(Photo retrieved from Pixabay).

Water and fire bans in place across Prescott-Russell

You’d be hard-pressed to find two more contrasting summers than last year’s and this one. By July 1 last year, there was precipitation on half of the days; and, of course, who could forget the downpour on Canada Day?

That certainly isn’t the case now.

Water conservation

Yesterday, La Nation municipality sent out a press release calling on residents in Limoges to be mindful of their water consumption.

“With the weather we’ve had and in the next coming weeks, people usually use more water on their lawns and other non-essentials,” says Doug Renaud, La Nation’s manager of wastewater. “We just want to remind people in dryer times to conserve water, which is both good for the environment and our systems.”

While the municipality hasn’t hit its maximum capacity of extracting 2,080 cubic metres of water per day, Renaud says the total has been slowly creeping up in the past couple of weeks. His latest estimate put consumption between 1,400 and 1,500 cubic metres per day.

The press release urges residents to adhere to its water conservation by-law, which stipulates, between 7 p.m. and 10 p.m., even-numbered houses can water on even-numbered days, while odd-numbered houses on odd-numbered days.

Manual watering is still allowed.

Similarly, the City of Clarence-Rockland will be enforcing its own water conservation by-law. Mechanical sprinklers are allowed on Tuesday, Thursdays and Saturdays for odd-numbered houses between 8 p.m. and 10 p.m., while Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays are for even-numbered houses between the same times. Those not respecting the by-law could be subject to a $150 fine.

Casselman hasn’t yet put in an official notice or ban on water consumption, but Alain Castonguay, director of environmental services, says the municipality is encouraging residents to conserve water when possible.

Russell has both issued a water restriction advisory and a fire ban. All types of watering, mechanical and manual, is prohibited as well as using a pressure washer to clean your driveway. All types of fires are prohibited. The restrictions are across the municipality.

It’s important to note these bans affect those serviced by municipal water systems.

‘Below normal’

For its part, South Nation Conservation has issued a level one low water advisory. This means “there is the potential of a water supply problem should current precipitation and stream flow trends persists.”

SNC is asking residents within the watershed to reduce water consumption by 10 per cent by stopping non-essential uses like those outlined above.

SNC quotes Environment Canada and says in a press release that “precipitation over the past three months was 60-76% below normal.”

It has also established a Water Response Team with representatives of local and provincial government, as well as agricultural and other special interest groups to “discuss the severity of the situation.”

Fire bans

The townships of Champlain, Alfred-Plantagenet and East Hawkesbury have all also issued a fire bans within their borders.

While Champlain’s is a full ban, Alfred-Plantagenet says it’ll tolerate camp fire.

East Hawkesbury has also issued a full open fire ban, but barbecues are exempt.  

Based on public notices issued on each municipality’s website, the bans are in effect until further notice.

As of writing, Hawkesbury hasn’t issued a fire ban nor any water restrictions.

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