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Who can water what and when

water restrictionsPrecedent-setting rural water restrictions and reduced bulk water rates were approved by council Thursday morning at Shire Hall to combat severe drought conditions and to help preserve drinking water for urban and rural residents.

The new bylaws restrict residents from certain non-essential water consumption activities during the current Level 3, and any greater, Low Water Condition.

Under these laws, non-essential activities such as watering your lawn and filling or topping up a swimming pool is restricted to every second day—residents with an even numbered address being free to consume non-essential water on even days of the month, and residents with odd numbered addresses on odd days of the month.

Outside of the above-listed times, residents must not:
 water or sprinkle lawns, gardens, trees, shrubs, or vegetation;
 wash vehicles, driveways or buildings;
 fill or top up swimming pools;
 discharge water wastefully; or,
 sell or dispose of water without consent of the County.

There is a ban the taking of bulk water from Roblin Lake for transport to another area.

Residents connected to the municipal water system are free to consume non-essential water between 6 am and 9 am as well as 6 pm and 9 pm on their allotted days; residents that draw water from ground water sources such as private wells and cisterns may do so between 6 am and 10 am as well as 6 pm and 10 pm on their allotted days.

The County will also be reducing its non-essential water consumption by approximately 50 per cent, as has been advised by the Quinte Conservation Authority. Measures to reduce the municipality’s consumption include limiting the frequency that soccer fields and baseball diamonds are watered from seven nights a week to two nights a week and shutting off the make-up water for the ornamental fountain at the Picton Cenotaph.

The conservation authority also recommends the following tips:

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  1. Mark says:

    So we lost $10 million funding on the initial build for various delay reasons. Now there is tons of funding again for water & wastewater but we do not qualify as the plant is built. This doesn’t sit right with me and I think the funding process requires change. Quinte West who are fortunate already to receive huge tax benefits because of the air base, now can receive funding for their new waste water plant. Good for them. But not really fair to a small town like Picton stuck with a $30,000,000 debt and no way out!

  2. Marnie says:

    Parking is another big issue. Now cars are parked all along King Street as well as on Main. The tourists park their big trailers beside the Second Time Around Shop, engines running, presumably because they can’t get parking at the Sobey plaza. We just don’t have the parking facilities in the tourist season. It’s a lot easier to go to Belleville to shop. Bloomfield is as bad or worse. Try going to the ATM there. No parking.

  3. Jen Clapp says:

    I find main street doesn’t have the greatest parking hence why stores aren’t flocking to set up there. The water situation is scary. I’ve never seen it this bad here before. Just hope everyone can do their part and try to conserve what they are capable of.

  4. Marnie says:

    No problem with the tatt parlor itself Michael but a big one with the fact that Main Street no longer attracts many stores that sell the everyday items we all need from time to time. Some people may want tattoos but they are not “must haves”.

  5. Michael says:

    Marnie are you actually insinuating that you have a problem with the new Tattoo place? It’s a great addition to Main Street and I for one hope it is successful. Look at the number of people in PEC that have tattoos, from teenagers to senior citizens.

  6. Gary says:

    You may be very right about the optics being the motive. The Intel reports that the County was proud to be a provincial leader. The vote was very close with 2 missing, certainly not a convincing stand. And they have left urban ratepayers with another bad taste in their mouth.

  7. Dennis Fox says:

    Council for Centre Hasting has officially requested that their residents cut their water use by 50% – no special meeting, no by-law, no threat of fines and most importantly no political posturing! WOW – what a mature way to deal with their taxpayers!

  8. Susan says:

    Are you talking about fracking or did you replace water with wine?

  9. Christine Elsbury says:

    All over the world there are water table if a water table cracks you lose. So in order to protect the water table all be are affected. HENCE a level 3 and water table protection kicks in. If you don’t give a rats ass about the future of the water then by all means say so. But STOP COMPLAINING about the new by-law I want water in the future.

  10. Marnie says:

    A splash pad! Now there’s an idea. Are you sure you’re not on council Susan? You advocate loosening the purse strings as if those who watch their spending are Scrooges. Your mindset could be a good fit with council. As for the tatt, I could water my lawn during the ban, then get a free one in prison. You need to learn how to save a buck.

  11. Susan says:

    C’mon Marnie loosen up those purse strings,let the moths out, and get yourself a nice tattoo. You can show it off at the new splash pad next summer!

