Water ban likely to be in effect in St. Johns this afternoon

Staff ~ The Telegram
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Residents of St. John's and the metro area will likely be under a full water ban as of this afternoon.
The regional water committee met with community representatives this morning to recommend the water ban, before a vote that's expected to result in the full ban.
Under the ban, residents won't be permitted to use water for any outdoor activities, barring a few exceptions.
Commercial car washes and landscaping companies will still be permitted to operate, but individuals will be banned from watering their own trees, shrubs and lawns or washing their cars in their driveways.
St. John's Deputy Mayor Ron Ellsworth says water levels are on par with levels in 2004, which was when water bans first became a reality in St. John's.
Residents are advised to do what they can to conserve water inside their homes as well.

Geographic location: St. John's

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  • wavy
    July 02, 2010 - 13:34

    Water bans are completely avoidable and only p--- off those of us that make conscious efforts to minimize our water usage. Now we all have to pay the price for your idiot neighbor down the street who leaves his sprinkler on all night, during rain storms, etc. The solution is easy- water meters on every house. Now before you all shoot me, hear me out; I don't want to pay more for my water anymore than you do. What I'm talking about is making water users and, more to the point, water abusers ACCOUNTABLE for their water usage. This is fair, isn't it?? Why should you be paying the same amount for water as your idiot neighbor down the street who leaves his sprinkler on all-night, puts it on 15 minutes after the rain stops (if he turned it off at all), etc. A water meter would hold the homeowner accoutable for their usage. If you go away for the weekend and choose to leave every heater and light on in your house, you'll pay for it. With a water meter, if you go away for the weekend and choose to leave your sprinklers on, you'll pay for it, same as electricity. OR you'll smarten up and find ways to conserve water to keep both your usage and your water bill to a minimum; shut your sprinkler off once in a while, use rain barrels, etc. Does this not seem logical?? How else are you going to hold homeowners accoutable for their water wastage..???

  • heather
    July 02, 2010 - 13:33

    well, we certainly cannot blame anyone but the weather, which is something we can't control. its funny, becasue we are the first ones to complain when it rains too much, and the first ones to complain about something when we don't get enough..no happy medium I guess

  • Jay
    July 02, 2010 - 13:32

    Who in the world approves the comments on this story??? Do you have that drinking bird hitting Y, Y, Y, Y? Why bother with moderation if you are going to approve every offensive comment out there? Come on! We've gone from a debate on water supply to some bonehead calling personal hygeine into question? Can the Telegram make even the slightest effort to keep the comments clean?

  • Friend of the Earth
    July 02, 2010 - 13:32

    I have to agree with you, Lynette. Instead of getting our backs up over this issue, we should all be doing our best to conserve water. We really don't need to wait to be told this by municipal government. I am so sick of seeing the waste going on- its time for people to wake up! Please, people buy yourselves a deck broom and use it! There is really no need to wash your driveway and sidewalk for hours on end! Also, is anyone else sick of seeing the sprinklers going all hours of the day and night on people's lawns? What about the driveway car washers- 3 and 4 times a week...is there really any need? Let's just be honest with ourselves: we have to look at our own behaviours to find ways to conserve water. Some stringent enforcement of the rules should be in order as well. Let's get the message out there.

  • Jane Doe
    July 02, 2010 - 13:29

    This is great news for Esso and other Touchless car washes in the city. With $10 per car wash they'll be making a mint. On the flip side, I doubt many will obey the ban and just wash their cars in their driveway anyway. I know I'll be going to my parents house out of the city to wash mine. Ridiculous!

  • j
    July 02, 2010 - 13:29

    Only in Newfoundland. Keep building subdivisions and and keep building new homes with no water to service them.

  • Taxpayer
    July 02, 2010 - 13:27

    Yet another example of poor planing on the part of our elected councils and those who are paid large saleries to properly provide sevices to this city and the surrounding towns. While we are soon to be paying $1200 a year for water here in St. John's, we now cannot even water our plants. I have friends and family who visit from Arizona, and they simply can't understand why we have a problem here, there seems to be water everywhere. They have never had a water ban in their town and they live in a DESERT! With the influx of people into this area, I think we should start to think about sourcing some new water supplies. Although I heard the Mayor of Mt. Pearl say the other day that there is enough water already sourced to supply twice the population we now have. Is this true? They have the downtown tore up now for the past three or four years with the sewage issue, maybe it's time to put the genius minds at city hall to work at finding us some water, to flush down the toilets.

  • Smart
    July 02, 2010 - 13:27

    Blame Danny!!!!

    FYI - Donny Dooley tried to kiss me last night!

