The City of Merritt is immediately implementing expanded restrictions on watering.

Coun. Ginny Prowal made a motion at Tuesday’s council meeting to eliminate one day of watering day for even and odd numbered houses, which was unanimously approved.

From now until September 30, watering will not be permitted on Wednesday’s and Thursdays.

Time restrictions remain unchanged, as does the prohibition of watering on Sunday.

Watering for even addresses is only permitted on Mondays and Fridays from 6 a.m. to 8 a.m. and in the evening from 7 p.m. until 10 p.m.

Odd addresses are allowed to water on Tuesdays and Saturdays from 6 a.m. to 8 a.m. and in the evening from 7 p.m. until 10 p.m.

These restrictions include the use of soaker hoses.

Automatic sprinklers are permitted to be used between midnight and 4 a.m.

Previously, even addresses were allowed to water on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays while odd addresses could water Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturday.

The City of Merritt will also be doing its part by not watering its parks and cemetery on Wednesdays and Thursdays.

The expanded water restrictions were brought up in response to a Level 3 drought warning currently in place in the Southern Interior.

Prowal said it’s early to be having the low river flows and the prolonged heat this region has experienced so far this summer. Not knowing what conditions to expect the next few months, Prowal said Merritt can’t risk losing its groundwater.

“We need to take precautions now,” Prowal said.

She said water consumption is up from this time last year in the city.

A $50 fine will result for violating the water restrictions.

Prowal said to conserve water and prevent evaporation people should leave lawn clippings on their yards after cutting their grass, and leave it at least three to four inches tall.

She also suggested people collect rain water.

Residents can call 250-378-8628 for more information on water restrictions.