Residents and businesses in east Langley will once again be asked to stop watering their lawns and restrict their outdoor water usage to prevent a shortage of drinking water and emergency water supplies this summer.
But it will likely be the last time.
Stage Three watering restrictions are being declared in Aldergrove, Gloucester, and the Salmon River Uplands starting July 1, but by next summer, the new East Langley Water Supply (ELWS) is planned to be up and running. That doesn’t mean water should ever be used carelessly, but it does mean that that a reliable, sustainable water source is on its way.
“Right now, east Langley’s water supply comes from groundwater aquifers and aging wells, which long-term monitoring has shown are under stress,” said Engineering Technologist Tara Macrae of the Township of Langley’s Engineering Division. “This new pipeline will ensure people living and working in this area have an adequate water supply that they can depend on for the foreseeable future.”
The largest linear utility project ever undertaken by the Division, the East Langley Water Supply is a $33.5 million investment that will bring Metro Vancouver water out to communities on the Township’s eastern border. A large booster pump station and approximately 14 kilometres of trunk water main are being installed to transport the water.
The first stage of the project, which saw a 36-inch diameter steel water main built between Willoughby and Murrayville, has now been completed.
Phase Two and Three construction are currently underway in multiple locations. They include a pump station at 224 Street and 52 Avenue, and will take the water main through from 224 Street to 249B Street along 52 Avenue. A smaller distribution main is also being installed for the neighbourhood surrounding D.W. Poppy Secondary School via a Local Area Service.
While individual water services cannot connect to the trunk water main, inter-connection points will be created at key locations to provide access to other areas through successful Local Area Service applications or future development.
“Having this new water source will be a huge relief for residents in the area,” said Township Environmental Coordinator Taryn Hesketh. “There are currently about 12,000 people living in Aldergrove, but the community’s population is expected to grow to 20,000 in the next 20 or 30 years. The East Langley Water Supply means they won’t have to worry about depleting water resources, especially during the summer months.”
For many years, Stage Three watering restrictions have been enforced to proactively prevent a water shortage.
“During the warm, dry summer season, water usage doubles and more groundwater is pumped from the aquifers than usual,” said Hesketh. “The summer is often a critical time when rainfall is low and water demand is high, so the restrictions are in place to protect our drinking water and maintain supplies needed for emergency use.”
Stage 3 restrictions have once again been declared by the Township. From July 1 to September 30, 2014:
· Lawn sprinkling is prohibited by homes and businesses
· Residential and most commercial gardens, shrubs, trees, and flower beds may only be watered by hand, by containers, or through drip irrigation. “Soaker” hoses are not permitted
· Pressure washing is only allowed if the work is performed commercially and the purpose is for health, safety, or in preparation for painting or similar treatment
· Decorative fountains must be shut down
· Hand washing of vehicles is restricted to features required for safety (windows, lights, licenses), so long as an automatic shut-off device is used
· Filling and refilling of private, commercial, and public swimming pools, ponds, and hot tubs is prohibited
These restrictions apply to residents on the municipal water system in Aldergrove, Gloucester, and Salmon River Uplands, including the Acadia and Tall Timbers water systems. Those with private wells are asked to support conservation efforts by voluntarily complying.
Other areas serviced by the Township’s municipal water system receive a mix of local groundwater and surface water from Metro Vancouver reservoirs, and are currently under Stage 1 water restrictions which regulate lawn sprinkling days and hours.
Water use restrictions are implemented through the Township’s Water Shortage Response Bylaw 2012 No. 4909. Non-compliance is subject to penalties.
A map of the affected areas and additional information can be found on the Township’s website at tol.ca/waterrestrictions. To report a water restriction violation or to have questions answered, call the Township’s Engineering Division at 604-532-7300.
“Whether our water comes from local groundwater or regional reservoirs, it is a precious resource that should never be wasted or taken for granted,” said Hesketh. “We are very lucky to live in a place where safe, clean water is available at the turn of a tap, but we have to use it with awareness and protect it for the future.”