April 11 2023

Quebec strategy for drinking water conservation: the Town of Rosemère Forges Ahead

The Town of Rosemère has announced a series of new measures to help meet the targets outlined in the Quebec strategy for drinking water conservation led by the Ministère des Affaires municipales et de l’Habitation. The goal of this strategy is to achieve a 20% province-wide reduction in per capita drinking water demand by 2025 compared to 2015 levels. 

Bearing this goal in mind, the Town adopted by-law 951 on drinking water and amended by-law 794 on quality of life in fall 2022. The new provisions aim to better control how drinking water is used, especially with regard to watering lawns and plants, filling pools and hot tubs, and meeting commercial and institutional needs. 

“The Quebec strategy for drinking water conservation, which we are proud to uphold, is part of a broader worldwide effort to foster sustainable development,” said Mayor Eric Westram. “In Rosemère, we are taking concrete action to promote an effective approach to managing water for our residents, our business community and our municipal administration alike. We all have a role to play in conserving our drinking water and protecting this precious natural resource.”

Watering lawns and plants; filling pools and hot tubs 

Several new provisions in the Town’s by-law on quality of life are now in effect. These are applicable to watering lawns and plants, as well as to topping up and filling swimming pools and hot tubs. Following are some of the highlights: 

Lawns and plants:
- Lawns, hedges, trees, shrubs and other plants can be watered once a week, for three consecutive hours, using a mechanical or automatic system, in accordance with the established schedule.
- Hand watering a flower or vegetable garden, planter, flower box, flower bed, tree or shrub is permitted at all times.
- Residents who wish to water a newly sown or sodded lawn, newly planted trees or shrubs, or new landscaping outside the established schedule must obtain authorization from the Permits and Inspections Department to do so.

Swimming pools and hot tubs:
- Pools and hot tubs can be topped up or filled between 8 p.m. and 6 a.m. or when a new pool is being installed to maintain its structure.

During the summer, green patrollers will be taking to the streets of Rosemère to educate residents about these new measures and ensure they are being applied.

Further details are available on the Town’s website and in the April issue of the Rosemère News.

Additional measures pertaining to the use of water infrastructure and facilities have been incorporated into by-law 951 to help maintain the quality and quantity of drinking water. These include:

- The obligation to report any defects that may arise in water supply pipes and, if the affected pipes are on private property, to repair any leaks within 15 days
- The obligation to obtain a permit to carry out any work on a service connection
- The obligation to obtain the necessary authorization before using a fire hydrant.

Some parts of the by-law specifically apply to institutions and business establishments in Rosemère, such as:

- The obligation to replace air-conditioning systems, cooling units and air compressors that operate using drinking water by January 1, 2026
- The obligation to replace automatic flush urinals fitted with a purge tank by January 1, 2026
- The obligation for car washes to be equipped with a working water recycling system by January 1, 2026.

For the full by-law, please email permis.inspections@ville.rosemere.qc.ca.

A shared responsibility

The Town of Rosemère is also continuing its efforts to save drinking water, with several measures designed to minimize use. These include:

- Drawing non-potable water from an artesian well for the Town’s plant watering needs
- Incorporating a high proportion of perennials that require little or no watering into municipal flowerbeds
- Making grants available to residents to help offset the cost of low-flow plumbing fixtures
- Recovering some of the water used to operate the new splash pads at Charbonneau Park
- Recirculating the water used in the splash pads at the public swimming pool
- Taking part in the provincial excellence in drinking water program (PEXEP) administered by the Ministère de l’Environnement et de la Lutte contre les changements climatiques with regard to treatment, distribution and leak management. 

“Every individual or group effort, big or small, makes a real difference in reducing how much drinking water we consume as a community,” said Mayor Westram. “I am proud to announce that Rosemère will soon be rolling out a major public awareness campaign on water conservation, jointly with the communities of Lorraine and Bois-des-Filion. By working together, we can make sure our message about the importance of saving water reaches more people. As the old adage says, ‘If you want to go fast, go alone; but if you want to go far, go together!’”

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