Who is affected by the sprinkling restrictions?
Why do we have restrictions?
Why are we going back to twice-weekly sprinkling?
If we are experiencing outdoor water restrictions, is our drinking water safe?
During what months are the sprinkling restrictions in effect?
When is lawn sprinkling permitted?
When can I water my trees, shrubs, flowers and vegetables?
Can I install and water new sod or lawn?
Can I wash my vehicle or boat?
Can I use water to wash sidewalks, driveways or parking lots, exterior windows or exterior building surfaces?
Can I use water to fill my wading pool, swimming pool, hot tub, or garden pond?
How are sprinkling restrictions enforced?
Who do I call if my neighbour is not complying with water restrictions?
During restrictions, do I have to restrict the amount of water used indoors?
If I have an automatic irrigation system that I can set to turn on in the middle of the night, can I apply for a permit to operate outside the normal restriction hours?
I am not connected to the municipal water supply, or use a private well or water source for lawn sprinkling. Does the bylaw apply to me?
Are residents who are away on their assigned watering day able to water their lawns on an alternate day?
I leave for work early and won't be able to water. What can I do?
I live in a townhouse, what days am I permitted to water?
What do the municipalities do to reduce water use during outdoor water restrictions?
All Abbotsford and Mission residents and businesses receiving water from the municipal system, including City operations, must comply with watering restrictions according to the bylaw. Residents supplied by private wells and residents of the Clearbrook Waterworks District are exempt.
Abbotsford and Mission residents love to garden and our communities benefit from this. For most of the year, Abbotsford and Mission receive enough rain to keep gardens adequately watered. However, the summer months are usually dry, prompting people to irrigate with municipal water. This causes water use to double in the summer.
Many residents are unaware that they are wasting water due to inefficient watering practices or planting gardens that are not suitable for our climate. In 2007, we came very close to our capacity due to a hot summer and high outdoor water use. The Abbotsford Mission Water & Sewer Commission (AMWSC) restricts watering to ensure there is always a reliable quantity of water available for fire fighting purposes. The infrastructure tthat brings clean water to your home is expensive. Saving water saves you money since we won't need to build ne infrastructure as soon or as large.
Every summer since 1995, sprinkling restrictions and bans have been used in Abbotsford and Mission to reduce peak demands. Despite of sprinkling restrictions, peak day demands in 2007 and 2009 came very close to the limitations of the water distribution system. Accordingly, a complete watering ban was implemented in 2010. The AMWSC has since completed the rehabilitation of key supply wells and installed a new feed line to the Maclure Reservoir which has improved supply capacity. This together with a supply increase of about 15% from the Bevan Wells following expected senior government environmental approvals in June will significantly improve the capacity of the water system.
The AMWSC considered the improved capacity of the water system and recommended to Abbotsford and Mission Councils that twice-weekly morning watering again be permitted. While there is additional capacity it is recommended that residents use water wisely this summer to ensure that we have enough water to last through the summer months and do not have to implement another ban.
Yes, the treated water from your tap is as safe to drink as usual. When a water shortage is announced, we are experiencing difficulties producing the volume of water necessary to meet all of Abbotsford and Mission needs. It does not indicate that your water quality has deteriorated in any way.
The restrictions are in effect from May 1 to September 30. Twice-weekly sprinkling is permitted during this time.
Even numbered addresses may use a sprinkler to water the lawn on Wednesday and Saturday, between the hours of 6:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m. only.
Odd numbered addresses may use a sprinkler to water the lawn on Thursday and Sunday, between the hours of 6:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m. only.
Garden irrigation, watering of flowers, shrubs and vegetables may be carried out using a hand-held wand, a hose equipped with a spring-loaded shut off device or a sprinkler at any time on any day. However, please try to water in the morning or evening when the sun won't evaporate most of the water. Also, keep in mind that most plants only require 1 inch of water per week.
Yes, but only with a permit. Permits will only be issued where there has been a new lawn installed (sod or seed). Permits are not issued for reseeding or top-dressing. We encourage residents to plant new lawns before April or after October.
