April 2022 Newsletter
Hi Ward 14!
Spring is in the air. I always find—for whatever reason—things start to get busier in the Spring. There are many things to prepare for, and changes that come as we get ready for the most abundant time of year. This is true of the City of Calgary too. Snow melts, the water runs off, and we transition from one mode to another.
You may have noticed some street sweepers out recently and thought that was a little odd. The City is doing some “pre-sweeping” right now. Doing this helps speed up the annual street sweeping process and saves us all a lot of money in the long run on our storm water management system. You do not need to move your car yet, but you will need to a little later this Spring. I will not go into too much detail about that here, because you can find pretty much everything you need to know at calgary.ca/sweep including how to sign up for street sweeping notifications.
Water your trees, shrubs, and flowers with a rain barrel
Did you know, watering your yard can account for 30 to 40 percent of your annual water use. Capturing rainwater can help you and our community build resiliency during times of hot and dry weather. Rain barrels also help to keep water on your property, so less dirt and contaminants wash into the rivers.
How do I choose a rain barrel? Look for a sealed barrel equipped with:
- An overflow mechanism, such as a diverter, for use with your existing downspout.
- An additional outlet and hose to redirect water to plants or trees from the barrel once it’s full.
- A drain or tap near the bottom to fill a watering can.
Setting up a rain barrel is easy. Start by locating the downspout most convenient for barrel placement. If your rain barrel didn’t come with its own stand, set it on some concrete blocks r flagstones for extra stability. Carefully read the installation instructions that come with your rain barrel and refer to the barrel manufacturer or retailer for support. You can use one barrel or set up a network of multiple barrels to increase your savings. Visit calgary.ca/yardsmart for more info.
Understanding rights-of-way and your property
The City of Calgary is responsible for managing access to municipal rights-of-way in Calgary. A right-of-way is an area that gives the City space to install infrastructure (e.g. street light poles and trees), while also giving shallow utilities (i.e. power, gas, and telecommunications providers) a place to install and maintain their critical infrastructure. When utility work is required in your community, crews can apply for the permits required to access the right-of-way to install infrastructure, both above and below ground. All properties contain a road right-of-way, but only some properties have a utility right-of-way on them. In most cases, the utility right-of way starts at your property line and extends inward, toward your home. The space the right-of-way takes up in a yard will vary and it can also be located along the side of your home or at the back. As a homeowner, you are responsible for mowing and general maintenance, but it is technically the road right-of-way and is considered public land. For more information or to learn where the right-of-way is located on your property visit calgary.ca/row.
How much do water leaks really cost us?
Toilets are the most common cause of leaks in the home. Most toilet leaks are silent and go unnoticed for long periods of time. Checking for toilet leaks regularly can save both water and money. A chain caught under a toilet flapper can waste 3,000 litres a month. A leak this size could increase your monthly bill by $10 until its fixed. A broken or worn-out flapper could waste 450,000 litres per month. A leak this size could add almost $1,200 to your bill.
Take the Leaky Toilet Test to find out if your toilet is leaking.
- Remove the tank cover.
- Put several drops of food colouring (or another coloured liquid you have in your home like coffee or tea) into the toilet tank.
- Wait 15-20 minutes.
- Look in the bowl. If the water changes colour, you’ve got a leak.
The sooner you make a repair, the better. Go to calgary.ca/waterguide for detailed instructions on how to repair leaks.
Keeping storm drains clear this spring
Storm drains (or catch basins) are the main way stormwater gets into our underground pipes, or rather our stormwater management system. There are about 60,000 storm drains in Calgary which capture water off sidewalks, streets, and roads. The City of Calgary has an online map that shows where storm drains are located. For more information and to view this map, please visit calgary.ca/stormdrains.
Navigating Calgary’s Ring Road
As a growing city and one that moves, Calgary’s Ring Road makes our road network better and provides more options to get around Calgary. It shortens travel time between communities and popular destinations in and around our city. This map shows the sections of the Ring Road that are completed and the proposed West Calgary Ring Road section. View the Calgary Ring Road Map on the Map Gallery before heading out on it. The Calgary Ring Road Map can be found at: https://maps.calgary.ca/calgaryringroad.
To view more City of Calgary maps, please visit the Map Gallery at https://maps/calgary.ca.
-Councillor Peter Demong