Stage 3: No more lawn watering in Maple Ridge

Drought continues as water-saving conditions ratchet down

  • Jul. 21, 2015 8:00 p.m.

Metro Vancouver imposed Stage 3 watering restrictions meaning no more sprinklers allowed to water grass and gardens. In addition washing cars and boats are also banned.

People are going to have to get used to the idea of seeing their lawns go brown.

Metro Vancouver has moving to Stage 3 watering restrictions, meaning residents in Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows will no longer be able to use a sprinkler to keep their lawns green or their cars clean. It is the first time Metro Vancouver has moved to Stage 3 since 2003.

The news comes on the heels of the province’s announcement that the South Coast and the Fraser Valley are in Level 4 drought conditions.

According to Metro Vancouver’s website, reservoir levels are at 69 per cent capacity with residents and businesses consuming about 1.6 billion litres of water a day. Metro Vancouver relies on three reservoir systems to supply the region’s 2.4 million residents with drinking water. The Coquitlam reservoir is supplying residents with almost half of all the water being consumed, while the Capilano and Seymour supply the rest.

“Unless we change the amount we’re consuming, that’s a trajectory we just can’t go down,” Metro board chair Greg Moore said.

Stage 2 cut daily water consumption from 1.6 billion litres per day to about 1.35 billion.

But Moore said the region needs to cut it further, to less than 1.2 billion litres a day.

That’s more than the 900 million to 1 billion litres used on average in the winter but Moore admits it’s a challenging target in hot, dry summer months.

Stage 3 also bans all refilling of hot tubs, pools and garden ponds, among other tighter restrictions on outdoor water use.

Pitt Meadows bylaw enforcement officer Lesley Elchuk said they’ve been busy patrolling the city letting residents know the new restrictions.

“We were out there this morning telling people of the new regulations in place,“ said Elchuk. “Everyone we talk to has no problems with the ban. They understand what’s going on.”

To date, Pitt Meadows has handed out five fines for $200 each and an estimated 90 warnings.

Elchuck said anyone who already has received a warning will now face a $500 fine if they are caught skirting the regulations now that Metro Vancouver has gone to Stage 3. She said the goal at this point is education, but fines will be handed out if need be.

“Once we explain and talk to them about the situation, they understand and have been very cooperative,” said Elchuk.

While there is some rain in the forecast for this week, it’s not expected to make much of a dent in the over picture. Environment Canada’s long range forecast for the region is calling for sun and warm temperatures returning starting early next week.

The City of Maple Ridge posted on their Facebook page that the city will be out ramping up their enforcement and are asking people to call in if they see people ignoring the ban. The fine in Maple Ridge is $750.

Social media vigilantes have taken to drought shaming violators online, often using the tag “#grasshole.”

The sprinkling ban covers not just residential and commercial lawns but all parks, cemeteries and boulevards.

There are no longer exemptions for watering of newly seeded lawns or on ones treated with nematodes to fight chafer beetle infestations.

Sports fields and school yards can still be watered at minimal levels to keep them playable.

Golf courses can still water greens and tee areas, but the move to stage 3 means fairways can no longer be watered and will be allowed to go brown.

Residents can still water shrubs, trees, vegetables and flower gardens using hand held hoses, but only if they have a spring-loaded shutoff nozzle. Watering cans and drip irrigation systems are still allowed, but there’s no watering of gardens or planters using sprinklers or soaker hoses.

Hosing off vehicles and surfaces and all forms of pressure washing are also banned, except for health and safety purposes, as well as commercial pressure washing to prepare a surface for painting or sealing.

That means all outdoor car and boat washing is now banned except for cleaning windows, lights and licence plates for safety.

Stage 3 restrictions are expected to remain in place until Sept. 30. It can take up to 72 hours before individual municipalities begin enforcement.

Metro officials still have one more weapon left in their water conservation arsenal, if necessary.

Should the extremely dry conditions continue and the Metro Vancouver moves to Stage 4 restrictions, it would mean there would be no watering of flower and vegetable gardens. In addition, water parks would be shut down, along with commercial car washes.

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Comments are closed

Just Posted

TIME IS RUNNING OUT: Readers invited to share wildlife photographs

Aim, snap, shoot, and share your pictures of wildlife in Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows to win!

LETTER: All Washington plate owners can’t be Canadian residents

A Maple Ridge man questions presence of U.S. vehicles in the Canada, despite closed borders

Residential real estate market rebounding well: long-time realtor

House prices, sales, and listings in Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows are moving on an upward trajectory

Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows are prepared for high Fraser River levels

Peak numbers are expected to be below trigger levels for both cities

‘Protect our jobs,” say laid-off hotel workers to MLA Lisa Beare

Delegation delivered a petition to Maple Ridge MLA office on Friday

VIDEO: Musqueam Chief captures captivating footage of bald eagle catching meal

‘This is why we have chosen to live here since time immemorial,’ Chief Wayne Sparrow’s nephew says

Police ramp up efforts to get impaired drivers off B.C. roads this summer

July is dedicated to the Summer CounterAttack Impaired Driving Campaign

Migrant workers stage multi-city action for full status amid COVID-19 risks

‘COVID-19 has exacerbated an existing crisis’

Okanagan school drops ‘Rebels’ sports team name, citing links with U.S. Civil War

Name and formerly-used images “fly in the face” of the district’s human rights policy, says board chair

PHOTOS: B.C.’s top doc picks up personalized Fluevog shoes, tours mural exhibition

Murals of Gratitude exhibit includes at least one portrait of Henry alongside paintings of health-care workers

Langley vigil demands justice for Ontario animal activist killed protesting in front of slaughterhouse

More than two dozen people gathered at Britco Pork to remember Regan Russell, and fight Bill 156

In troubled times: Independence Day in a land of confusion

Buffeted by invisible forces and just plain worn out, the United States of America celebrates its 244th birthday

Stop enforcing sex work laws during COVID-19, advocates say

There are provisions in Canada’s prostitution laws that make workers immune from prosecution, but not from arrest

Liberal party finished 2019 having spent $43 million, raised $42 million

All political parties had until midnight June 30 to submit their financial reports for last year

Most Read