By Dimitris Ilias
Canadians have always been enamoured with nature. A well-kept lawn, just like in England, is considered by many a sign of respect, love of nature and care towards your property. Part of taking care of your lawn is watering it especially when you put in new grass. Here in Canada, being the world’s third largest per-capita freshwater reserve, we have been spoiled in the way we use fresh water. When in other countries water is rationed, taxed heavily and sold as a commodity, here it can be used freely to water your lawn. Well…could be used freely but not lately. Canadians can no longer be assured that our waters are abundant, safe and secure. As global temperatures continue to increase, our glaciers melt, permafrost thaws, river flows become unpredictable and lakes warm and fill with toxic algae.
North Shore cities join forces
Keeping these hard realities in mind, the cities of Blainville, Boisbriand, Mirabel and Sainte-Thérèse are joining forces to deploy a vast communication campaign aimed at emphasizing that when it comes to watering, we should not exaggerate. These cities have changed their regulations to better distribute the consumption of drinking water necessary for lawn maintenance and landscaping. The new schedule has been in effect since April 15.
“We all buy our water from the same place in Sainte Thérèse which has the filtration plant so it makes sense for all of the client cities to have a common strategy” said Boisbriand mayor Marlene Cordato.
In addition to provoking a reflection among citizens regarding excessive watering, the cities hope that this campaign will raise awareness among the population of more efficient management of drinking water consumption. It is important for all citizens to mobilize and take significant action to preserve, particularly during the summer period, this unfortunately exhaustible and expensive resource.
Some tips can help maintain land while reducing its water consumption, such as:
Installing a rainwater collection barrel.
Redirect the water from the gutters into the flowerbeds or onto the lawn.
Avoid cutting the lawn during dry periods and keep the lawn 6 cm high so that it retains more moisture.
Practice grass cycling, which consists of leaving the cut grass on the ground when mowing.
Use a rain gauge to find out how much water has fallen on the lawn, as only 2 to 3 cm per week is enough to keep the lawn healthy. If you have not already done so, citizens are invited to program their automatic sprinkler according to the schedule in effect in their municipality. Consult the section Drinking Water of the City’s Internet site for the new regulations in force.
Automatic watering with programmable buried sprinklers set to the different times and schedules allowed for each zone and city. For the older mechanical types thy can opened and closed manually as per the schedules for each city.
Hand held gun watering as well as washing of vehicles and watering of flowers is allowed at all times on the condition of strictly using the water necessary for these ends.
Pool filling is permitted every day between midnight and 4 p.m.
Seeding and new peat
During seeding or sodding work, it is possible to obtain a temporary watering authorization allowing automatic watering or mechanical, without schedule restrictions. “We ask people to call and obtain this permit” said Cordato. For the first time in 2020 this kind of permit is also available online. They are free fore Boisbriand but could carry a price tag in other cities, they have a limit of days that can be used and are not renewable.
Use of drinking water for other purposes
It is prohibited to use water from the Municipal aqueduct to clean parking areas and paved driveways.
However, it is permitted to use water from the Municipal aqueduct to clean parking areas and
paved driveways on the strict condition that the cleaning is done with a self-closing lance and that it aims to prepare the surface to receive a protective coating or sealer.
It is prohibited to use the water from the municipal aqueduct to ensure the functioning of a fountain, a waterfall, an artificial waterfall or any such arrangement, unless such arrangement
is provided with a water recirculation pump.
Sainte Thérèse water purification plant
All of these measures are taken by the cities in order to reduce the strain at the filtration plant which serves over 120,000 people. Built in the 1950s, its initial capacity of 13,600 m³ / d but was upgraded many times (1965, 1979, 1992-1993) to reach 126,000 m³ / d in 2008. It was automated during the last upgrade (2005-2008) . The plant has now a daily production capacity of 128 000 m³