Water sprinkler, no date, stock photo

LETTER – Watering lawns is not as wasteful as ice-making machines

Dear editor,

Recently there have been a few anonymous “beefs” in the paper about those who would water their lawns.

Before I go further allow me to say I do water my lawn and yet each year when I check I’m in the bottom 50 per cent of Comox residential water users.

Now, on to the point. Think for a minute about ice machines. They make ice by trickling water over a metal plate that contains the form the manufacturer wants the ice cube to take. They trickle water over this refrigerated form and some of it sticks and forms ice while the remainder goes down the drain. This goes on, layer by layer, until the machine signals that proper ice has been formed whereupon a short defrost cycle (melting a bit of the ice) allows the cubes to fall into the bin below. Repeat as needed, perpetually. Meanwhile, unused ice in the bin melts and that also goes down the drain.

It wouldn’t surprise me at all if the hospital had hundreds of ice machines. Every lab in town has them. Every motel and hotel has multiples. Any fast food to high-end restaurant has at least one. Pubs, clubs, community halls have them. The older they are the more wasteful they are but who is going to scrap a running ice machine and pay for a modern one if all the business wants is ice?

So…who uses more water? My lawn that gets one inch per week period and I factor in any rainfall, or the ice machines?

Would it surprise these anonymous beef writers that residential water usage in the Valley has declined dramatically, voluntarily, from just a few years ago? Maybe the fact that residential water use in the Valley is far, far down the list of water users would intrigue them?

One of the many things that blesses us living in the Valley is we have lots of water. One of the things that does not bless us is we have folks who think nothing of dictating how others should legally conduct themselves.

Glenn Countryman,


Comox ValleyLetter to the Editor