JULY 14, 2020 UPDATE: With recent rain and compliance from residents, the Town lifted the temporary watering ban on July 14, 2020.

With high temperatures and a lack of rain, the Town of Saugeen Shores has declared a temporary watering ban Thursday afternoon for lawn and garden watering, pool filling and other water usage outside the home.

In a July 9 media release, this restriction is said to enable the Town to impose a temporary total ban, where deemed absolutely necessary. "At this time due to extreme water use, we are unable to keep the necessary level of treated drinking water in the reservoir," read the release. 

Water usage for the Town is approaching record levels. Town staff and Ontario Clean Water Agency (OCWA) staff verify that a large portion is being used for lawn watering or other outdoor uses.

“On Tuesday, we used over 11,000 cubic metres of water in a single day, which means we are running the plant 24 hours per day,” said Amanda Froese, Director of Infrastructure and Development Services. “This is costly and wears the equipment, but more importantly it really reduces the amount of treated drinking water we have available. We see the reservoir quickly emptying in the morning during lawn watering times.”

Residents are requested to postpone pool filling and new sod contracts where permits from the Town are required for at least the next week and preferably until after the lawn water ban is lifted.

Residents connected to private watering systems such as sandpoints or private wells, are not affected by the watering restrictions. However, the Town would like to remind residents that their “Lawn Watered by Sandpoint/Well” sign must be displayed in a spot that is visible from the street.

Editor's Note: The original version of this article stated that the watering ban took effect Friday, July 10 when in fact it took effect Thursday afternoon, July 9. The information has been corrected above.