• John Jantak

Saint-Lazare reminds residents to limit water consumption


PHOTO COURTESY SHUTTERSTOCK

The recent heat wave saw many residents looking to cool off in with increased water consumption leading to a dip in reserves.

Situation stabilizes in Vaudreuil-Dorion

The Town of Saint-Lazare is asking residents to mindful of their water usage habits after the record-setting heat wave in the Vaudreuil-Soulanges region last week resulted in a significant amount of water consumption that decreased the volume in its reserves.

“The amount of water consumed last week was enormous,” Mayor Robert Grimaudo told The Journal. “We were witnessing consumption rates during the heat wave that we normally see in during the hot periods in July. We needed to pull back a little bit.”

Firefighting difficulties

The town’s appeal to reduce water usage helped to stabilize levels in its reserve. The major problem Saint-Lazare faces from increased usage is that it reduces the water pressure in the city’s fire hydrant system which would make it harder for the town’s fire department to adequately respond to an emergency situation, said Grimaudo.

“The danger is always for fire protection. When it comes to reserves, we always have to make sure we have an adequate water supply. This has to be a priority. The problem is we’ve never seen a heat wave like this in May,” said Grimaudo.

Swimming pools and lawns

“People were filling their pools and watering newly planted lawns. This usually isn’t an issue under normal circumstances. But the heat wave we had last week was in no way a normal circumstance. It resulted in an unprecedented increase in water consumption for this time of the year,” said Grimaudo.

While the amount of water in the town’s reserves is stabilizing, Grimaudo said residents still have to pay close attention to their usage habits in order to avoid having the town issue additional restriction advisories as the weather gets warmer.

The town also issued an advisory May 28 stating that if consumption was not reduced, a complete watering ban throughout Saint-Lazare would be implemented.

Vaudreuil-Dorion water restrictions

The unprecedented heat wave also caused an overconsumption of water in Vaudreuil-Dorion last week which prompted the city to issue its own water restrictions. The situation became so critical that the city was also concerned about its ability to provide adequate firefighting services because of low pressure.

“We just want people to respect the rules. It’s for their own good,” Mayor Guy Pilon told The Journal. “It wouldn’t be a good situation if we couldn’t provide our fire protection service in a certain district because people are consuming too much water.”

Residents should remain vigilant

The city’s water supply has returned to normal since the weather has stabilized but Pilon wants residents to remain vigilant about their consumption habits. He noted that at the height of the heat wave, the amount of water consumed in Vaudreuil-Dorion which has about 40,000 residents, was equivalent to a city of 125,000 residents.

The city’s municipal patrol and inspectors from the planning department are continuing their surveillance throughout the city to make sure residents are complying with lawn watering regulations. Failure to comply will result in a fine ranging from $150 to $2,000 for an individual and from $300 to $4,000 for a business, excluding court fees.

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