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City of North Bend introduced a Water Conservation Ordinance (WCO) as a First Reading during the May 5th City Council meeting via Zoom. A second reading will be held during a future Council meeting.
The City is required in the next round of comprehensive plan updates to include a Sustainability Element which must incorporate water conservation measures.
“Following guidance from the State Department of Ecology (DOE) and their water consultant, Golder Associates, the City is examining joining approximately 20 other special districts and cities in our region in the Saving Water Partnership to do the environmentally appropriate conservation program to reduce water consumption,” Interim City Administrator, David Miller said.
The DOE has requested that the City reduce leakage from the distribution system, replace faulty water meters and institute a robust water conservation program. The City is joined by the tribes, King County Health Department, the State Department of Health and others who support the water conservation program and Ordinance.
The water conservation program includes a WCO but also involves implementing new programs to offer technical assistance and grants for residential and commercial properties to help them reduce water usage. Some of these programs involve changing out plumbing fixtures, re-landscaping with low water use plants, changing out irrigation systems to drip systems which are much more efficient than other means of watering, and helping to fund leaking water lateral lines on private property.
“The Water Conservation Ordinance is a draft and subject to public review. Some of the measures are subject to change and the Ordinance will be reviewed at least twice by City Council who also held a work study on the Ordinance and overall conservation program on April 28. There will be plenty of opportunities to comment on the Ordinance and the City welcomes public comments,” Miller said.
Draft Water Conservation OrdinanceWCO Frequently Asked Questions
The City will be holding a virtual Town Hall Meeting in May to encourage public input to the WCO. The date and time will be announced on our web page.
We encourage residents to do your part to conserve water, not only during dry weather, but year-round. Water conservation saves energy that is required to move and treat water and will also result in savings on your utility bills.
These simple actions can be taken to reduce your water use.
Ways to Conserve Water Indoors
• Fix leaks promptly - little drips can waste lots of water. Install “water displacement devices” in your toilet tank if you have an older model toilet.
• Replace older toilets; newer toilets use only 1.5 gal to flush.
• Replace your showerhead with a low flow model.
• Capture shower warm-up water; use it to water plants, wash the floor or the car.
• Turn off the faucet while brushing teeth or shaving.
• Keep a bottle of drinking water in your refrigerator. Running tap water until it’s cold enough wastes water.
• Wash only full loads in the dishwasher and washing machine.
Ways to Conserve Water Outdoors
• Reduce lawn size (lawns use 40-50% of our summer water).
• Enrich soils with 3-4 inches of compost worked into the top foot of soil prior to planting
• Dethatch and aerate lawns for better water absorption. Clip lawns no shorter than 2 inches
• Leave the grass clippings on the lawn. They’re 90% water and provide nitrogen.
• Use soaker hoses or drip systems.
• Discontinue lawn irrigation during dry weather.
• Check hoses and sprinkler systems for leaks and fix them promptly.
• Include a rain sensor and a soil moisture sensor in your automatic sprinkler system.
• Use a broom to clean the driveway or patio, instead of the hose and precious water
• Wash your car using a bucket of soapy water. Use a hose with a shut off nozzle just to rinse.
The City will do its part and discontinue landscaping irrigation during the wet season and will continue to be vigilant about leak detection and notification. We appreciate your effort and cooperation with this water conservation recommendation.