In spite of dry weather in the St. John’s metro area over the last few weeks, water levels at the two main supply sources are said to be consistent with levels the same time last year, according to the City of St. John’s.
“They would be down a bit from a month ago, but that’s normal at this time of year,” said Deputy Mayor Shannie Duff, co-chairwoman of the Regional Water Service Committee.
St. John’s currently shares water from Bay Bulls Big Pond with Conception Bay South, Mount Pearl, Paradise and Portugal Cove-St. Philip’s, and also sources water from Windsor Lake.
June was a particularly dry month for St. John’s this year, with above-average temperatures and lower accumulated precipitation recorded by Environment Canada in comparison to 2011.
Duff said there are no immediate concerns about where water levels might be headed for Bay Bulls Big Pond and Windsor Lake, and both sites are monitored regularly.
“It seems, actually, that the conservation compliance with the conservation measures is working,” said Duff.
“We have not had a lot of people who are overwatering lawns or doing things they’re not supposed to do, in terms of the water measures we take. I don’t see at the moment that there’s going to be any kind of water ban, but we monitor it and do what we have to do to maintain our water levels.”
The City of St. John’s last implemented a ban on outdoor water usage in 2009. It lasted almost three months. When it was implemented on July 9 that year, the water level at Bay Bulls Big Pond was reportedly two feet above the lowest level ever recorded there in 2004.
Residents of St. John’s and neighbouring communities may received a recent mail-out concerning water conservation measures promoted during the summer to help maintain the water supply. Municipalities involved with the Regional Water Service Committee have also partnered on a campaign called Save a Drop.
During the June 26 council meeting, Duff noted the costs associated with water use are considerable for the city in the summer because of its treatment — she said water requires additional chemical treatment during the purification process to ensure its quality.
The city introduced a water conservation order in 2002 that
regulates when lawns can be watered and what sorts of hose nozzles can be used for specific outdoor tasks.
“We don’t need extreme measures at this time, because we seem to be in good shape,” added Duff, noting that the city experienced a decent rainfall last weekend.