  • Cathy
    July 02, 2010 - 13:26

    I just bought $300 worth of plants and shrubs for my garden....is the City going to reimburse me??..or do I get a tax refund?...If there is a ban I sure hope it applies to everyone. If I can't water my plants then the garden centers at Canadian Tire, Walmart, Home Depot etc should not beable to water their plants too.

  • You Talkin' To Me ?
    July 02, 2010 - 13:26

    Some of my neighbors in Mt. Pearl water their lawns for 6-7 hours every other day and couldn't care less about the scheduled days for watering. Mt. Pearl sent out a notice several years ago and that was it. Residents are now playing dumb and have been spraying their siding, their driveways and the sidewalks with those pressurized washers and others have their sprinklers on for 6-7 hours every other day, completely ignoring the fact they can water their lawns only during certain times. I always adhere to the regulations and now I'm expected to let my newly planted trees and flowers dry up and die ? Like hell. I'll be watering my trees and flowers. There's no way the inconsiderate SOB's who use water like there's no tommorow will get over my time.

  • Tina
    July 02, 2010 - 13:26

    Good lord, People. Wake up. There is no water. How can you possible blame the city for that? You should be blaming the people who water their lawns all day every day. Think about your children and their children. Conserve water and stop blaming every little thing on the government.

  • Jack
    July 02, 2010 - 13:25

    St. John's and the surrounding area should never be in this situation. With development booming and water use increasing each and every day I do not know what officials expected. WIthout bringing on new sources of water this will be a annual problem for the region.

    While this is a necessary step right now, prior to the city approving one more development permit, they city should have to demonstrate that they have the capacity to provide adequate water and sewer services. If this does not happen we will be in the same situation next year, if not earlier.

  • Lynette
    July 02, 2010 - 13:25

    Trying to conserve water is hardly a bandaid solution. City councillors can't control the climate. If there's no water, there's no water, and we as homeowners and citizens should be doing our best to try and help solve the problem instead of complaining to those who are trying to coordinate the conservation.

  • Evelyn
    July 02, 2010 - 13:24

    This is total BS, a ploy to justify putting in water meters in homes to gouge more money from the tax payers...Why do us put these idiots in at city hall...we need to clean house people next election...especially the ones that have been down there for over 8-10 years...we need NEW blood. D@@n idiots thinks we were all born yesterday! Grrrr...enough of these clowns already.

  • Jerome
    July 02, 2010 - 13:24

    As a retired firefighter and speaking to the St. John's metro and all areas with town water services the real issue for me would be ineffective fire hydrant pressure. BB Big Pond levels are so low the water which normally goes from the pond to the facility is now being pumped as opposed to gravity flow. This lowers pressure. The lower the pond, the harder the pump works and the less pressure. In 2004, during the last major ban we had hydrant pressure issues that were of concern.

  • ½ wit
    July 02, 2010 - 13:24

    'If there's no water, there's no water...' - there's LOTS of water. The water levels may be low, but have you ever seen a geographical location with so many ponds, lakes and rivers in your entire life, like here in NL ? Go for a drive. Check out a map. Look out the window of a plane the next time you fly. Our roadways weave around bodies of water - none of it is straight. It's ALL WATER.

    Water collection barrels are shunned by municipalities due to efforts to reduce mosquito populations. Nice idea though. They'd need to be closed or screened barrel systems.

    Low water usage toilets only make people flush three times per use (or whenever you walk by) - they've been a stupid, collosal failure resulting in even more water usage from inception. Just a bad idea. Unless you buy a home with a $2,000 toilet.

    I think a building permit ban is a good idea until the municipalities get their collective heads screwed on straight.

    I've always watered my lawn on my allotted days/times and used a hand-actuated nozzle for shrubs and plants on any day / any time as per the municipal law. But never so much water I wash away all the nutrients from the soil. Good gardeners don't waste water, they use the right amount and apply water under the right conditions (physics) for maximum effect.

    In the end I would have to agree it's bad water management, and the greatest part of the blame goes to the municipal gov'ts.

  • ½ wit
    July 02, 2010 - 13:24

    It just occurred to me that if the town councils had been enforcing the permanent water conservation orders in effect all along, we might not have to suffer an immediate, knee-jerk, all out ban on water useage at all.

    I am always seeing water conservation infractions but have never seen any enforcement vehicles approaching these people and enforcing the permanent conservation orders already in place.

    If you call the town council they'll say, 'We'll look into it', but seemingly never do. I am a stickler for following my scheduled days/times, but perhaps, just perhaps, those that didn't, have pushed this all out ban upon us sooner than necessary. Maybe even this all out ban could have been avoided with proper adherence to schedules and enforcement.

    Just another thought I had.

