The Sunshine Coast Regional District (SCRD) has imposed Stage 3 water conservation measures on water users of its Chapman system, the system that serves the majority of the Coast's residents. The restrictions became effective Tuesday, Aug. 23, the same day the SCRD announced that the measures were being introduced.
"As the Region continues to experience prolonged dry weather, the Sunshine Coast Regional District (SCRD) is moving to protect our water supply now and into the late summer. Effective immediately, and until further notice, the SCRD has declared Stage 3 (Acute) water conservation regulations for water users on the Chapman water system," an Aug. 23 SCRD press release reads.
Acute water conservation regulations bans lawn watering. They restrict watering of ornamental trees and plants to hand or drip irrigation watering only; no soaker hose or sprinklers, one hour per day either between 7 and 8 a.m. or p.m. Food producing trees or plants on residential properties can be watered using those same means two hours per day from 7 to 8 in both morning and evening hours.
Commercial food producing farms paying a metered rate for water are exempt from Stage 3 regulations.
Filling of outdoor pools, spa, ponds or fountains with regionally supplied drinking water is banned at Stage 3. Washing of sidewalks and other exterior surfaces is banned, but watercraft can be rinsed off to remove salt water residue.
For the Eastbourne Water System, Stage 4 water conservation regulations have been declared effective immediately, imposing even more stringent controls on outdoor water use.
All water users on the SCRD's Egmont, Earls Cove, and North Pender Harbour water systems as well as groundwater sources in Langdale, Soames Point, and Granthams Landing remain at Stage 1 until further notice. The South Pender Harbour water system will follow Stage 2 water conservation regulations.
“Due to dry weather, meeting environmental creek flows and the ongoing community demand, the water level at Chapman Lake has dropped quickly over the last few weeks,” Shane Walkey, SCRD manager of utility services, stated in the release. “At this time, we really need residents to conserve water at every opportunity, inside and outside the home. If the dry, hot weather persists, we may be looking at a move to Stage 4 and a complete ban on outdoor water use by early September.” The SCRD is emphasizing the importance of obeying water conservation regulations to help protect the water supply in the event of wildfires here on the Sunshine Coast.
The release goes on to state "SCRD staff patrol neighbourhoods on a regular basis to enforce regulations. Staff follow up on all complaints received. The SCRD will issue warnings to properties in violation of regulations and provide information about water conservation regulations. If there is continued non-compliance, bylaw officers will issue a Bylaw Enforcement Notice and a fine of $400 for violations during Stage 3."
Stage 3 restrictions came into force in 2021 for the Chapman system on July 23.