Lawn watering restrictions; two year pilot considered for Cornwall

(Newswatch Group/Bill Kingston, File)

CORNWALL – You may have to check the calendar this summer before you water the lawn.

City council will decide Monday on putting a two year pilot project in place on how often you can water your lawn.

The practice was done before in 2015 when the city put watering restrictions on the books while the water tower was out of commission being repainted.

Since that time, city staff have received “numerous requests” about the bylaw and “requests that it be reinstated,” said John St. Marseille, general manager of city infrastructure, in a report to council.

With homeowners paying a flat fee for water, “water conservation is not encouraged and this often results in a significant waste of water,” Marseille states. “In fact, conservation-minded residents have expressed concern that excessive lawn watering is a waste of this resource.”

Under the plan, residential, commercial and industrial property owners with even numbered civic addresses would only be able to water or use irrigation systems on even numbered days of the month.

Those with odd numbered civic addresses would only be able to use sprinklers and irrigation systems on odd numbered days.

Under the pilot program, the restriction would be from June 27 to September 30, 2016 and June 15 to September 30, 2017.

If you get caught watering illegally, it would be a $300 fine.

If the bylaw goes ahead Monday night, city council will also appoint three bylaw enforcement officers – Jennifer Marjerrison, Shawn O’Brien and Tracy Gordon – to enforce the law.

The enforcement bylaw also adds in a clause giving the general manager carte blanche to put in other restrictions – “that the General Manager of Infrastructure and Municipal Works may stipulate additional water restrictions as necessary,” states the bylaw.

During hot, dry spells, the city estimates water usage more than doubles.