In response to the request for input regarding the Outside Water Use By-law…
We’re fine with alternate-day watering during periods of drought. That said, we would like to see the restricted watering hours moved from 7-9 am and 7-9 pm to 8-10 am and 6-8 pm.
For one thing, we are advised not to go outdoors at dawn and dusk to avoid contracting West Nile Virus – but during the City’s current watering time restrictions, it’s the only time we’re allowed to water our gardens! Moving the hours to a little later in the morning and a little earlier in the evening (as indicated above) would certainly go a long way toward addressing this dilemma.
For another thing, by as early as mid-August, the sun sets at 8 pm and it’s pitch dark by 8:30 pm. Watering your garden in the dark with a garden hose or watering can is not the easiest thing to do unless perhaps you have floodlights in your yard! And, during the current watering time restrictions, from mid-August on, we’re watering in the dark for at least half of the two allotted evening hours.
Finally, it’s quite obvious that not everyone is following the watering restrictions. During the height of a drought, you’ll sometimes see a few brown lawns in a row – followed by an unusually lush, green one! Occasionally, when we’ve gone for walks or drives in the late evening (after dark), we’ve seen and/or heard in-ground sprinklers operating. The onus should never be placed on citizens to snitch on their neighbours and we believe no one would want to do that anyway… so, during times of watering restrictions, why not have By-Law Officers make note of “unusually” green lawns (of homes and businesses) as they drive around during the day so that someone can then return for a drive-by after dark to check whether in-ground sprinklers are being used in contravention of watering restrictions.
One last thing… if we need to wash out our waste bins after our garbage has been collected, can we use our garden hoses to do so even if it’s the “off” day during which we’re not supposed to be participating in outdoor watering? After all, no one wants to leave their bins sticky and stinky any longer than absolutely necessary (especially in the heat of summer!) – or, even worse, to haul their bins indoors to clean them out, especially if the bins are infested with flies, wasps, etc. due to the fact that, after the garbage has been collected, the bins are left sitting wide open at the side of the street – often for the entire day while residents are at work. So our request is that, even during times of water restriction, we be allowed to clean out our garbage bins with garden hoses any day of the week but especially on our allotted garbage day – even if it falls on our alternate “non-watering” day.
Thanks for “listening”! RR