Despite heat, water use in Abbotsford remains low

July water consumption far from peak capacity, sprinkling restrictions remain

Sprinkling restrictions are in effect throughout Abbotsford this summer.

Sprinkling restrictions are in effect throughout Abbotsford this summer.

Despite a recent bout of hot weather, Abbotsford is not yet getting close to maximum water consumption levels.

Katherine Jeffcoatt, director of communications for the city, said the city’s water system is only under mild seasonal pressure.

Abbotsford and Mission use the same system, capable of supporting a total capacity of 123 million litres per day (MLD) for an indefinite period of time. A maximum of 134 MLD can be supplied for up to two days, but uses up reserves in both cities.

A maximum of 155 MLD can be supplied for one peak day.

The highest level reached between July 1 to 14 was 91 MLD, as compared to last year, when the highest level in that period was 84 MLD.

The city hit a critically high level of consumption in 2007, at a peak of 139 MLD, but water usage has been dropping each year, down to a high of 93 MLD in 2011.

Jeffcoatt said the reasons for low consumption could be attributed to a variety of factors, such as conservation efforts by residents; new radio read water meters that identify leaks resulting in thousands of fixed leaks over the past two years; irrigation audits to help ensure more efficient lawn watering; rebate programs that resulted in more water-efficient toilets and washing machines; and bi-monthly billing that makes residents more aware of water usage.

Though the numbers remain low for early July, the typical time for peak water usage is in August and September.

For July and August, the city has sprinkling restrictions and permit lawn sprinkling from 6 a.m. to 8 a.m. twice per week. Even numbered homes can water their lawns on Wednesdays and Saturdays and odd numbered homes on Thursday and Sunday.