  • Kenny
    July 02, 2010 - 13:22

    Well, I'd like to see all city owned and operated pools closed during this time and have safeguards put in place to ensure that no city vehicle is washed at the depot and no flower, shrub, perrenial, or any flora under the city's care is tended to. We're all in this together... right? No, wait, that's right, we pay taxes. It's their problem, pawned on to us. As usual.

  • W
    July 02, 2010 - 13:22

    Why do they allow new homes when they can't supply water to exisitng homes

  • Leo
    July 02, 2010 - 13:21

    So, do we get a discount on our water bill in the taxes? Or our taxes? Can we still use watering cans for our plants/shrubs, etc? Are they actually going to police this? Here's an idea, if anyone actually policed those that leave sprinklers on all day and night and put some of those funds into expanding the water supply we might be doing a BIT better.

  • Billy
    July 02, 2010 - 13:21

    Don't your commercial car wash facilities clean and recycle their water? Any of them that I have used in Ireland or the US does.

    Mind you, I find it hard to believe that Newfoundland could ever be short of water. The incessant rain is one of my fondest memories of THE ROCK . Things must have changed mightily from the '90s. Whatever happened to Rain, Drizzle & Fog ?

  • ½ wit
    July 02, 2010 - 13:21

    tim from NL, the problem with deciding to not water when rain is in the forecast, is that the forecast is rarely accurate.

    So, if you've decided to not water because the forecast says rain is on the way, and then it doesn't rain - you've missed your watering day/time.

    In summer, grasses here need a minimum of ½ inch (12mm) to 1 full inch (25mm) of water per week. Some sources say 1 inch (25mm) to 2 inches (51mm), but I believe you'd need 30°C+ temps all week for that amount. So, good gardeners will make use of their allotted watering schedules regardless of forecasts.

    Dirty bath or dish water may be ok in small amounts for flowering plants, but not vegetable gardens. The high phosphate content forces plants to bloom. Additionally, the soap in the soapy water must not be germicidal and the ph level should not be too high (basic or alkaline). So, you need to be informed in order not to do damage to the $1,000s you've spent on your gardenia.

    But for sure, push brooms can work better than water for general hard surface cleaning.

  • Ruth
    July 02, 2010 - 13:21

    So, Mr. Homeowner goes out and buys $200plus worth of shrubs, plants etc. to try and make his/her house appear that the property tax is justified, just to have the same crowd tell me to let it all die! I think the whole lot should look for jobs their good at! SOLVE the problem, not bandaid it for God's sake!

  • NotSuprised
    July 02, 2010 - 13:20

    I'm not the least bit suprised at this. Here in Paradise, the houses are going up fast and furious, and those people are watering their new lawns day and night, practically 24 hrs a day,( in one case) and they were TOLD by the council that they could do so. THen there's other people who give their cars a a bath every single day. Ive religeously only ever watered my lawn when it was the allowed day for my civic number, and did NOT touch a hose when it wasn't my day,even if the grass was desperately dry ...... same can't be said for a lot of people in this area. Bring on the water meters. I know i won't be paying a hell of a lot for water, but God help some others. Right now, the water pressure in my kitchen tap is desperate, it's so slow. It wasn't like that before the new subdivision started going up rapidly.

  • b
    July 02, 2010 - 13:19

    Oh well, no water for plants...there goes 'St. Johns clean and beautiful'

  • Nasty
    July 02, 2010 - 13:18

    Simple Simon to the Pieman. Where is the desalinization plant? Spend millions on waste treatment that is still a blight on the City, yet not spend a dime on the basic needs for life.

    Yup, we're workin on dat Stop talking and just do it. Never have I seen such a backwards way of attempting to get things done in any city anywhere.

  • M
    July 02, 2010 - 13:18

    Next thing, chew gum instead of brushing my teeth during the day.

    Why give someone a fine for wanting to take care of something they own like a new car or new plants. I for one take care of everything I own, not let it look like a piece of crap.

    C'mon how much water does a garden hose use to spray soap off a car. But we a forced to go use these commercial car washes that use enough water that I could wash my own vehicle 2 dozen times more in my own driveway. Survival of a business or not!

    And people can go out when it's dark and water their lawns when they won't be seen. All the power to them for taking pride in what they own.

  • John
    July 02, 2010 - 13:18

    Water bans are fine but with all the new homes going up, they are using more of the water supply. The city is going to have to engineer a new supply to keep up with the expanding city. Maybe water meters attached to your homes are just around the corner.

  • b
    July 02, 2010 - 13:16

    I hope the golf course's in the area have to do as the rest of us and conserve.

    I suspect this is where a double standard kicks in and the golf course's carry on as per usual, can't upset the golfing elites now can we.

