Frequently asked questions about the external water use ban

Contact Us

1.   Why did the Town “upgrade” from a conservation notice to a ban?

Warm and dry conditions in 2016 have resulted in increased demands on the water system. As a result, water levels are declining more quickly than usual. The upgrade is a preventative measure to lessen the strain on the system while maintaining adequate water levels.

2.   Are conservation times still the same?

No, with the implementation of the ban, the conservation times are no longer permitted and a full ban is in effect.

3.   The Town’s initial statement says “excessive water use is putting a strain on the Town’s water production capabilities”. What does “excessive use” mean? 

Town monitoring indicates increased usage in the evening beyond normal expectations. This is indicative of residents watering lawns more often to combat dry conditions.

4.   How is this putting a “strain” on the water system?

Under normal conditions, the water system can be supplied by one well. The system is currently drawing from multiple wells. The added demand requires the system to operate in a greater capacity, which lessens its built-in redundancies.

5.   Is there an immediate risk to residents or the town?

There is no risk to residents at this time. The external ban is being implemented as a preventative measure to lessen the strain on the overall system.

6.   This is obviously a region-wide issue, with the hot, dry summer. How will actions taken in St. Marys help when the town’s water supply is also affected by what happens beyond its borders?

Local efforts will help the local aquifer replenish and stabilize. They will also lessen the strain on local wells.

7.   How will the ban be enforced? What is the relevant by-law?

The Town is enforcing the ban through public education. The authority to enforce the ban is under By-Law 46 of 2014. 

Additional information

By-Law 46 of 2014:

August 11 – External Water Use Ban release: