by John Boivin
Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Valley Voice
Residents of Slocan must really love a green lawn.
The Village’s latest water use stats show its 379 residents used more than 27 million litres of water in the month of July. Village staff say overnight lawn sprinkling is likely the main culprit.
That works out to about 3,246 litres of water per person per day – about 10 times the average Canadian’s water use. To put it in perspective, that’s about the equivalent of every man, woman and child in Slocan taking 32 baths every day in July.
“We’re so clean,” joked Councillor Madeleine Perriere during an Aug. 8 council meeting.
But the problem is real for the Village – and taxpayers. All that water has to be treated, and that costs money. And such water flows shorten the lifespan of the water purification and distribution equipment.
Residents may want to think about that the next time they crank on their outdoor faucets.
“It does seem crazy, and the consumption is something council has identified as a concern,” said Mayor Jessica Lunn. “So it’s a combination of yes, we need people to understand the consumption levels during the hot time and during freshet, but the other piece is to ensure our system is working as efficiently as possible.”
The Village is undertaking a leak detection study to catch any waste.
“We have some places probably where the water is leaking,” said Councillor Joel Perriere. “We cross the river with our waterline, so we don’t know if half the water goes straight into the river and down the valley.”
The prodigious water use has happened even with water restrictions being put in place by the Village. Council instructed staff to put reminders in to the next community newsletter and on the Village Facebook page encouraging people to turn off their water sprinklers overnight.