage of water, by resolution, to restrict or ration the use of water for all or any purposes by determining the applicable Water Conservation Stage further outlined in Section 8 of this bylaw. Such restriction or rationing shall continue until such time as the council shall in their discretion, decide that sufficient water is available.
In situations requiring immediate action, council delegates the responsibility for determining, imposing and lifting the restrictions described in 5 a), to the Chief Administrative Officer.”
District staff suggested that Water Conservation Stage 1 Water Restrictions could be considered as is written in the Bylaw, with clear communication to residents that the goal is to not over stress the system through enforcement and education. Should the system show signs of stress, the district would revert back to full Stage 2 Water Restrictions.
Based on the recommendations presented to council at their regular meeting on Monday, April 25, 2022, council authorized the return to Stage 1 Watering Restrictions will start on May 31, 2022.
This authorization comes with an exception that will permit the watering of new sod or newly seeded lawns for the first seven days following installation during the Stage 1 prescribed watering times.
Residents are asked to notify the district office before starting a seven-day new sod/seeding event to prevent unnecessary bylaw enforcement action.
The authorization comes with the understanding that should the water system show signs of stress, that appropriate remedial action will take place as per Bylaw No. 189, including increasing the water restrictions as necessary to maintain the required fire flows and levels in the reservoirs.
The District of Barriere posted on their website a thank you to residents “for their continued patience”, and noted the district “is looking forward to returning to a more normal watering season starting on May 31st”.
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