COURTENAY, B.C- A broad array of businesses in the Comox Valley won’t be able to use water as they usually do after this Friday.

Due to emergency repairs being scheduled for the Comox Valley Regional District’s water system to fix a leak into the Puntledge River, Stage Four water restrictions are being put in place across the entire system from April 12th to 22nd.

According to the district, all use of water for any purpose other than drinking, food preparation and personal hygiene is prohibited during that time.

The move effects all users of the system, being the bulk of Courtenay and Comox. Cumberland uses its own water and wastewater system.

A map of the Comox Valley Regional District water system.

Businesses that use water from the system will face restrictions as well. A list of all business types affected is included below, and the CVRD indicated that they are in the process of “proactively reaching out” to those users.

Garden Centres

Farms

Irrigators

Wineries

Schools

Car Washes

Car/RV Dealerships

Car Rentals

Building Contractors

Landscapers

Outdoor Pressure Washers

Window Cleaners

Carpet Cleaners

Property Managers

Construction Companies

Dog groomers are also affected, as they are not using water for the purposes defined under the bylaw according to the district.

The district’s website included a list of prohibited water uses, which included the following:

-Watering lawns, gardens, plants and trees in any manner or by any means, including watering by hand

-Filling or topping off or operating residential or commercial pools, hot tubs, ponds or fountains

-Operating local government outdoor water parks and pools

-Washing vehicles, boats or outdoor surfaces

-Irrigating golf courses and other public and/or school district property

-Where reasonably possible, swimming pools, hot tubs, fountains and ponds should be drained for health and safety purposes and such water used for irrigation.

-No new lawn permit shall be issued during Stage 4, and no new lawn permit, whenever issued, shall be valid during Stage 4.

They also carried a list of exceptions, which included the following:

-Using water for health and safety reasons is permitted.

-Water use is permitted for firefighting.

-Local government watermain and hydrant maintenance is permitted, but only for unscheduled safety or public health reasons.

-Water use is permitted for farm and agricultural operations, but only for livestock drinking purposes.

-Cleaning outdoor surfaces is only authorized when required by law to comply with health or safety regulations, or to comply with an order of a regulatory authority having jurisdiction, such as WorkSafeBC or a public health inspector.

-Irrigating local government all-weather playing fields is permitted.

-Spot cleaning of vehicles and boats with a sponge and bucket for health and safety reasons (windows, lights, license plates, etc.) is permitted.

The district government, as well as the municipal administration of Courtenay and Comox, will be taking steps to reduce water consumption by suspending “non-emergency” operational work, such as road sweeping, hydrant maintenance, sewer flushing, and all irrigation, including playing fields.

“The CVRD’s recreation facilities will remain open,” read the district website.

“The water in the pools and hot tubs are recirculated, and do not require draining and refilling.”

The district’s recreation department will only be hosing their pool decks and other surfaces when there are biohazards present, and are encouraging users to take shorter showers. The steam room will also be closed for the duration of the Stage 4 restrictions.

As for the Sports Centre, Arena 1 will be closed for the duration of the restrictions, and Arena 2 will be open with limited ice times. The exhibition grounds will not have dust control on riding rings, and there will be no field watering.