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Living Without Water

It is important to remember the rule of 3: you can last 3 minutes without air, 3 days without water and 3 weeks without food, but no, it is not that dramatic in my part of Ottawa, we are simply banned from watering our lawns, or gardens (or filling pools). A major water main that feeds our area broke, and the fear is that if everyone watered (i.e. wasted) water outside the way they normally do we would either:

  • Cause a pressure drop which would then cause us to have to boil our water, for a good period of time until pressure is returned and the water is safe again.
  • The water pressure drops during a sudden crisis demand time like fighting fires or such.

This ban has caused a great deal of consternation for lots of folks who have great pride in their gardens and how their house appears  (I don’t really care), and there have been countless irate letters to the local papers complaining and whining. Still others have complained that our property taxes should be lowered because of this huge inconvenience.

Big No No! Don’t Sprikle!

Let me be clear, this is no problem for me, I don’t wash my car, and we got a water barrel (which we will get a rebate for buying (from the City)) so we are fine (and with all the rain, the grass looks fine too). The folks who normally water their lawns every day, will most likely have much lower water bills (this summer), and the folks who have pools are actually getting free refills from a fleet of Water Tanker trucks that patrol our streets (I am not kidding there seems to be one on every corner). So these poor folks will have brown grass, but more cash in their pockets (I’d take that every time).

Unquenchable Thirsts

Boy that really sounds dramatic doesn’t it?

This ban will evidently be lifted very soon (mid-July) due to the City of Ottawa paying bonuses to the contractors fixing the water main, and allowing them to pay overtime on the contract as well. There have been Police crews near the construction sites ensuring no one is speeding in the areas and everyone is obeying all the correct vehicular laws in construction areas (more likely a bigger expense for the City as well).

Wonder if this period of rationing will cause folks to change their water usage patterns? My guess is, not really, since a lot of folks already have built in water sprinklers and such, and others simply think that wasting water is their right, hope they enjoy their water bills in the future. I’ll continue to let the grass deal with lack of water (by going dormant), and water the gardens from the rain barrel (actually my wife will do this, I am not that interested in gardening either).

Feel Free to Comment

  1. As far as I can remember my parents have always had a rain barrel and when we bought our home we installed a rain barrel. I use the water to water all my planters and the garden. We have a mesh screen on ours which eliminates breeding of mosquitoes. We also installed a rain chains in place of the downspout which gives our rain barrel a more decorative appearance. I encourage everyone to install a rain barrel.

  2. No ban here. We also got a few rain barrels (no rebates tho – boo!) which we will install in a few weeks. I think I mentioned the number of summer projects to do before lil’ SPF shows up. Rain barrels haven’t been top priority.

    With the city moving to metered water next year we will be employing all of our water saving strategies to their fullest.

  3. It’s much easier for people to think that they’ll just use a little bit more water, or they’ll just wash their car real quick, and think that it’s okay to do so. It’s much harder to realize that if this one person is thinking this way, then chances are many others are too. It will all add up eventually.

  4. The complainers should realize that this is a TEMPORARY situation. And it’s not like the city government planned for a water main to break. Sheesh.

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