Water Conservation Bylaw

Did you know? . . .  The Town has a new water conservation bylaw.  New plumbing fixtures must now comply with specific low-flow standards.

New water bylaw encourages Athabascans to go low-flow

When it comes to water conservation, Europeans have it over Athabascans – but Town Councillors are looking to the recently introduced Water Conservation Fixtures Bylaw as one way to help improve our performance and our image as water wasters.

“A safe and secure supply of water is no longer a sure thing,” advises Councillor Paula Evans, “and we use twice as much water as people in Europe. Sustainability is very important. The new water conservation bylaw is one small step.”

Education and awareness are the key, says Paula. She hopes that as Athabascans become more aware of the need for water conservation, they will evaluate the various ways they are presently wasting water and will adjust their habits and practices accordingly.

The new bylaw governs the installation of plumbing fixtures, including toilets, shower head fixtures, basin and sink faucets, and urinals. Any such fixtures installed in new residential, commercial, industrial or institutional construction must now comply with specific low-flow plumbing standards.

“It will also apply to room renovations or major renovations,” adds Paula. “But we are hoping that anybody who replaces a fixture will go to the new standards.”

Standards outlined in the bylaw include: toilets with a capacity of not more than six litres per flush; shower head fixtures with a flow of not more than 9.5 litres per minute; basin and sink faucets with a flow of not more than 8.3 litres per minute; and urinals with a flow of not more than 3.8 litres per flush.

While the Water Conservation Fixtures Bylaw is new to the Athabasca public, water and energy conservation efforts and initiatives are nothing new to the Town of Athabasca.

“Our Outside Services Superintendent (Rob Balay) advises that areas of town operations are being looked at regularly for ways to improve efficiency,” says Paula. She hopes the Town of Athabasca will take advantage of beneficial recommendations as they come forth. “We are considering other initiatives and I am hoping the Town will follow through with them.”

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(l-r) Mike Gismondi, Severna Bosik and Mary Gislason, members of Athabasca Communities in Bloom, keep as busy as beavers folding hundreds of CIB May newsletters for local distribution.  One focus of the May newsletter is water conservation tips for home and garden.


CIB – More than just a pretty face

Members and supporters of Athabasca’s Communities in Bloom group work hard to put a pretty face on the community, but they know there is more to the appeal and quality of life in a community than meets the eye. The responsible management of all resources, including water, is vitally important.

Paula is proactive with Communities in Bloom and, drawing on resources from Town Council activity and personal interest, she has presented a conservation-related information package to the group, to be shared with the general public.

“The Communities in Bloom educational platform is one more way our community is addressing water conservation issues,” Paula explains. “There are many ways to conserve water, to stop wasting so much of it – water-saving devices for lawns and gardens, for example – there are so many possibilities.”

Between the new water conservation bylaw, the efforts of the town Outside Services team, and the Communities in Bloom educational platform, Paula is confident that Athabascan’s are on the right track to become leaders for the cause of water conservation.

For complete details about the Water Conservation Fixtures Bylaw, check with the Town of Athabasca office.

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