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Attention lawn lovers: Odd-even outdoor watering bylaw now in effect

Check your house number and avoid a fine
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For those people who like to put a little water on the lawn to keep it nice and green, the city’s odd-even watering bylaw is now in effect.

The bylaw is in effect until Sept. 30.

If your home address ends with an odd number — 1, 3, 5, 7 or 9 — you are permitted to water lawns, gardens, trees and shrubs on odd-numbered dates of the month.

If your home address ends with an even number — 0, 2, 4, 6 or 8 — you are permitted to water lawns, gardens, trees and shrubs on even-numbered dates of the month.

On a hot summer day, water consumption can be double the annual daily average, the city says. If only half of all residences in the city water their lawns at any one time, municipal water treatment plants can more easily maintain normal water pressure and storage tank levels. 

The outdoor watering by-law also helps to equalize demands on the supply system to avoid water shortages, and ensure adequate water pressure for fire protection.

Residents are also reminded to shut water off in your home or business while away on vacation to protect yourself from flooding and high water invoices due to waterline leaks or breakages.

The odd-even watering restriction must be followed during the overnight hours. It is not advisable to water lawns and gardens overnight as dampness can promote fungus growth.

Violations could lead to charges under the Provincial Offences Act of up to $5,000.

General outdoor watering tips:

  • Place an empty tuna or salmon can on your lawn as you apply water evenly across the surface. Once the can is full, you've applied about 2.5 cm of water - the recommended weekly amount for established lawns.
  • Water the lawn or garden during the coolest part of the day to reduce waste through evaporation. Try to avoid times of peak water use - between 5 p.m. and 9 p.m.
  • Position sprinklers to water only the lawn or garden - not the street or sidewalk.
  • If your lawn doesn't get enough water, the grass may turn brown - a sign that the grass is dormant. An established lawn will recover and turn green once there is sufficient rainfall.
  • Residences with privately owned wells are not subject to the municipal by-law; however, the intent of the by-law is to request the cooperation of all citizens to protect shared potable water supplies and sources. For example, citizens of Capreol, Dowling, Levack, Onaping, Falconbridge, Chelmsford, Azilda, Valley East, and Garson draw municipal water from underground aquifers. Citizens with private wells draw from the same underground aquifers as the municipal water supply which could be impacted by overuse.


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