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Water systems OK, despite continuing warm weather

With the sunny hot weather expected to continue for some time (into mid-week, perhaps longer), most island communities are facing continued water usage restrictions. "Currently we are on a level one usage restriction, of the two levels it is the lighter one" said Queen Charlotte's Superintendent of Public Works Ben Greenough, "people can still water on even and odd days according to their address, but we are asking people to conserve as best they can, and we are keeping an eye on the river level because it is, obviously, dropping," he said. A significant drop in water levels could cause a level two restriction that would prohibit any watering or car washing in the community."There is typically increased water usage in the summer, this year we have seen a 20 percent increase with the tourist season. If the Honna can't keep up, we could fall back to the well system," said Mr. Greenough, "we are able to run both, but we'd prefer not to, we want the well to recuperate." Never in his ten years with the Queen Charlotte public works department has Mr. Greenough seen a level two restriction put in place.Skidegate is in much the same position with a water restriction having been in effect for two weeks."We are asking people not to water at all," said Chief Water Treatment Plant Operator Johnny Smith, "no watering lawns, or washing cars, and no swimming pools should be filled at this time," he said. The short period of rain two weeks ago helped with the water levels he said, but Slarkedus Creek, which provides water to Skidegate, is low and water levels are being maintained by a controlled flow from the lake. "We should be fine," said Mr. Smith, "we are still producing good, clean drinking water." In Masset, residents are enjoying the freedom of no watering restrictions."We are on deep wells, so the weather does not affect our supply," said Sylvan Daugert, maintenance man for the public works department. "Consumption has not been unusually high this year, our supply is good.of course we always want people to be responsible with water, but we haven't noticed any problems so far," said Mr. Daugert. Masset Administrator Trevor Jarvis doesn't anticipate any future water restrictions for Masset to be put in place, despite the continued warm weather.