Bring proof (receipt) to City Hail to purchase your permit. The permits are $50 (May, June and September) and $100 for July and August. They allow you to water from 6:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m. daily for two weeks.
Yes, you may wash your vehicle or boat anytime using a hand held container or hose equipped with a shut-off nozzle, preferably on grass or gravel areas and at car dealerships or commercial car washes.
You are encouraged to use commercial car washes since they use less water. The average homeowner uses 440 litres of water to wash a car, which is 60 percent more than a commercial car wash!
Yes, but use no more water than necessary to complete the task and a hose equipped with a shut-off nozzle. Cleaning hard surfaces and driveways with a broom is the most water efficient method.
Yes. You may use water to fill wading pools, swimming pools, hot tubs, or garden ponds, but consider using covers to reduce water loss through evaporation.
Outdoor water restrictions are enforced by each community. Fines range from a $100 to shutting off of the water service.
If you know your neighbour you may first want to ensure they are aware of the outdoor lawn sprinkling restrictions. Otherwise, call 604-557-4423 in Abbotsford and in Mission to report violations. Water conservation staff will be educating residents this summer on water conservation and will be asking residents to pledge to be ‘waterwise’.
No, water restrictions apply to the outdoor use of water only. You are not required to restrict the amount of water used indoors. However residents are always encouraged to use water wisely indoors by checking their homes for leaks, replacing old toilets and old washing machines, and by being conscious of their water use habits.
In addition to the outdoor lawn sprinkling restrictions, all customers can voluntarily take action on reducing their indoor use by:
- looking for high-performing water-saving appliances such as ultra-low flow toilets and hi-efficiency washing machines and apply for the rebates;
- using the dishwasher and washing machine only when required and with full loads;
- not letting the tap run unnecessarily. This includes turning off the tap when brushing teeth, shaving arid washing hands or face; and limiting showering to five minutes.
No, everyone has to conform to the limited hours on watering days.
People using water from sources not connected to the municipal water supply are exempt. However, we encourage these property owners to be good environmental stewards and follow the water use restrictions.
No, residents are only allowed to water according to the assigned day of their municipal address. The alternative is to hire a contractor or ask a friend or neighbour to water their lawn for them during the approved times.
An inexpensive timer can be purchased to use on your sprinkler which will turn off your sprinkler when you are gone.
In townhouses and other complexes, you determine your watering day based on your complex address number and not your unit number.
We make every effort to reduce non-essential water during this time, and are committed to doing as much as we can to play our part. The following are some of the reductions in water use we put in place.
City of Abbotsford
Municipal and School Fields, Landscaped Beds and Lawns: The Parks Department is reducing sports field watering; but some critical fields will continue to be watered regularly to protect the playing surface. For details please check the Water Shortage Response Plan. Landscaped beds and trees will follow residential watering restrictions and, this summer, the Parks Department will be supplementing their watering trucks with harvested rain water. Passive park areas are not watered, leaving lawns to go dormant.
Staff are also installing a central control system for Fall 2011 so that watering can be adjusted for weather changes. Systems like these can reduce water usage by 30%.
City Operation: Water main flushing will not be done unless required because of a water quality concern. After a repair has been done to a water main, the pipes must be flushed out to remove any sediment and contaminants in the pipes. This is to ensure the water meets all water quality requirements and legislation. City crews are aware of outdoor water restrictions and do their best to limit water use.
Municipal Buildings: Water audits of the Abbotsford Recreation Centre, Matsqui Recreation Centre, Mission Leisure Centre and Abbotsford City Hall were conducted in February. Recommendations were made to reduce water use and the facilities will be retrofitting inefficient water fixtures and changing water use practices.
District of Mission
Municipal And School Fields: Exceptions for sand-based fields may be made by the Engineer where there is a high risk of significant and costly damage to the field if watering is stopped. Sand-based fields and soil-based fields that require watering are Hatzic Park, Heritage Park Senior Secondary, Albert McMahon Elementary, Windebank Elementary, Hatzic Senior Secondary, Mission Senior Secondary and Mission Sports Park and Leisure Centre.