COURTENAY, B.C- The Comox Valley will be on tighter water restrictions next week.

According to a news release from the Comox Valley Regional District (CVRD), the area’s water system will be going up to Stage 3 restrictions for five days, starting this coming Monday.

“During this time, BC Hydro will be draining their penstock for unplanned repairs and the Comox Valley Regional District (CVRD) will need to move to its emergency back-up pump station to draw water from the Puntledge River,” read the release.

“This equipment does not have the capacity to meet peak demand for water in our community without Stage 3 restrictions.”

According to the release, the penstock supplies water to Valley residents for domestic use, and when it’s not in operation, the emergency standby system is used instead.

The ongoing work on the CVRD’s water treatment plant project will move away from the penstock access, going with a lake access instead. When that change is made, maintenance work from BC Hydro won’t have an impact on the district’s ability to draw water.

Mike Herschmiller. “Whenever the Penstock is drained we rely on our emergency standby system, which requires that we implement water restrictions to ensure there is enough water available for domestic needs as well as fire protection.”

“We acknowledge that many residents are starting their gardens and this is an inconvenience,” said the CVRD’s Water Manager, Mike Herschmiller.

“We ask for your patience and understanding around this unplanned event and the need to comply with short term Stage 3 water restrictions.”

Stage 3 restrictions apply to the Town of Comox, City of Courtenay, and the Sandwick, Arden, Comox Valley, England Road, Marsden/Camco and Greaves Crescent Water Local Service Areas.

The following are the restrictions outlined by the CVRD.

Under these restrictions residents are prohibited to water their lawns or pressure wash driveways and boulevards; fill a swimming pool, hot tub or garden pond; or wash a vehicle or boat.

During Stage 3, a resident may:

1) Water trees, shrubs, flowers, and vegetables on any day between the hours of 6 am and 8 am and 8 pm to 10 pm if watering is done by hand-held container or a hand-held hose equipped with an automatic shut-off nozzle.

2) Water newly planted trees, shrubs, flowers and vegetables by hand-held container or a hand-held hose equipped with an automatic shut-off nozzle during installation and at any time during the following 24 hours after installation is completed.

3) Use micro-irrigation or drip-irrigation systems to water trees, shrubs, flowers, and vegetables on any day between the hours of 6 am to 8 am and 8 pm to 10 pm.

4) Water all-weather playing fields at any time, but only if failure to do so will result in a permanent loss of plant material.

5) Use water to wash sidewalks, driveways, parking lots, exterior windows, or exterior building surfaces, but ONLY IF NECESSARY for applying a product such as paint, preservative, and stucco, preparing a surface prior to paving or repointing bricks, or if required by law to comply with health or safety regulations.

Anyone looking for more information can find it at: www.comoxvalleyrd.ca/restrictions.