Utilities focuses on water conservation

As the municipality continues to grow so does the demand for water, but Sun Peaks’ access to groundwater is finite. This year restrictions were placed on the community for the first time on July 31 in response to dry conditions.

Sun Peaks Mountain Resort Municipality (SPMRM) Council read the changes to the Water Services Bylaw on Aug. 21. Now level one restrictions will automatically apply from May 1 to Sept. 30 each year. The amendments were based on similar bylaws in Kamloops.

Level one restrictions mean properties with even numbers may water on even days and those with odd numbers may water on odd days, sprinkling and irrigating are prohibited between 11 a.m. and 6 p.m., all hoses not used for hot tub filling must have a spring loaded shut off nozzle but hand watering of plants with such a hose or a watering can is allowed at any times.

In addition to automatic restrictions each year the engineer may order further restrictions if they consider water to be in short supply.

Level two restrictions will limit even numbered properties to sprinkling on Wednesdays and odd numbers on Tuesdays and level three restrictions will prohibit all irrigation systems and hand hoses and prohibit the filling of pools or hot tubs.

Level four, the most strict level, will also prohibit hand watering of plants.

Any contraventions of restrictions can be fined $100 on their first offence and $200 for each subsequent offence.

SPMRM council were also asked to consider a number of other tactics to improve water conservation.

The first idea presented was funding a toilet retrofit program for hotels in the village. Another suggested repairing infrastructure reduce leaks at valve and pipe connections.

Staff also recommended upgrading water meters to allow for remote monitoring. The updates would safe staff time checking meters every three or four days and read low flows to alert staff to leaking toilets or taps.

In August staff identified a leak they believed to be on Bella Vista and began repair work.