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A hands on approach to water

Claire McFee, Fernie
Claire McFee, Fernie's Water Smart Ambassador takes a soil sample at a resident's home.
— image credit: Photo by M. Cole

The City of Fernie and the Columbia Basin Trust are taking a hands on approach to water conservation.

Neil Klassen with the Columbia Basin Trust said that the conventional method of using brochures or advertisement to educate residents can be ineffective.

Claire McFee is the City of Fernie’s Water Smart Ambassador and she goes door-to-door showing residents how they can reduce their outdoor water use.

The program is focusing on teaching homeowners ways they can water their lawns and gardens in a more efficient way.

One of the tools McFee uses is she takes a soil sample of the homeowner’s lawn, puts the sample in their hand and shows them how, based on the way the roots have grown and the soil consistency, whether or not they are watering their lawns correctly.

McFee and Klassen said that it is also important for homeowners to check their in-ground sprinkler systems.

“The sprinkler head may have broken off some time over the winter, maybe a snow plow got it or it was broken when a car drove over it,” said Klassen. “The broken sprinkler head would cause a geyser and the homeowner may not even notice.”

Mow and Snow is helping to look for broken sprinkler heads as they are going out to people’s homes.

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