Sports fields in Mission are still being watered to avoid the high cost of repairs or re-seeding.

Sports fields in Mission are still being watered to avoid the high cost of repairs or re-seeding.

District fields continue to be watered

Fields watered to stay in playable condition, avoid high costs.

  • Jul. 26, 2015 5:00 a.m.

Alex BUTLER

Abbotsford News

Brown lawns have become the norm for Mission residents following the implementation of a sprinkling ban on July 3 – but many District-owned community fields remain green.

All Mission and Abbotsford residences and businesses receiving water from the joint municipal system must comply with the stage 3 water restrictions, but some community members have complained online that the District continues to water certain fields.

Tracy Kyle, the District’s director of engineering and public works, said sports fields are an asset that are used year-round by the public. Community fields are expensive and must be watered to be maintained, as they are expensive to repair and re-seed. It would also impact community groups who need the sports fields if they are unusable in the fall, said Kyle.

“In order to keep those (fields) in good condition, they need some water.”

Parks staff in Abbotsford and Mission are not watering passive areas in city parks. However, sand-based fields can be watered on alternate days, and soil-based twice a week between 11 p.m. and 8 a.m., according to the water restrictions.

There are also exceptions in the restrictions that allow other fields to be watered.

In Mission, Albert McMahon elementary, Hatzic Park, Heritage Park secondary, Windebank elementary, Hatzic Senior secondary, Mission Senior and the Mission Sports Park and Leisure Centre may water their community sports fields to keep them in playable condition.

In Abbotsford, fields at Bateman, DeLair, Ellwood and Mill Lake in Abbotsford are permitted to water outside the restriction schedule.

In addition, fields that are constructed or installed in the last year, or are undergoing repair, may be watered.

Abbotsford parks at Rotary Stadium and Abbotsford Exhibition Park are being watered with well water, which isn’t on the city water system.

The Clearbrook Waterworks District is a separate system that provides water to a large area in central Abbotsford. There are no restrictions on those on Clearbrook water or those who have private wells.

The District has also taken on other water conservation measures, according to Kyle.

They have been using rain barrel water for pressure washing, stopped flushing hydrants and are not washing District vehicles. The District has altered its work schedule so as not to do tasks like pressure washing downtown sidewalks until after the restrictions are lifted. District staff are looking for a pump for the water park cistern, in order to use water from the spray park to irrigate around the area, pressure wash and for watering plants.

If there is an issue with residents not following the restrictions, contact Mission call 604-820-3761 or email pworksadmin@mission.ca.

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