  • Tim
    July 02, 2010 - 13:15

    Dang, and I was trying to save the earth by growing food this year. Now I guess I need to pay to have it shipped then trucked in. Wonder what is/was a better option? Greenhouse gases and crappy veggies?

    Been collecting rain water for weeks, and still have over 100 gals. Will start to sell it to the City if they need it. $1.00 a gallon sounds about right.

    Are we not on an island? Is that not water all around us? What do they use in the middle east? Sea water, why are we not doing the same? What are all these oil bucks going into? Not the people of the province that's for sure.

  • Alexander
    July 02, 2010 - 13:14

    There is obviously a problem here that needs to be fixed. And it is going to get worse as the population keeps increasing.....

  • ½ wit
    July 02, 2010 - 13:14

    wavy from on the waves, NL we will have to pay to have those water meters installed. Few will go for that, especially the high water volume users (like homes with big families).

    Dave from St. John's, NL what does that have to do with us ? Our resource scenario is completely different. You can go turn off your water main and walk 10 kms for a glass of mud if you wish.

    Billy Maguire from Salem, Oregon they don't recycle water. That would cost more and there'd be less profit.


    Prior to this all out ban, there had been permanent water conservation orders in place to water lawns on a schedule, BUT (and I confirmed this 3 years in a row and you can too by calling the council), this applied to automatic lawn sprinklers not handheld nozzles with automatic shutoff devices. Under the previous conservation order (not this ban) if you were willing to stand there long enough and water your lawn with a garden hose with a handheld nozzle (the usual one where it turns off when you let it go) then you were welcome to do so, and are in compliance. But this could take hours, so you are very unlikely to waste your time (and water), which is why they allow it.

  • RobM
    July 02, 2010 - 13:13

    I agree with the above poster. The outdoor pools should now be closed to conserve water and public flowers and gardens should be left to survive on their own. No new development permits should be issued if there is no water.

    This water ban is really silly IMO. Time for some politicians to be elected who can plan ahead for new water supplies instead of knee-jerk reactions.

  • brian
    July 02, 2010 - 13:13

    whine whine whine, everything that happens gets so much negativity on this site, if they can , why can't I, if i bought flowers are the gonna reimburse me, what about reimbursing me for paying for unemployment and social services for the last 20 years

  • cornergirl
    July 02, 2010 - 13:12

    I remember the last time this was in effect. The City went to Quidi Vidi Lake to fill up truckloads of water for the City plants. Why not fill up some large containers at the spring on the Hr arterial to use on your vegs & flowers. I lugged bucket after bucket from the bathtub to water my vegs- hanging baskets may look lovely but they use up a lot of water.

  • Dave
    July 02, 2010 - 13:12

    Some people obviously need a bit of a reality check. Whining and complaining like lunatics because you can't wash your car or water the grass when half the world's population has to walk maybe 10 kilometres for a glass of mud to drink.

  • Steve
    July 02, 2010 - 13:11

    I wonder why Nasty Nate, Bayman and the rest aren't blaming this on Danny Williams.

  • tim
    July 02, 2010 - 13:11

    Enough already - install water meters on all homes. Pay per usage is the answer. NL's are a wasteful bunch. Washing the car when it's already clean, watering your lawns when rain is on the way, leaving sprinklers on overnight / every night when the lawn only needs 2 a week, hosing down the driveway instead of pushing a broom, huge back yard pools - See if the wasteful behavior changes when the the meter indictaes triple what you are paying now. As for cathy and her plants - use the dirty dish or bath water - won't hurt the plants.

  • Bob
    July 02, 2010 - 13:11

    Well, I drove past Bay Bulls Big Pond last week and it is low. It has been for years. I think more people need to have collection barrels under their eavestrough for watering plants. The city should also do something to put water saving devices on shower heads and kitchen faucets. It is no longer enough to complain. complaining will solve nothing. Things like this are going to be the norm as our cities expand and our abuse of the planet continues.

  • JCIT
    July 02, 2010 - 13:09

    Poor Cathy from St-John's, Haven't you listen to what Friend of the Earth was saying? Use your brain, collect rain water and water your flowers with it. You don't need a Rocket Scientist to figure this out...Make it a decease so everyone can benefit from being simple and economist.

  • BILL
    July 02, 2010 - 13:09

    PLANNING AND ENGEERING DEPT,S AT CITY HALL ARE TO BLAME FOR THIS YEARLY PROBLEM. THERE ARE LARGE DEEP PRISTENE PONDS A FEW MILES SOUTH OF BAY BULLS BIG POND THAT COULD BE UTILIZED. ALL IT WOULD TAKE IS LARGE PUMPS AND WATER LINES PROBALLY THE SAME SOLOUTION IN ARIZONA

  • Driver
    July 02, 2010 - 13:09

    I saw people getting cited for washing their car a few years ago during afternoon hours,then after dark,every second house on Waterford Bridge Road had sprinklers running all night. I went for a walk and nearly got drowned. Water conservation should be considered year round. Just this past winter,I saw several people with waterhoses (hooked up to HOT water) melting the snow in their driveways.

