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Halifax Water asking many HRM residents to reduce water usage

The utility says water levels are down at the Lake Major Water Supply Plant because of prolonged hot, dry weather
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082219-Service Area Map Lake Major Voluntary Water Conservation Measures Aug 21...
Map of the area served by the Lake Major Water Supply Plant courtesy of Halifax Water

Halifax Water is asking the residents and businesses who get their water from Lake Major to voluntarily reduce their usage.

The utility said the water supply is approaching a warning level because of the prolonged hot, dry weather.

The Lake Major Water Supply Plant serves around 103,000 residents in several HRM communities including Dartmouth, Cole Harbour, Eastern Passage, North Preston and Westphal.

Halifax Water spokesperson James Campbell said there are some easy ways people can conserve.

"If you can avoid watering your lawn, don't. If you can avoid washing your car, don't. If you think you have leaking hoses, faucets or pipes in your home, look at getting those fixed up," he said. "Simple things like taking a shorter shower and turning off the tap when you're brushing your teeth."

He said it may not seem like a lot, but when thousands of people make an effort, it quickly saves a lot of water.

The utility has had to issue mandatory water restrictions in the past, and Campbell said they're trying to avoid that this year.

Halifax Water has provided the following tips on how to reduce water consumption:

Conservation in the Bathroom

  • Turn off tap while brushing your teeth, and use short bursts of water for rinsing.
  • Flush toilet only when necessary.
  • Toilets are the most common source of water leakage. 
  • Turn off the taps tightly but gently so they do not drip.
  • The toilet should never be used as an ashtray or wastebasket. Every time you flush a cigarette butt, facial tissue, or other small bit of trash, you waste water, and contribute to the pollution of our environment.
  • Take shorter showers. Limit your showers to the time it takes to soap up, wash down, and rinse off.
  • Install water-saving shower heads or flow restrictors.
  • Turn off the water after you wet your toothbrush. There is no need to keep water pouring down the drain. Just wet your toothbrush and fill a glass for mouth rinsing.
  • Rinse your razor in the sink. Fill the bottom of the sink with a few inches of water. This will rinse your blade just as well as running water.
  • Check faucets and pipes for leaks. Even the smallest drip from a worn washer can waste 75 or more litres a day. Larger leaks can waste hundreds.

Conservation in the Kitchen

  • Take foods out of the freezer early to allow plenty time to thaw. Thawing frozen goods under a running tap wastes water.
  • Keep water in the fridge so you don't have to run the tap to get cold water.
  • Fill the dishwasher before you turn it on. It can use from 35-45 litres per cycle.
  • If you wash dishes by hand, don't leave the water running for rinsing. If you have two sinks, fill one with soapy water and one with rinse water. If you have only one sink, gather washed dishes in a dish rack and rinse them with a spray device or a pan full of hot water.
  • Don't let the faucet run while you clean vegetables. Just rinse them in a stoppered sink or a pan of clean water.
  • Scrape any food or grease off of your dishes and into the compost bin before washing them to reduce water usage.
  • Check faucets and pipes for leaks. Leaks waste water 24 hours a day, seven days a week and often can be repaired with only an inexpensive washer.

Conservation in the Laundry Room

  • Pay attention to the size of your load of laundry and adjust your washers settings accordingly.
  • Wash full loads.
  • To cut down on energy costs use warm or cold water to wash clothing rather than hot water.

Conservation Outdoors

  • Reduce or stop lawn, garden, plant watering or other outside water usage.
  • Reduce or stop car/RV or other vehicle washing at home.
  • Check for leaks in pipes, hoses, faucets, and couplings.
  • Leaks outside the house may not seem as bad since they are not as visible. But they can be just as wasteful as leaks inside. Check frequently and keep them drip-free.



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Meghan Groff

About the Author: Meghan Groff

Born in Michigan, raised in Ontario, schooled in Indiana & lives in Nova Scotia; Meghan is the community editor for HalifaxToday.ca.
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