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APRIL 2013

Water Conservation By-law starts May 31


nce-per-week lawn watering under the Water Conservation By-law will take effect again on May 31 and will be in place until September 30. This summer program helps ensure there is enough water in our reservoirs to supply all of the community’s water needs during the hot season.

free permit is also required for sod and seed plantings or nematode applications. Please note that all watering activities must

How to find your lawn watering day If your address ends in:

The rules have not changed from previous years and all other water use activities are allowed every second day. This may include watering of gardens and plants or washing cars. Odd numbered house addresses can use water for these things on odd numbered calendar dates while even numbered house addresses may do so on even numbered calendar dates. For watering of lawns, please refer to the chart on the right to find your day.

0 or 1


2 or 3


4 or 5


6 or 7


8 or 9


Region needs public input on water efficiency master plan


here are two types of sewers that carry water away. Sanitary sewers take the water used in your home for toilets, showers and other activities to a treatment facility to be cleaned and returned to the Grand River. Storm sewers are the large drains in the roads and parking lots which take rain water directly back to the river. The sanitary sewers can get backed up and over-flow if rain or groundwater is allowed to enter them. It is important to make sure sump pumps and drain pipes from roofs do not flow to the sanitary sewer pipes. It is also important to fix any leaky pipes leaving your homes to make sure groundwater isn’t entering them. Storm sewers are much larger than sanitary sewers and are built to handle rain from storms, snow from spring melts and other “clear” water that hasn’t been used by humans. If this extra water is allowed to enter the sanitary sewer it can cause untreated wastewater to flood basements and streets or be released into our creeks and rivers, causing public health concerns. It is everyone’s responsibility to make sure this doesn’t happen. Please check to make sure your drain pipes do not lead to sanitary sewers and check pipes for leaks so that groundwater isn’t seeping into them. Lastly, make sure any sump pumps are not releasing water down a drain in your home. For more information, please

your watering day is:

5:30-10 a.m. & 7-11 p.m.

To change your watering day, please call 519-575-4495 to apply for a $10 permit. A

Keep rainwater out of sanitary sewers T

be performed between 5:30 and 10 a.m. or between 7 and 11 p.m.


he Region of Waterloo will be conducting research and gathering data to update its Water Efficiency Master Plan. This work will take place throughout 2013 and early 2014 and will require public input on the types of programs and services you would like to see related to water conservation. The Region’s water conservation plan has been in place since 1998 and is updated every five to 10 years to guide program delivery and stay on the leading edge. Popular programs have included school curriculum and public education, the rain barrel distribution program and the toilet replacement program. More recently, the Region has worked with larger businesses and commercial properties to bring about water use reductions. Along with the summer Water Conservation By-

law, these initiatives have helped the Region achieve one of the lowest rates of per person water use in Canada. Please email if you would like to be added to a mailing list for master plan-related items in the coming months. And check in at for a schedule of public information centres starting in the fall of 2013, and for other ways to be involved in the process.

Have your say!

Environmental information on protecting water and reducing waste

Photo credit: Sharmalene Mendis-Millard, REEP Green Solutions

Rainwater harvesting is a natural fit for your home


ave you ever washed your car or watered your grass and plants? If so, it may be time for you to join the thousands of other residents of Waterloo Region who have made rainwater harvesting part of their routine. It saves money, it reduces drinking water use, and it is easy.

For 12 years, the Region of Waterloo has held single-day, subsidized rain barrel distributions in which residents could purchase a rain barrel at low cost. Nearly 50,000 of these rain barrels are now in use throughout Waterloo Region. A side benefit of this program’s popularity is that many more retailers now carry a wide variety of rain barrels for homeowners, including larger systems. Larger rainwater tanks are capable of storing enough water for regular lawn watering and pressurized car washing when a pump is used.

Whether you start with a small rain barrel, or go with a larger, state-of-theart system, you are both helping yourself and the community. This year, the Region will partner with local community groups and retailers to “We believe that the future of promote rainwater rainwater harvesting is in larger harvesting in general. capacity systems which deliver Look for advertising on greater drinking water savings rainwater harvesting in to the community as well as Rainwater harvesting options for local newspapers in late cost savings to the user,” said homeowners range from large systems April and also check the the Region’s Water Efficiency (top) to small rain barrels (bottom). Region’s website at Manager, Steve Gombos. “You for more can also use harvested rainwater at any information. time.”

REEP to hold Rain Barrel Blitz S

upport your neighbourhood association or local group of choice - and walk away with rain barrels for your home! REEP Green Solutions’ RAIN program, in partnership with, is coordinating a region-wide, decentralized distribution of rain barrels – a first for Waterloo Region. The goal is to distribute 1,000 rain barrels on April 27 at various locations, with local groups keeping $10 for every barrel they sell. To order your rain barrel and parts, and to choose the local group that you want to support or the pick-up location nearestx you, visit

Tap Water – ours to drink! T

he United Nations has estimated that over one billion people in the world do not have sustainable access to clean, safe drinking water. In Waterloo Region, we are very fortunate. Our municipal tap water is safe to drink and costs less than a penny per glass.

When it comes to our drinking water, Region of Waterloo takes the responsibility very seriously. Provincial regulations mandate the Region to perform 75 different tests on each water sample, but we do more. Whether it is groundwater or Grand River water, Region of Waterloo performs more than 120 different tests on each water sample.

Free refills anyone? N eed to refill your reusable water bottle while on the go? Look for the Blue W. It lets you know that location will refill your reusable bottle with tap water free of charge. Finding a Blue W location is easy! • Look for the Blue W sign • Go to and enter your location details to find the three closest Blue W sites.

Make municipal tap water your choice. For more information, visit

Follow us on Facebook


n Facebook? Follow Region of Waterloo Water Services for information on its programs, learn interesting facts about water and how you can help protect and conserve it for future generations.

Water Services contact info:


Water Efficiency 150 Frederick Street, 7th Floor, Kitchener, ON N2G 4J3 Water Quality and Supply Questions: 519-575-4757 ext. 3155 Water Efficiency: 519-575-4021 TTY: 519-575-4608

Water Services: Graphic Designer:

Dan Meagher, 519-575-4423 Pat Dusseldorp, 519-575-4599 Corporate Publishing

Environews - April 2013

Environews spring 2013 final  
Environews spring 2013 final