A weeks-long water conservation order that placed strict rules on how water could be used has finally been lifted by the Town of Bay Roberts.
Council lifted the measures during a public meeting on Oct. 23, though Mayor Philip Wood continued to emphasis the need for residents and business owners to use water wisely.
"We should continue to be very prudent and be wary of water conservation," Wood stated.
The town implemented a water conservation advisory in mid-summer, and tightened those measures to a water ban last month, following one of the driest summers in recent memory.
The tighter measures prohibited all but the essential use of water, resulted in the temporary closure of a commercial car wash, and also restricted auto dealers from washing vehicles.
Town officials said the three ponds that supply the system - Peddle's Pond, Big Pond and the smaller supply pond (known to some as Fall Pond) - had dropped to their lowest levels in four decades.
A water gauge at Big Pond was completely exposed as the water retreated. The base for that gauge is now covered in water, though the level is still uncomfortably low, chief administrative officer Nigel Black said following the Oct. 23 meeting.
Mayor Wood said the town is moving forward with plans to install a new water line between Peddle's Pond and Big Pond, which would improve the flow of water when the streams connecting the two ponds slow to a trickle, as it did this year. A similar line between Big Pond and the supply pond was installed about a decade ago.
"We'll have a report soon on the needed changes for next year," said the mayor.
Record home construction
Meanwhile, it's now a certainty that the town will set a new record this year for home construction approvals.
The previous record -64 permits - was set in 2010, but the number dropped to 50-plus last year.
Council approved two residential construction permits last week, bringing the 2012 number to 63. Several others were referred to the planning and development committee for further review, but officials expect the total will be close to 70 by year's end.