VERNON - A number of people are complaining about watering restrictions in Vernon, but it’s not quite what you think.
Greater Vernon Water manager Zee Marcolin says most people are getting the message about stage one restrictions and have reduced their water consumption accordingly — no big objections there. What people are complaining about is daily watering on city and district owned parks when the restrictions dictate only doing so on specific days.
“Right now there’s a few fields we’re getting quite a lot of complaints on,” Marcolin says.
MacDonald Park at Seaton Secondary on 27 Street, for example, has been getting watered every day, Marcolin says.
“It’s a catch 22 because they put new sod down before the restrictions were in effect. They have to water it, or it will die,” Marcolin says.
It’s the same story at the new sports track by Okanagan College; in order to keep new grass growing on the oval, it has to be watered daily.
“They’ve reduced it to the minimum needed to keep the grass alive,” Marcolin says.
She says water use at other parks and boulevards owned by the municipality has been cut back to the bare minimum as well.
Marcolin says the city and the district are not getting special treatment, and that under stage one restrictions anyone would be allowed to do the same.
“We would allow it, but ask people not to put sod down at this time,” Marcolin says. “If somebody is considering putting in new sod we would recommend waiting until the fall.”
While penalties can be handed out to people not adhering to watering restrictions, Marcolin says no fines have been issued yet this summer.
“We are really concentrating on educating the public,” she says.
Numerous door-hangers have been left at residences where infractions have been observed, like watering on the wrong day or at the wrong time, Marcolin says.
Overall, water consumption is down, and Marcolin attributes that to customers listening to the stage one restrictions.
“Stage one is like a heads up — we need to do more to conserve water or we will get into stage two,” Marcolin says. “I think a lot of people are responding.”
The utility is keeping a close eye on the water supply, but right now, Marcolin says things are looking good.
You can find more information about watering restrictions and waterwise tips on the regional district website.
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