Water ban lifted, mandatory conservation plan remains in effect

The town’s water reservoirs are now full, having been replenished over the past week, and outdoor watering restrictions

The town’s water reservoirs are now full, having been replenished over the past week, and outdoor watering restrictions were lifted Monday morning.

Residents are still expected to follow mandatory water conservation practices which see those with an odd number house address watering on odd number days and even number addresses on even number days.

“No one may water their yards or use excessive amounts of water for unnecessary activities between noon and 7 p.m. any day of the week,” said a media release from Joanne Gaudet, the town’s communication officer.

At their meeting July 14, Sylvan Lake councillors were told the town’s water wells are licensed with Alberta Environment and Sustainable Resource Development for daily and annual withdrawal amounts.

“The current water license amount is 1,960,500 cubic metres per year (5,371 cubic metres per day),” according to the report by David Brand, Director of Public Works. Prior to the water ban, the town was using more water from the supply than it was able to replenish. Water usage during that period was estimated at 6,500 to 7,000 cubic metres per day.

Historically, previous peak summer usage had been recognized at 5,430 cubic metres per day in 2008 with a population of 11,373 and 5,451 cubic metres per day in 2012 with a population of 12,671.

Last year’s census pegged the population at 13,015. However a story announcing the population said there was a potential discrepancy of 600-700 residents since two condominium and apartment complexes couldn’t be counted.

Brand’s report provided questions and answers about the town’s water system.

It indicated the town is currently “licensed for water wells that serve an equivalent population of roughly 18,000 based on average water usage. Our supply is finite. During periods of high usage or increased population within the town, the supply is strained. The town is currently undertaking a water well study looking for new water well locations.”

The report also indicated the capital plan includes provisions for creation of additional reservoir capacity to “service peak usage and accommodate future growth”.