  • wavy
    July 01, 2010 - 20:23

    Water bans are completely avoidable and only p--- off those of us that make conscious efforts to minimize our water usage. Now we all have to pay the price for your idiot neighbor down the street who leaves his sprinkler on all night, during rain storms, etc. The solution is easy- water meters on every house. Now before you all shoot me, hear me out; I don't want to pay more for my water anymore than you do. What I'm talking about is making water users and, more to the point, water abusers ACCOUNTABLE for their water usage. This is fair, isn't it?? Why should you be paying the same amount for water as your idiot neighbor down the street who leaves his sprinkler on all-night, puts it on 15 minutes after the rain stops (if he turned it off at all), etc. A water meter would hold the homeowner accoutable for their usage. If you go away for the weekend and choose to leave every heater and light on in your house, you'll pay for it. With a water meter, if you go away for the weekend and choose to leave your sprinklers on, you'll pay for it, same as electricity. OR you'll smarten up and find ways to conserve water to keep both your usage and your water bill to a minimum; shut your sprinkler off once in a while, use rain barrels, etc. Does this not seem logical?? How else are you going to hold homeowners accoutable for their water wastage..???

  • heather
    July 01, 2010 - 20:21

    well, we certainly cannot blame anyone but the weather, which is something we can't control. its funny, becasue we are the first ones to complain when it rains too much, and the first ones to complain about something when we don't get enough..no happy medium I guess

  • Jay
    July 01, 2010 - 20:21

    Who in the world approves the comments on this story??? Do you have that drinking bird hitting Y, Y, Y, Y? Why bother with moderation if you are going to approve every offensive comment out there? Come on! We've gone from a debate on water supply to some bonehead calling personal hygeine into question? Can the Telegram make even the slightest effort to keep the comments clean?

  • Friend of the Earth
    July 01, 2010 - 20:20

    I have to agree with you, Lynette. Instead of getting our backs up over this issue, we should all be doing our best to conserve water. We really don't need to wait to be told this by municipal government. I am so sick of seeing the waste going on- its time for people to wake up! Please, people buy yourselves a deck broom and use it! There is really no need to wash your driveway and sidewalk for hours on end! Also, is anyone else sick of seeing the sprinklers going all hours of the day and night on people's lawns? What about the driveway car washers- 3 and 4 times a week...is there really any need? Let's just be honest with ourselves: we have to look at our own behaviours to find ways to conserve water. Some stringent enforcement of the rules should be in order as well. Let's get the message out there.

  • Jane Doe
    July 01, 2010 - 20:17

    This is great news for Esso and other Touchless car washes in the city. With $10 per car wash they'll be making a mint. On the flip side, I doubt many will obey the ban and just wash their cars in their driveway anyway. I know I'll be going to my parents house out of the city to wash mine. Ridiculous!

  • j
    July 01, 2010 - 20:16

    Only in Newfoundland. Keep building subdivisions and and keep building new homes with no water to service them.

  • Taxpayer
    July 01, 2010 - 20:15

    Yet another example of poor planing on the part of our elected councils and those who are paid large saleries to properly provide sevices to this city and the surrounding towns. While we are soon to be paying $1200 a year for water here in St. John's, we now cannot even water our plants. I have friends and family who visit from Arizona, and they simply can't understand why we have a problem here, there seems to be water everywhere. They have never had a water ban in their town and they live in a DESERT! With the influx of people into this area, I think we should start to think about sourcing some new water supplies. Although I heard the Mayor of Mt. Pearl say the other day that there is enough water already sourced to supply twice the population we now have. Is this true? They have the downtown tore up now for the past three or four years with the sewage issue, maybe it's time to put the genius minds at city hall to work at finding us some water, to flush down the toilets.

  • Smart
    July 01, 2010 - 20:14

    Blame Danny!!!!

    FYI - Donny Dooley tried to kiss me last night!

  • Cathy
    July 01, 2010 - 20:14

    I just bought $300 worth of plants and shrubs for my garden....is the City going to reimburse me??..or do I get a tax refund?...If there is a ban I sure hope it applies to everyone. If I can't water my plants then the garden centers at Canadian Tire, Walmart, Home Depot etc should not beable to water their plants too.