  12. Gary says:

    Hey Dennis, you can use your rural water or municipally discounted bulk water two hours longer than urban users on your allotted day. Another rural advantage! Lol

  13. Marnie says:

    Main Street is a collection of high end gift shops, restaurants and now a tattoo parlor, Gary. Not many shops selling essential everyday items. Given the horrendous traffic in the tourist season I avoid Picton if at all possible. Not a nice place to be in the summer months.

  14. Chris Keen says:

    @ Gary – I don’t, but if I did, I would expect to pay the same as every other user.

  15. Dennis Fox says:

    As we well know, the water rates in the County are the highest anywhere – so are the bulk water prices. The bulk prices have been inflated for years to help off-set the cost to the urban user – it is the same with discharging of septic tanks. The waste is taken to the treatment plant – at a high cost paid for in the septic bill. These charges were increased at the time of the sewage plant decision by council, in recognition that municipal water will be paid by the user. So rural residents have been subsidizing urban water rates for some time now – as far as I know without complaint. This latest move by council appears to have created a division between rural and urban – makes you wonder why? Keep your eye on the ball rural residents on this one.

  16. Gary says:

    I know Marnie, you don’t require a town for anything.

  17. Marnie says:

    But Gary, we pay towards your parks, residential sidewalks, street lights etc that we rural people do not have or use.

  18. Gary says:

    All good points Chris. But don’t rely on a system you do not contribute towards or come looking for bargain prices.

  19. Chris Keen says:

    @ Gary – Water is “essential” to everyone but there is no way residents not connected to the County’s water and sewage system are going to pay for it. With a septic system costing $15,000+, a well roughly $5000 – $7000, plus the equipment to treat the water – perhaps $3000 – we have more than paid for the water we use. Water regulations are provincial and its time Council went after the province for help maintaining a mandated system its population cannot afford. We can’t be the only town in the province dealing with this issue.

    And, by the way, non-user tax dollars contribute to pay salaries etc…

  20. Gary says:

    Dennis; two things. The rural water rate drop is being subsidized. It is apparent the municipal water supply is essential to “all” residents.

  21. Jean Thompson says:

    I submitted a comment and have a question, what does “your comment is awaiting moderation” mean?

  22. Lucy says:

    Most people have not been watering their lawns in picton..most look brown for weeks..when u drive around their brown…..ha I think it’s because we can’t afford the water anyhow…water is expensive too

  23. Jean Thompson says:

    Non essential water use to me is DO NOT WATER not water lawns on even or odd days. DO NOT FILL OR TOP UP personal pools, Public use pools should be guardedly exempt as they offer relief to the greater public need. All private homes can turn off sprinkler systems on lawn watering or recalibrate to once a week if need be.

    Most of what I have read so far is showing preferential treatment to those who have the means to pay for it.

  24. Dennis Fox says:

    Sorry Chuck for any misunderstanding, my comments were in no way related to what you wrote. I am still flabbergasted by the “potential” division this council could create between residents – all over water. What I am beginning to think is that this is the build up for them to attempt to charge everyone a flat rate for water – urban and rural users. Our council has screwed up the water system so badly they need a way to pay for it. What I am wondering about is the advice from their lawyer – they have no jurisdiction over private well water. How much will this cost now in needless court challenges – just like the upcoming OMB will?

  25. Penny Hicks says:

    I can’t believe people are still watering their lawns even on restricted times. What a waste of water, look around at everybody else’s lawns !!!! Its a known fact that once rains start the dead grass refurbishes itself!!!

  26. hockeynan says:

    For those people drawing water with the Oval topped tanks they won’t save any money as it will take 3 dollars to fill as 2 dollars only fills to approximately 3/4 of a tank and they have to put another loony in for about 160 litres

  27. Chuck says:

    Dennis; my understanding is that the price change from 4.13 to 3.07 per cubic meter is being subsidized from a reserve account. Thus my questions.

  28. Dennis Fox says:

    I don’t believe that any tax dollars are being used to subsidize rural users -they are still paying, but just a lesser amount. Probably now equal to what residents in other communities pay. The question that needs to be asked is – how much profit is the municipality still making? I think the idea that rural people on a well are wasting water is a joke. No one I know has used water out of their well to water flowers for well over a month and I have never known anyone on a well that ever waters their lawn. Frankly this move by Shire Hall is a lot of smoke and mirrors trying to make it look like they are doing something. Instead, they would be better to do a collective rain dance and to go away and to leave people alone. Let’s hope for rain soon!

  29. Chuck says:

    What reserve fund is subsidizing the price reduction in rural water haulage! What ratepayers contributed to that reserve fund? Was it all ratepayers? Let’s get all the facts out here so we are well informed. I expect the funding is coming from the broader tax base.

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