Hand watering gardens is still permitted in Mission and Abbotsford.

Hand watering gardens is still permitted in Mission and Abbotsford.

Mission’s sprinkling restrictions to continue

Weekend rain provides little help as Dickson Lake level remains low.

Despite some heavy rainfall over the weekend, Mission and Abbotsford residents are still being asked to conserve water.

Stage three restrictions remain in place, meaning homeowners may not use a sprinkler to water their lawns. However, watering by hand is still permitted.

“It seemed like it was torrential downpour all weekend, but we only got about five centimetres of rain over the three days up at the lake,” said Tracy Kyle, Mission’s director of engineering and public works.

While she said any rain is helpful, Dickson Lake is far from full.

While stage three restriction remain, Kyle said it is looking more and more likely that a stage four ban – which would not permit lawn watering of any kind – will not be needed.

“We’re finding that residents are doing a great job by working with us and not watering their lawns,” said Kyle.

Because of those conservation efforts, water levels are still in the upper parameters for stage three.

“We are not anticipating, at this time, getting to stage four.”

Dickson Lake, which is the main water source for both Abbotsford and Mission, feeds naturally into Norrish Creek and then into the Norrish Creek  water treatment plant.

As of July 28, the water in Dickson Lake was at the 633.3 metre mark. If the lake reaches the 632 metre level, the water will need to be pumped. Kyle said she expects pumping to be needed by mid-August.

She said pumping water from Dickson Lake to Norrish is not a “normal practice.” Most of the time the water flows freely by gravity.

The only two occasions pumping has ever been required was in 2006 and 2009. The all-time low level for Dickson was 629.7 metres, which occurred in October of  2006.

Dickson Lake/Norrish Creek supplies about 55 per cent of the water used in Mission and Abbotsford.

Mission’s Cannell Lake feeds the north area of Mission and provides 10 per cent of water used in the summer.

Nineteen groundwater wells in Abbotsford provide the final 35 per cent of water used.

The current stage three conservation measures also dictate that no new lawn permits will be issued and non-recirculating fountains will be prohibited. Residents are still be able to hand-water flower and vegetable gardens and wash vehicles.