Fines for wasting water will rise this year

In East Langley areas on municipal wells, no lawn sprinkling will be allowed once July arrives.

Langley Township residents who ignore water shortage restrictions face steeper fines now that council has approved across-the-board increases for people caught sprinkling lawns, washing cars or filling swimming pools when they shouldn’t.

The new penalties were unanimously approved by council May 13.

Fines rise for each of the four stages of water restrictions.

For stage one, which limits watering residential lawns, the fine has risen from $75 to $100.

For stage two, which imposes restrictions on washing sidewalks, driveways, walls and roofs, the fine doubles from $100 to $200.

Violating stage three, which bans lawn sprinkling altogether and tightens restrictions on washing cars, boats and “outdoor surfaces” as well as filling or refilling swimming pools, will result in a $300 fine, up from $200.

For stage four, the most restrictive, which bans virtually all outdoor watering, the fine increases to $400 from $300.

Residents can report neighbours who violate water restrictions to the Township bylaw enforcement office.

Stage one water restrictions will be in effect in Langley and all other Lower Mainland municipalities from June 1 to September 30.

During that time, residential lawn sprinkling is only allowed from 4 a.m. to 9 a.m. at even-numbered addresses on Monday, Wednesday and Saturday and at odd-numbered addresses on Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday.

In July, stage three water restrictions will be applied to East Langley, as they have every year since 2009 because of concerns about potentially low water wells.

That’s because the East Langley municipal water system relies solely on municipal wells drawing groundwater from local aquifers.

The stage three order covers Aldergrove, Gloucester, and Salmon River Uplands, including Tall Timbers and Acadia.

In May, work on eliminating the area’s dependence on wells officially began with a ground-breaking ceremony to mark the first phase of a new pipeline to bring in Metro Vancouver water.

The $33.5 million East Langley Water Supply project is the biggest project ever undertaken by the Township of Langley’s engineering department, with 14 kilometres of water main and a booster pump station.

Phase 1 will run a one-metre diameter steel water main between Willoughby and Murrayville following 72 Avenue, 210 Street, Worrell Crescent, 216 Street, 56 Avenue, and 224 Street.

Work is scheduled to run Monday to Friday until December, 2013.