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June 6, 2005
Voluntary outdoor water advisory issued by Toronto Water
Toronto Water is asking Toronto’s residents and businesses to voluntarily
reduce their outdoor water usage during this heat wave. This action helps the
City avoid exceeding its water supply capacity of 2,100 million litres per day,
equal to the capacity of Toronto’s Rogers Centre.

Keeping the water supply levels at capacity is particularly critical during
extreme heat and air pollution levels. For example, findings from a study
released earlier today by Toronto’s Medical Officer of Health shows that
Toronto experienced approximately 120 premature deaths, a year, due to
heat-related issues during the study period. That’s why all Torontonians are
reminded to drink plenty of fluids during this heat alert.

There are exceptions to this voluntary outdoor water advisory: critical areas
such as new tree planting sites, newly laid or seeded grass, golf courses,
horticultural displays and high-end turf areas should continue to be maintained
as usual.

Here are some outdoor water efficiency tips for Torontonians:
  1. Reduce the number of times you water your lawn
  2. Healthy lawns only need 2.5 cm (1" ) of water a week - including rainfall
  3. Use a rain gauge to track the water falling on your lawn from your sprinkler and the rain
  4. Water your lawn early in the morning to avoid water evaporation
  5. Leave grass clippings on your lawn: they provide natural nutrients and water
  6. Use a broom - not a water hose - to sweep up debris or clean your driveways and walkways.
  7. Fill a small pool for your kids to cool off in, rather than have the sprinkler on for hours
  8. Take a break: skip washing your car during hot spells
In the meantime, City of Toronto is requesting that other City
departments, agencies, boards and commissions suspend all non-essential outdoor
water use. This includes activities such as:
  • landscape irrigation
  • washing exterior building surfaces, parking lots, driveways or sidewalks
  • street and vehicle washing
  • transit vehicle washing such as subway cars and buses

Media contact:
Paulette Den Elzen
Sr. Communications Officer



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