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July 2, 2002
Use water efficiently during hot weather
The City of Toronto is asking residents and businesses to monitor their outdoor
water use during this week of record high temperatures. While Toronto takes its
water supply from Lake Ontario and there is no shortage of water, the City does
have a maximum amount it can process daily. The water supply system has a daily
capacity of 2200 million litres.

As in previous summers during extreme heat waves, the city is consuming water
at a high rate this week and Toronto's four water treatment plants are very
busy providing water to meet demand. While Toronto's water supply is currently
adequate, residents can help by following these tips.

10 tips to outdoor water efficiency:

1. Lawns need about 2.5 cm (1 inch) of water every week. Use a rain
gauge or other container to keep track of the water falling on your
lawn from both your sprinkler and rain. Remember, during humid
conditions, soil dries more slowly.
2. Be sure to water during the off-peak hours of between 11 p.m. and
8 a.m.
3. Pay attention to the weather. If it has rained recently, keep the
sprinkler in the tool shed.
4. Don't cut your grass too short. Three centimeters is a healthy length
and promotes good root growth. (By mid-summer, your lawn may appear
brown because grass tends to grow slowly, or stop, at this time. The
plants are still alive and with future rains will green up again.)
5. Leave grass clippings on your lawn; they provide natural nutrients
and moisture.
6. Recycle your rain. Disconnect your home's eavestrough downspout from
the sewer system and install a rain barrel. Use the water collected
in your rain barrel for lawn and garden watering.
7. Use a broom, not a hose, to sweep up debris or clean your sidewalks
and driveway.
8. Fill a small pool for kids to play in rather than running your
sprinkler for hours during the heat of the day.
9. Take a break; skip washing your car during hot spells.
10. Try planting vegetation that requires little watering. Ask at your
garden centre.

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