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“Watering Schedule in Effect” – here’s what that means

City of Ferndale roadside sign advising of irrigation restrictions (July 25, 2018). Photo: Whatcom News

At least one roadside sign in the Ferndale has appeared stating “Watering Schedule in Effect” along with a phone number. For some MFN readers, the sign’s message created more questions than answers.

The watering schedule referred to is one the City of Ferndale (COF) has implemented between June 1st and September 15th every year for at least the past 10 years. It is important to note this is a voluntary watering schedule.

The schedule has residents at odd-numbered addresses watering only on Sundays, Wednesdays and Fridays. Residents at even-numbered addresses would then water on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays. No watering would occur on Mondays under the belief greater water use will occur over the weekends and reservoirs need the day to recharge.

Exempt from the watering schedule are flower and vegetable gardens, outdoor potted plants, hanging baskets and newly-planted lawn. Drip-irrigation systems and hand watering are also exempt.

The voluntary watering schedule is a result of the COF’s membership in the Whatcom Water Alliance (WWA) along with the cities of Bellingham, Blaine, Everson, Lynden and Sumas and several water districts. The WWA was formed to improve communication on water-related topics between municipalities and agencies as well as providing opportunities for more consistent public outreach.

Members of the WWA are required to notify their water customers of the voluntary watering schedule each year. The COF did so when the water source was Nooksack River water and continues to do so now that the City’s water source is well water since the City remains a member of WWA.

No enforcement of the watering schedule is intended.

And the phone given on the sign? 360-685-2379, is the phone number to the COF Community Development Department.

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