Wa­ter ra­tion­ing a part of life in Milk River

Prairie Post (West Edition) - - Front Page - BY HEATHER CAMERON

Again this year, the Town of Milk River in­sti­tutes a wa­ter ra­tion­ing pol­icy through­out the fall and win­ter.

“Due to the re­al­i­ties of the Milk River with limited to no river flows through the win­ter, we store raw wa­ter in reser­voirs for con­sump­tion, fire sup­pres­sion and sewage needs for our res­i­dents,” ex­plained Ryan Leuzinger, Chief Ad­min­is­tra­tive Of­fi­cer of the Town of Milk River. “Due to high us­age through­out the hot, dry sum­mer, our re­serves get de­pleted, thus re­quire wa­ter re­stric­tions to en­sure our reser­voirs are full win­ter us­age.”

Ac­cord­ing to By­law 1009, oth­er­wise known as the ‘Wa­ter Con­ser­va­tion

By­law’, the Town Coun­cil deemed it ap­pro­pri­ate to part­ner with the Vil­lage of Coutts to en­sure that wa­ter is con­served and uti­lized in an ef­fi­cient man­ner.

The wa­ter re­stric­tions will last un­til our reser­voirs are at a point where we are con­fi­dent that there will be enough wa­ter for our win­ter us­age re­quire­ments,” Leuzigner said.

If Leuzinger be­lieves that there may be a wa­ter short­age, he may use his au­thor­ity of Chief Ad­min­is­tra­tive Of­fi­cer to reg­u­late wa­ter dis­tri­bu­tion and use from the Wa­ter Treat­ment plant to all con­sumers. Reg­u­la­tions in­clude when and how wa­ter can be used and in such an event, all ap­pro­pri­ate in­for­ma­tion will be made avail­able pub­licly via the web, tele­vi­sion, news­pa­per fly­ers, and ra­dio an­nounce­ments.

De­pend­ing on how the sit­u­a­tion changes, Leuzinger may also en­act any of the fol­low­ing lev­els of wa­ter con­ser­va­tion mea­sures.

Level 1 Wa­ter Re­stric­tions in­clude re­strict­ing all out­door wa­ter use to specif­i­cally sched­uled days. Bulk wa­ter sales are also re­stricted un­der Level 1.

Level 2 Wa­ter Re­stric­tions state that all non-es­sen­tial use is not al­lowed and hours of wa­ter use will be se­verely re­stricted to help with con­ser­va­tion. Level 3 Wa­ter Re­stric­tions also state that all non-es­sen­tial use is not al­lowed and us­age hours will ei­ther be re­stricted or stopped al­to­gether de­pend­ing on the sit­u­a­tion.

Penal­ties for vi­o­lat­ing the re­stric­tions will be vis­ited by mu­nic­i­pal em­ploy­ees and or­dered to cease in­ap­pro­pri­ate us­age. If vi­o­la­tors are non-com­pli­ant, em­ploy­ees have the au­thor­ity to shut down the cause of the vi­o­la­tion and dis­con­tinue wa­ter ser­vice to res­i­dences in vi­o­la­tion of the by­law. Vi­o­la­tors will also be re­spon­si­ble for pay­ing a re­con­nec­tion fee and fines. The first of­fence is $100; the sec­ond is $250; and fur­ther of­fenses are $500.

“Our res­i­dents are aware of the sit­u­a­tion we are in,” Leuzinger says. “As with any sit­u­a­tion like this, there are some res­i­dents who are not happy these re­stric­tions are in place at this time. Thank­fully, the ma­jor­ity of our res­i­dents un­der­stand and work with us.”

Ac­cord­ing to Leuzinger, the Town of Milk River is go­ing to be start­ing con­struc­tion on a wet­land en­hance­ment project at the golf course this fall. Two new wet­lands will cre­ated on the course while one ex­ist­ing wet­land will be en­larged.

Leuzinger says in be­tween the wet­lands, there will be a creek sys­tem and a new pump­house for the golf course ir­ri­ga­tion sys­tem will be also con­structed.

“Cur­rently, we utilize the same raw wa­ter pump­house for both needs,” Leuzinger says. “This project will en­able the Town to pump ad­di­tional wa­ter through­out the sum­mer and en­able the golf course to also ir­ri­gate at the same time.”

The new project will en­able the golf course to op­er­ate their ir­ri­ga­tion sys­tem in­de­pen­dently of the Town raw wa­ter pumps. The project is slated to be ready by the spring of 2019.

“The new project will be a won­der­ful ad­di­tion to the Town and to the golf course,” Leuzinger adds. “The goal is that every­thing we do en­sures we do not re­quire wa­ter re­stric­tions; how­ever, the re­al­i­ties each year change that re­quire us to adapt to those sit­u­a­tions. We thank our res­i­dents for con­tin­u­ing to work with the Town on en­sur­ing we have ad­e­quate wa­ter re­sources.”

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Canada

© PressReader. All rights reserved.