Pilon calls on Vaudreuil-Dorion residents to help local environment by using less water
By John Jantak
PHOTO COURTESY SHUTTERSTOCK
Lawn watering is not permitted in the town on Sundays but last year the mayor said that on some Sundays water use went over 35,000 cubic metres.
Vaudreuil-Dorion Mayor Guy Pilon is calling on residents to become more conscientious about their water consumption levels as warmer weather approaches. It’s the same appeal that he’s made annually for the past eight years in an effort to get people to become aware of their habits and adopt simple water conservation strategies.
Pilon noted that from October to March, the city’s water consumption is used primarily for residents’ everyday needs because people don’t water their lawns, fill their pools or wash their cars during this period.
“Our water consumption right now is around 11,000 cubic metres of water. By summertime, this will go up to between 30,000 to 35,000 cubic metres. There are some peaks in usage when water consumption can exceed 40,000 cubic metres. This gives you an idea of the difference in usage between basic human needs and the amount of water that is used to maintain lawns and swimming pools,” Pilon told The Journal.
‘Follow the rules’
“The message we’re trying to tell people is you can use water but follow the rules. If your day to water the lawn is every second day, then follow the rules. On Sunday no one can use the water and last year there was consumption on some Sundays when water use went over 35,000 cubic metres,” said Pilon.
The mayor said he understands people’s concerns regarding global climate change but added there are many initiatives people can practice at home to protect the local environment including modifying their water consumption levels during the warmer months.
“What we’re telling people is that it’s fine to tell everyone the Earth is in bad shape. We can talk about the tar sands in Alberta and the forest fires that are burning in Brazil but we have to do what we can to help our local environment every day. And one of things we can do is to use less water,” said Pilon.
THE JOURNAL FILE PHOTO/JOHN JANTAK
Vaudreuil-Dorion Mayor Guy Pilon is calling on the town’s residents to be mindful of their water consumption as the warm weather approaches.
Water restrictions inevitable
“Canada is number one when it comes to water consumption per person in the world and Quebec is number one when it comes to water usage per capita in Canada. To give you an example, last year our consumption of water in Vaudreuil-Dorion for a few days was the equivalent to a city of 120,000 people. That’s three times our population of 40,000 people,” he added.
Pilon says that many times people say they pay taxes for water usage or the water filtration plant isn’t big enough to handle the demand. “I always answer that it’s not that it isn’t big enough – it’s because people don’t follow the rules. If people don’t respect the rules regarding watering, disregard the days and time they’re supposed to water and are using it for any reason then we have to impose restrictions,” he said
“Our regulations also prohibit people from emptying their swimming pools. People are supposed to buy a swimming pool starting kit to clear the standing water in their pools. Instead of paying $70 or $80 for a kit, they empty the water into the street and then refill their pools with fresh water. It’s nonsense,” Pilon added.
The mayor noted that water consumption in the westernmost points in the city was so severe last summer that the city had water tanker trucks fill up the underground storage tank to keep the water replenished because of extreme usage.
“In Hudson Acres and Tree Farm area they have a connection with our water plant. Last year they emptied the underground tank. The bad thing is they wouldn’t have had any fire protection if something happened. The residents screwed around with the water so much in that sector the fire hydrants didn’t work. They were using 10 to 20 times more water than they were supposed to, to water their lawns,” said Pilon.
“They thought that because they were connected to the water plant they could use as much water as they wanted. We’ll be doing a sensitization program for this sector this year. The fact is if they continue to use as much water as last year, we will not be able to protect them from fire.”