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Seasonal watering restrictions now in effect

June 18, 2013 -

Seasonal watering restrictions go into effect annually on June 15. Until September 15, residents may use outdoor treated water based on their civic address – odd-numbered addresses may water on odd-numbered days, evens on even-numbered days.

By complying with outdoor watering restrictions, residents help ensure reliable water supply, environmental sustainability and responsible infrastructure management.

Each year, the warmer weather is associated with a higher demand on water systems. Reducing the use of treated water during times when the demand for it is highest helps ensure reliable supply for adequate water reserves and pressure, and fire protection. It also helps manage the need to expand water treatment infrastructure.

Jim Keech, President and Chief Executive Officer of Utilities Kingston explains, "Water and wastewater treatment infrastructure is built to handle peak demand times, typically during the summer months, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., when collectively we use the most treated water. Reducing how much water we use during these peak times can reduce the need to expand pumping stations and treatment facilities."

Reducing outdoor water use also reduces the pollutants that end up in surrounding bodies of fresh water. Much of the water from sprinklers and hoses (such as, from washing cars) runs off into the storm sewer, picking up pollutants that finally end up in Lake Ontario, Kingston's source of drinking water.

The City's "Water By-law" allows residents to:

  • Use a hand-held hose, can or bucket any time on their scheduled day
  • Use a sprinkler between 5 a.m. and 10 a.m. on their scheduled day
  • Use water from their rain barrel anytime!

Steve Sottile, Conservation Officer for Utilities Kingston says, "Residents are encouraged to practice water wise gardening to make every rain drop count. Using a rain barrel, following best watering practices, amending soil with organic content, and incorporating drought tolerant plants are just some of the sustainable practices that help reduce treated water use with beautiful results."

Sometimes new yards, shrubs and trees need water at times outside the schedule and that's why Utilities Kingston offers exemption permits. Visit www.utilitieskingston.com to learn more about exemption permits, how to conserve water and money, and when you can use outdoor treated water. The updated web resource is complete with a dynamic indicator that explains when residents can use hoses versus sprinkling devices, as well as many resources on water wise gardening, including the award-winning Utilities Kingston Water Conservation Garden.

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Media contact: For more information contact Cindie Ashton, Communications Officer for Utilities Kingston at 613-546-4291, extension 3116 (cell 613-329-3462).