The cost of wasting water is about to go up in Langley City, with council approving new regulations that will raise the fines for unauthorized watering next summer, in some cases by more than 300 per cent.
The new “drinking water conservation” bylaw was given preliminary approval by Council at their Dec. 4 meeting.
It brings the City regulations in line with newer, tougher rules adopted by the regional water authority that are expected to save three to five billion litres of water in Metro Vancouver.
Among other things, the new rules reduce the allowable number of times people can water their lawns during stage one limits from three times to twice a week.
Fines for unauthorized watering will rise from $75 to $100 during stage one, from $100 to $200 during stage two, from $200 to $500 during stage three and from $300 to $1,000 during stage four.
Stage one comes into effect automatically during the summer.
Stages two and three, activated and deactivated by the Greater Vancouver Water District Commissioner, are used during unusually hot and dry conditions while stage four would be declared when an emergency, such as an earthquake, flood, fire or prolonged power outage, requires limiting water use to essential needs only.
An exception to the sprinkling restrictions during stage one covers using nematodes to control chafer beetles.
It’s believed the invasive beetles arrived in the Lower Mainland in 2001 through a tainted shipment of soil in New Westminster.
In June, chafer beetles mate and lay their eggs in lawns, where the larvae feed on the roots of the turf grass and crows, skunks, raccoons, and other predators feed on them, digging up the soil to the point where it has been described as looking “roto-tilled.”.
Nematodes (Heterorhabditis bacteriophora), microscopic eel worms that target the soil-dwelling chafer beetle larvae require regular watering, daily if the ground is very dry, for about two weeks.
In those cases, residents may obtain an exception permit at no charge.
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