Photo by Conor Wilson/Valley Record
A view of the Snoqualmie River from Mt Si Road bridge in North Bend.

Photo by Conor Wilson/Valley Record A view of the Snoqualmie River from Mt Si Road bridge in North Bend.

North Bend asks residents to voluntarily conserve water

North Bend residents are being asked to conserve water as the city enters stage 1 of its Water Conservation Ordinance (WCO) on Aug. 15.

The ordinance applies to all homes and businesses within city limits and those who receive water from the city. The city said water conservation is more important than ever, given the dry conditions over the past two months.

The ordinance’s goal is voluntary compliance. The city will not be monitoring water meters or issuing fines unless warnings are ignored. The ordinance requires the city to initiate verbal and written contact with a resident prior to issuing a penalty. If violations continue after warnings, the city can issue fines of up to $50 a day. If violations continue further, the fine can be raised to up to $200 a day.

The ordinance will begin in stage 1, which automatically happens on Aug. 15, and will progress to stages 2 and 3 depending on the levels of the Chester Morse Reservoir Masonry Pool, located in the Cedar River Watershed. The decision to change stages is up to the discretion of the city’s public works director.

The Water Conservation Ordinance was passed by the city council in June 2020 to protect finite resources and prevent the depletion of the Snoqualmie River. This is the second year the ordinance will occur.

“We thank our residents for their voluntary conservation efforts,” North Bend Mayor Rob McFarland said in a press release. “Proactive steps we take as a community today will have a positive, direct impact on our surrounding Snoqualmie Valley environment for years to come.”

What the stages mean

In stage 1, irrigation for orchards, gardens or landscaping is allowed between 6 p.m. and 10 a.m. daily.

In stage 2, irrigation is allowed three days per week. Odd numbered street addresses can water on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays, and even numbered street addresses can water on Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays. In stage 3, irrigation is limited to one day a week.

In stage 1, hand or manual watering is allowed at any time. In stage 2, it will be limited to the same odd and even address rule as irrigation, but allowed at any time during the day.

Drip irrigation is exempt from the ordinance if it is your only watering source.

Additionally, short-term recreational use, such as kiddie pools or sprinklers, is allowed at any time.

In stage 2 and 3, restaurants will be asked not to offer water unless specifically requested.

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