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Watering ban in effect
Hamilton has plenty of water now, but don't squander it.

That's the message from Lou Di Gironimo, city director of water and wastewater services. He says a ban on watering lawns, washing cars, hosing driveways and other non-essential uses of water outdoors will continue as long as there's a threat of rolling power blackouts.

The city's eight reservoirs were refilled after Thursday's power outage, but Di Gironimo says the water ban is necessary to conserve electricity. He said two of the city's automatic sprinklers may have been left on unintentionally over the weekend, and staff have been told to shut them off.

Hamilton has enough water to last about 24 hours if all reservoirs are full, which is rare. Di Gironimo says the city's storage ability -- about 830 million litres -- compares well with other municipalities and is about six times more than in the Ministry of Environment guidelines for urban areas.

When the power went out late Thursday afternoon, some of the reservoirs were in good shape, but two that serve the core and west Hamilton -- including McMaster University Medical Centre -- were down to about 15-20 per cent of their capacity. On an average day, that's only enough water for a few hours. Source.

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August 21, 2003