Outdoor watering and irrigation is further restricted to the hours between 5:00 p.m. and 10:00 a.m. and for a period of no longer than 30 minutes.
Recognized outdoor water use exceptions are:
- Watering outdoor potted plant and hanging baskets
- Watering newly planted lawns (installed within 6 months of the effective date of this resolution)
- Watering vegetable gardens
- Drip irrigation systems
Outdoor watering schedule shall be in effect until Sept. 15th, 2019 unless extended by City Council action.
The City is going to lead by example, we have stopped watering Griffintown and VanderYacht parks and are utilizing non-potable water for the Phillip 66 ballfields. The City is also working with our commercial customers to curtail their water use during this time.
A majority of the enforcement will be complaint-based. The fees for violations, as approved by the City Council on August 6th, 2018 are as follows:
1st Offense: Written Warning
2nd Offense: $50
3rd Offense: $125
Frequently Asked Questions
Is this because so many houses are being built?
While increased demand is factor, a much bigger factor in our water use is well production and temperature. For instance, the City as a whole utilized about three million gallons less in July 2018 than in July 2017 however because well production is down, we are depleting our water tanks at a faster rate, which is why the council implemented the outdoor water restrictions.
Since then, we have brought our new well online which will provide for our future growth well into the future but reducing water consumption benefits everyone. It means less pipes and water tanks need to be built, reducing the costs of running and maintaining our utility system.
By taking these few steps, you can help save a few bucks, extend the life of city infrastructure and protect the planet.
Why don’t we just go back to pulling water out of the Nooksack?
There are several challenges with utilizing the Nooksack River as our water source. There are issues with agricultural runoff, competing industrial and commercial uses, and the fact that the amount and cost of the water would be controlled by the Public Utility District, rather than the City of Ferndale. We would also need to construct new treatment equipment as the process for handling well water is completely different from handling river water.
That said, we are expanding our water treatment plant to provide for our needs for the next 20 years, and the new equipment should provide a softer, more enjoyable water for the consumer.
This seems like a heavy-handed approach; couldn’t you simply encourage people to use less water?
As a small city, we absolutely believe in the power of people coming together to do what is right in a pinch, however we do not want to get into a situation where we needed to take drastic measures in an emergency.
By requiring the public to limit their outdoor watering to every other day, and working with our commercial users, we can ensure everything continues to operate smoothly.
I want more information about this. Who can I ask?
Please call the Ferndale Public Works Department at (360) 384-4006 from 9am-5pm Monday through Friday for more information.