  • You Talkin' To Me ?
    July 01, 2010 - 20:13

    Some of my neighbors in Mt. Pearl water their lawns for 6-7 hours every other day and couldn't care less about the scheduled days for watering. Mt. Pearl sent out a notice several years ago and that was it. Residents are now playing dumb and have been spraying their siding, their driveways and the sidewalks with those pressurized washers and others have their sprinklers on for 6-7 hours every other day, completely ignoring the fact they can water their lawns only during certain times. I always adhere to the regulations and now I'm expected to let my newly planted trees and flowers dry up and die ? Like hell. I'll be watering my trees and flowers. There's no way the inconsiderate SOB's who use water like there's no tommorow will get over my time.

  • Tina
    July 01, 2010 - 20:12

    Good lord, People. Wake up. There is no water. How can you possible blame the city for that? You should be blaming the people who water their lawns all day every day. Think about your children and their children. Conserve water and stop blaming every little thing on the government.

  • Jack
    July 01, 2010 - 20:11

    St. John's and the surrounding area should never be in this situation. With development booming and water use increasing each and every day I do not know what officials expected. WIthout bringing on new sources of water this will be a annual problem for the region.

    While this is a necessary step right now, prior to the city approving one more development permit, they city should have to demonstrate that they have the capacity to provide adequate water and sewer services. If this does not happen we will be in the same situation next year, if not earlier.

  • Lynette
    July 01, 2010 - 20:11

    Trying to conserve water is hardly a bandaid solution. City councillors can't control the climate. If there's no water, there's no water, and we as homeowners and citizens should be doing our best to try and help solve the problem instead of complaining to those who are trying to coordinate the conservation.

  • Evelyn
    July 01, 2010 - 20:10

    This is total BS, a ploy to justify putting in water meters in homes to gouge more money from the tax payers...Why do us put these idiots in at city hall...we need to clean house people next election...especially the ones that have been down there for over 8-10 years...we need NEW blood. D@@n idiots thinks we were all born yesterday! Grrrr...enough of these clowns already.

  • Jerome
    July 01, 2010 - 20:10

    As a retired firefighter and speaking to the St. John's metro and all areas with town water services the real issue for me would be ineffective fire hydrant pressure. BB Big Pond levels are so low the water which normally goes from the pond to the facility is now being pumped as opposed to gravity flow. This lowers pressure. The lower the pond, the harder the pump works and the less pressure. In 2004, during the last major ban we had hydrant pressure issues that were of concern.

  • ½ wit
    July 01, 2010 - 20:10

    'If there's no water, there's no water...' - there's LOTS of water. The water levels may be low, but have you ever seen a geographical location with so many ponds, lakes and rivers in your entire life, like here in NL ? Go for a drive. Check out a map. Look out the window of a plane the next time you fly. Our roadways weave around bodies of water - none of it is straight. It's ALL WATER.

    Water collection barrels are shunned by municipalities due to efforts to reduce mosquito populations. Nice idea though. They'd need to be closed or screened barrel systems.

    Low water usage toilets only make people flush three times per use (or whenever you walk by) - they've been a stupid, collosal failure resulting in even more water usage from inception. Just a bad idea. Unless you buy a home with a $2,000 toilet.

    I think a building permit ban is a good idea until the municipalities get their collective heads screwed on straight.

    I've always watered my lawn on my allotted days/times and used a hand-actuated nozzle for shrubs and plants on any day / any time as per the municipal law. But never so much water I wash away all the nutrients from the soil. Good gardeners don't waste water, they use the right amount and apply water under the right conditions (physics) for maximum effect.

    In the end I would have to agree it's bad water management, and the greatest part of the blame goes to the municipal gov'ts.

  • ½ wit
    July 01, 2010 - 20:09

    It just occurred to me that if the town councils had been enforcing the permanent water conservation orders in effect all along, we might not have to suffer an immediate, knee-jerk, all out ban on water useage at all.

    I am always seeing water conservation infractions but have never seen any enforcement vehicles approaching these people and enforcing the permanent conservation orders already in place.

    If you call the town council they'll say, 'We'll look into it', but seemingly never do. I am a stickler for following my scheduled days/times, but perhaps, just perhaps, those that didn't, have pushed this all out ban upon us sooner than necessary. Maybe even this all out ban could have been avoided with proper adherence to schedules and enforcement.

    Just another thought I had.

  • Kenny
    July 01, 2010 - 20:07

    Well, I'd like to see all city owned and operated pools closed during this time and have safeguards put in place to ensure that no city vehicle is washed at the depot and no flower, shrub, perrenial, or any flora under the city's care is tended to. We're all in this together... right? No, wait, that's right, we pay taxes. It's their problem, pawned on to us. As usual.

  • W
    July 01, 2010 - 20:06

    Why do they allow new homes when they can't supply water to exisitng homes

  • Leo
    July 01, 2010 - 20:05

    So, do we get a discount on our water bill in the taxes? Or our taxes? Can we still use watering cans for our plants/shrubs, etc? Are they actually going to police this? Here's an idea, if anyone actually policed those that leave sprinklers on all day and night and put some of those funds into expanding the water supply we might be doing a BIT better.

  • Billy
    July 01, 2010 - 20:05

    Don't your commercial car wash facilities clean and recycle their water? Any of them that I have used in Ireland or the US does.

    Mind you, I find it hard to believe that Newfoundland could ever be short of water. The incessant rain is one of my fondest memories of THE ROCK . Things must have changed mightily from the '90s. Whatever happened to Rain, Drizzle & Fog ?

  • ½ wit
    July 01, 2010 - 20:05

    tim from NL, the problem with deciding to not water when rain is in the forecast, is that the forecast is rarely accurate.

    So, if you've decided to not water because the forecast says rain is on the way, and then it doesn't rain - you've missed your watering day/time.

    In summer, grasses here need a minimum of ½ inch (12mm) to 1 full inch (25mm) of water per week. Some sources say 1 inch (25mm) to 2 inches (51mm), but I believe you'd need 30°C+ temps all week for that amount. So, good gardeners will make use of their allotted watering schedules regardless of forecasts.

    Dirty bath or dish water may be ok in small amounts for flowering plants, but not vegetable gardens. The high phosphate content forces plants to bloom. Additionally, the soap in the soapy water must not be germicidal and the ph level should not be too high (basic or alkaline). So, you need to be informed in order not to do damage to the $1,000s you've spent on your gardenia.

    But for sure, push brooms can work better than water for general hard surface cleaning.

  • Ruth
    July 01, 2010 - 20:04

    So, Mr. Homeowner goes out and buys $200plus worth of shrubs, plants etc. to try and make his/her house appear that the property tax is justified, just to have the same crowd tell me to let it all die! I think the whole lot should look for jobs their good at! SOLVE the problem, not bandaid it for God's sake!

  • NotSuprised
    July 01, 2010 - 20:03

    I'm not the least bit suprised at this. Here in Paradise, the houses are going up fast and furious, and those people are watering their new lawns day and night, practically 24 hrs a day,( in one case) and they were TOLD by the council that they could do so. THen there's other people who give their cars a a bath every single day. Ive religeously only ever watered my lawn when it was the allowed day for my civic number, and did NOT touch a hose when it wasn't my day,even if the grass was desperately dry ...... same can't be said for a lot of people in this area. Bring on the water meters. I know i won't be paying a hell of a lot for water, but God help some others. Right now, the water pressure in my kitchen tap is desperate, it's so slow. It wasn't like that before the new subdivision started going up rapidly.

  • b
    July 01, 2010 - 20:01

    Oh well, no water for plants...there goes 'St. Johns clean and beautiful'

  • Nasty
    July 01, 2010 - 20:00

    Simple Simon to the Pieman. Where is the desalinization plant? Spend millions on waste treatment that is still a blight on the City, yet not spend a dime on the basic needs for life.

    Yup, we're workin on dat Stop talking and just do it. Never have I seen such a backwards way of attempting to get things done in any city anywhere.

  • M
    July 01, 2010 - 19:59

    Next thing, chew gum instead of brushing my teeth during the day.

    Why give someone a fine for wanting to take care of something they own like a new car or new plants. I for one take care of everything I own, not let it look like a piece of crap.

    C'mon how much water does a garden hose use to spray soap off a car. But we a forced to go use these commercial car washes that use enough water that I could wash my own vehicle 2 dozen times more in my own driveway. Survival of a business or not!

    And people can go out when it's dark and water their lawns when they won't be seen. All the power to them for taking pride in what they own.

  • John
    July 01, 2010 - 19:59

    Water bans are fine but with all the new homes going up, they are using more of the water supply. The city is going to have to engineer a new supply to keep up with the expanding city. Maybe water meters attached to your homes are just around the corner.

  • b
    July 01, 2010 - 19:57

    I hope the golf course's in the area have to do as the rest of us and conserve.

    I suspect this is where a double standard kicks in and the golf course's carry on as per usual, can't upset the golfing elites now can we.

  • Tim
    July 01, 2010 - 19:55

    Dang, and I was trying to save the earth by growing food this year. Now I guess I need to pay to have it shipped then trucked in. Wonder what is/was a better option? Greenhouse gases and crappy veggies?

    Been collecting rain water for weeks, and still have over 100 gals. Will start to sell it to the City if they need it. $1.00 a gallon sounds about right.

