Water ban has residents steaming
A continued and complete ban on all outdoor watering in Saint-Lazare has caused many homeowners to boil over with frustration.
But there is no immediate relief in sight for about 75-percent of the town’s population, despite scorching summer-like temperatures and the start of the outdoor gardening season.
"People are calling the staff and they are very mad" said communications director Geneviève Hamel on Tuesday morning, adding some residents have threatened to withhold payment on their tax bills if outdoor watering privileges are not restored.
However the ban will remain for at least three more weeks if not longer, Hamel explained. Hamel says the town will go to tender this week to have the broken well rebuilt, while Saint-Lazare is still waiting for ministry approval to begin using a well that has been built and ready to go formore than a year.
"We're putting pressure (on the government) to get approval to turn on the new pump," she explained, adding once approval is obtained it will take 14 days until thewell is fully functioning.
Meanwhile other pumps are putting out the maximum amount of water allowed according to ministry regulations.
Last week the town forbade all outdoor watering for residents who rely on municipal water after one of its wells had to be shut down at the Sainte-Angélique pumping station.
Though the pumping station includes use of seven water wells, the loss of one, well #3, adds up to a 20-percent reduction in the amount of raw water that can be pumped, treated and turned into drinking water. Hamel says while such a loss would not be as crucial in winter, during warmer months it could mean there would not be enough drinking water if people don't comply with the ban.
" During summer, people are filling pools, watering lawns and gardens and it's extremely demanding (on the water supply.)" The ban, for all homes except those in the Saddlebrook housing development which is on a different water network, includes watering newly installed sod, or grass seeds, gardens, flowers, sidewalks and driveways, or filling swimming pools. So far just a handful of warning tickets have been issued to residents who were using water outdoors.