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July 15, 2002
Use water efficiently during hot weather
Works & Emergency Services - The City of Toronto is asking residents
and businesses to monitor and reduce their outdoor water use as the city is
experiencing an extended dry period, combined with high temperatures and no
immediate end in sight. 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 2,200 million

As in previous summers during extreme heat waves, the city is consuming water
at a high rate 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 centimetres 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
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
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

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