Water Conserving Strategies for Islanders
- Respect the Conservation Levels outlined in District Bylaw 274.
- Fix all leaks. Dripping taps can waste 250 liters a day (13,000 a year)! A hose left on can deliver up to 27 litres per minute, 39,278 litres per day.
- Run only full loads in dishwashers and washing machines.
- Shut off the tap while brushing teeth, shaving, or washing up hands or dishes.
- Use low-flush toilets. Flush less often.
- Keep showers short. Use low-flow shower heads. If bathing, try 1/4 tub only.
- Catch rainfall and store for dry weather for outside use, such as gardens.
- Inform guests from the mainland of our limited lakes on the island, and to be aware of keeping consumption down.
- Install automated watering systems for gardens and planters. Turn the system off if it rains.
- Use no-phosphate soaps and detergents.
- Keep septic systems healthy and pumped out on a regular basis. A maximum of four years between pump-out is recommended. Assure tanks are thoroughly inspected at those times.
- Let lawns go “golden” in the summer.
For more conservation information, watering tips and ways to save you water and money, check out:
- Living Water Smart BC
- BC Drought Map
- The Partnership for Water Sustainability in BC – Waterbucket
- Environment Canada’s Water Wise Tips
- The CRD’s Tips for Conserving Water Outside of Your Home and their Water Facts
- Team WaterSmart – The Regional District of Nanaimo
- 10 WaterSmart Tips When In Dought – San Diego, CA
- Save Water When Travelling – some excellent tips for preparing your home before you leave to avoid leaks while you’re away and tips for being a considerate, waterwise visitor on your journey
- Waterwise UK – Water conservation tips from across the sea
- Water Consumption Calculator
To see what’s going on elsewhere:
Take advantage of the high-efficiency low-flush toilets that are now available on the market to conserve water. There are various qualities of toilet available and the cheapest is not necessarily the best. We suggest that prospective buyers should look at only those that are certified to handle up to 1000 grams of solid material per flush and those that have dual flush capabilities. Such units should be available at a cost of under $200.
Also, customers are not required and may not need to use a plumber if one has some tools and some ‘handy-person’ abilities to undertake the installation themselves.
Water Source Protection Tips
- Respect protected watersheds. Maxwell’s watershed is not open to the public. Activities such as swimming, hiking, picnicking, mountain biking or using off-road vehicles are banned. These activities slowly degrade the watershed because the expansion of trails and pathways creates a direct route for nutrients and sediment to enter the lake during the rainy season. This nutrient loading will negatively impact water quality in both the short and long term. The risk of wildfire during the summer months is significant and could cause devastating and permanent damage to the watershed. A health and intact watershed helps to filter and purify runoff before it reaches the lake. Damage to the watershed will directly result in decreased water quality and increased treatment costs in order to meet the appropriate standards and regulations for drinking water. The efforts made today to protect the lake and surrounding watershed may allow the District to defer or minimize the capital costs required to treat Maxwell Lake water in the future.
- Take all paints, oils, gasoline and other solvents to the recycling depot for disposal. If poured down the drain, runoff can contaminate drinking sources, including wells.
- Never put pharmaceuticals in drains and/or toilets. Take them back to the drugstore and they will dispose of them safely for you.
Additional information regarding water conservation:
- Per Environment Canada, in 2009, un-metered households used a daily average of 82.7 gallons/376 litres per person compared to 50.4 gallons/229 litres per person by metered households (equal to approximately 100.8 gallons/458.0 litres per two-person household per day).
- Per BC’s Living Water Smart, BC average water consumption is 107.8 gallons/490 liters per person, per day (215.6 gallons/980 litres per two-person household).
Water conservation is an important endeavour for all of us.