Vaudreuil-Dorion could issue drastic water restrictions to Como area residents
PHOTO BY JOHN JANTAK
Vaudreuil-Dorion council said that residents living in the Como area could face more severe water restrictions if homeowners don’t begin adopting more prudent conservation measures to stop water wastage.
A letter sent to homeowners in the Como area of District 4 in Vaudreuil-Dorion warning that severe water restrictions could be put into effect because of recent excessive consumption has rankled at least one resident who said an entire community could be unfairly targeted because of the actions of a few.
Resident Louis Léger told councillors at the Monday council meeting, June 16, that a lot of excessive water usage comes from homeowners who moved into new houses in the area within the past five years.
And as more new houses are built and more residents move in, especially along Rue des Saules, Léger feels the reservoir that provides the area with potable water can no longer handle the increased demand because of unnecessary wastage.
The situation was so acute last weekend that the city had to lower the water pressure to ensure the reservoir wasn’t emptied completely which could have resulted in contamination of the system, according to Pro-Mayor and District 3 Councillor Robert Laurence.
“If the city had not put the pressure down, then the water reserve would have dried up and contamination could have happened,” Laurence told Your Local Journal after the meeting. “It was about three or four times faster than average water flow rate. It’s something out of the ordinary and we hope it doesn’t happen again.”
Laurence, along with the city’s Assistant Executive Director Martin Houde, said a campaign will be launched in the area to sensitize homeowners to the situation and to ask them adopt voluntary water conservation practices including making sure lawns are only watered within the allowed time frame on specified days.
Failure to comply with watering bylaws could result in fines being issued. The city is currently studying raising fines for water by-law violations which could happen soon if the current fines are deemed an insufficient deterrent, said Laurence.
“This is part of our thinking. If we put the fines high enough, then people will think twice,” said Laurence, who also noted that newer residents in the area may not be aware of the city’s watering by-laws and restrictions.
Léger is doubtful the information campaign will have a positive impact on minimizing water wastage because the seriousness of the problem keeps increasing each year. He said some homeowners aren’t listening to the message and continue to water their lawns outside of the specified hours, especially on weekends.
“People are using so much water during the weekend that the city said they would ban people from washing their cars or watering their gardens,” Léger said. “It’s always the same thing. Some of the people who live around here don’t care about the problem.” He feels that imposing more restrictions is unfair because many residents practice prudent conservation methods.
“I water my plants sparingly because I don’t like wasting water,” Léger told council. He said a more equitable system would be for every household to have individual water meters to monitor usage with high users paying more for excessive consumption.
Houde agreed meters would enable the city to know who uses a lot of water, but said it will maintain its current strategy of public information campaigns and issuing fines to water bylaw violators.