EDITORIAL: Stage 3 water restrictions now in effect

Stage 3 water restrictions are now in effect for all areas of the Comox Valley served by the Comox Valley Regional District.

The restrictions are in effect until Sept. 27, to accommodate planned maintenance of the BC Hydro penstock.

The full list of restrictions and how it can affect residents is available at https://bit.ly/2Po8UKB

Here are a few of the key points, to clear any confusion.

Watering your lawn, or your boulevard, is now prohibited.

Filling or adding water to your hot tub, swimming pool, garden pond or decorative fountain is now prohibited.

(Wading pools are exempt, as long as they are less than 200 cm in diameter and no more than 30 cm deep.)

Washing a car or boat with water is now prohibited, except for dealerships.

Commercial car washes are still operational.

Residents are allowed to water their shrubs, flowers and vegetables on any day between the hours of 6-8 a.m. and 8-10 p.m. if watering is done by hand-held container or a hand-held hose equipped with an automatic shut-off nozzle.

Nurseries, farms, turf farms and tree farms are exempt from the restrictions, as are local governments – which means that if you see a City truck watering plants down Fifth St., or a street cleaner driving down Cliffe Ave., they are within their rights.

Sports fields are another hot topic.

The issue with sports fields is that they are, for the most part, sand-based, and as such, have very shallow root systems for the turf. Not watering the fields would put the life of the turf in jeopardy, and replacing the turf would cost taxpayers far more in the long run.

The same rules apply for greens and tees of golf courses.

As for the fairways, they can be watered any time of the day, but only one day per week.

For the rest of us, put the hoses away for three weeks. On the upside, you can likely put your mower away for that period as well.

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