    Are we not on an island? Is that not water all around us? What do they use in the middle east? Sea water, why are we not doing the same? What are all these oil bucks going into? Not the people of the province that's for sure.

  • Alexander
    July 01, 2010 - 19:53

    There is obviously a problem here that needs to be fixed. And it is going to get worse as the population keeps increasing.....

  • ½ wit
    July 01, 2010 - 19:53

    wavy from on the waves, NL we will have to pay to have those water meters installed. Few will go for that, especially the high water volume users (like homes with big families).

    Dave from St. John's, NL what does that have to do with us ? Our resource scenario is completely different. You can go turn off your water main and walk 10 kms for a glass of mud if you wish.

    Billy Maguire from Salem, Oregon they don't recycle water. That would cost more and there'd be less profit.


    Prior to this all out ban, there had been permanent water conservation orders in place to water lawns on a schedule, BUT (and I confirmed this 3 years in a row and you can too by calling the council), this applied to automatic lawn sprinklers not handheld nozzles with automatic shutoff devices. Under the previous conservation order (not this ban) if you were willing to stand there long enough and water your lawn with a garden hose with a handheld nozzle (the usual one where it turns off when you let it go) then you were welcome to do so, and are in compliance. But this could take hours, so you are very unlikely to waste your time (and water), which is why they allow it.

  • RobM
    July 01, 2010 - 19:51

    I agree with the above poster. The outdoor pools should now be closed to conserve water and public flowers and gardens should be left to survive on their own. No new development permits should be issued if there is no water.

    This water ban is really silly IMO. Time for some politicians to be elected who can plan ahead for new water supplies instead of knee-jerk reactions.

  • brian
    July 01, 2010 - 19:51

    whine whine whine, everything that happens gets so much negativity on this site, if they can , why can't I, if i bought flowers are the gonna reimburse me, what about reimbursing me for paying for unemployment and social services for the last 20 years

  • cornergirl
    July 01, 2010 - 19:50

    I remember the last time this was in effect. The City went to Quidi Vidi Lake to fill up truckloads of water for the City plants. Why not fill up some large containers at the spring on the Hr arterial to use on your vegs & flowers. I lugged bucket after bucket from the bathtub to water my vegs- hanging baskets may look lovely but they use up a lot of water.

  • Dave
    July 01, 2010 - 19:49

    Some people obviously need a bit of a reality check. Whining and complaining like lunatics because you can't wash your car or water the grass when half the world's population has to walk maybe 10 kilometres for a glass of mud to drink.

  • Steve
    July 01, 2010 - 19:48

    I wonder why Nasty Nate, Bayman and the rest aren't blaming this on Danny Williams.

  • tim
    July 01, 2010 - 19:47

    Enough already - install water meters on all homes. Pay per usage is the answer. NL's are a wasteful bunch. Washing the car when it's already clean, watering your lawns when rain is on the way, leaving sprinklers on overnight / every night when the lawn only needs 2 a week, hosing down the driveway instead of pushing a broom, huge back yard pools - See if the wasteful behavior changes when the the meter indictaes triple what you are paying now. As for cathy and her plants - use the dirty dish or bath water - won't hurt the plants.

  • Bob
    July 01, 2010 - 19:47

    Well, I drove past Bay Bulls Big Pond last week and it is low. It has been for years. I think more people need to have collection barrels under their eavestrough for watering plants. The city should also do something to put water saving devices on shower heads and kitchen faucets. It is no longer enough to complain. complaining will solve nothing. Things like this are going to be the norm as our cities expand and our abuse of the planet continues.

  • JCIT
    July 01, 2010 - 19:45

    Poor Cathy from St-John's, Haven't you listen to what Friend of the Earth was saying? Use your brain, collect rain water and water your flowers with it. You don't need a Rocket Scientist to figure this out...Make it a decease so everyone can benefit from being simple and economist.

  • BILL
    July 01, 2010 - 19:45

    PLANNING AND ENGEERING DEPT,S AT CITY HALL ARE TO BLAME FOR THIS YEARLY PROBLEM. THERE ARE LARGE DEEP PRISTENE PONDS A FEW MILES SOUTH OF BAY BULLS BIG POND THAT COULD BE UTILIZED. ALL IT WOULD TAKE IS LARGE PUMPS AND WATER LINES PROBALLY THE SAME SOLOUTION IN ARIZONA

  • Driver
    July 01, 2010 - 19:44

    I saw people getting cited for washing their car a few years ago during afternoon hours,then after dark,every second house on Waterford Bridge Road had sprinklers running all night. I went for a walk and nearly got drowned. Water conservation should be considered year round. Just this past winter,I saw several people with waterhoses (hooked up to HOT water) melting the snow in their driveways.