Water system improvements to force odd-even rationing

When you get out the water hose, think address, number and time of day.
It could mean the difference between your lawn and flowers receiving some regular watering — and having tighter water restrictions in place.
The City of York is calling on residents to water on odd days of the month if their house or building number ends in an odd number, or only on even days if it ends in an even number.
By doing so, up to 10 million litres of water can be saved on a hot summer day, the equivalent of filling six Olympic-sized swimming pools.
City officials are also encouraging residents to water in the early morning or evening — the time when water doesn’t evaporate as much, so it bodes well for your lawn and plants.
Apartment and condo managers must also take the same measures.
“From what we have been seeing this spring, we haven’t seen a lot of complying on a voluntary basis,” said city public works manager Paul Goranson on Monday. “If you drive around the neighbourhoods, quite often it’s not every second house that is watering.”
Last year, there was also a voluntary call, but there were still problems with watering. But Goranson said it’s particularly important this summer that residents ration.
The city is undergoing about $15 million in upgrades at the water treatment plant to enhance water quality and increase capacity for York’s growing population.
In about a month, the work will begin. That means water supply will be limited. “Plant capacity will be cut in half,” Goranson said.
Water treatment plant supervisor Randy Reaman said the equipment upgrades will make York a provincial leader. With Canadian Drinking Water guideline changes, better technology is needed, Reaman said.
This year’s water treatment upgrade will cost about $7 million and includes the installation of two new high-rate clarifiers.
“Essentially, they can treat a much larger volume of water in a much shorter period of time,” Reaman said.
Reaman said residents won’t notice any changes to their water once the clarifier is finished in February 2014.
The second phase will go ahead next year for an improved filtering system and in 2014, an ultraviolet disinfection system will be installed and secondary to the chlorine one.
“There are certain organisms that can be resistant to chlorine,” he said.