Watering Restrictions  |  Level 3

Due to low snowpack for winter 2024, the City is maintaining its watering restrictions at Level 3.  The City continues to encourage sound water conservation principles.

Level 3 watering restrictions allow lawn and garden watering 2 times a week:

  • EVEN # Addresses:  Thursday &  Sunday   |   Odd # Addresses:  Tuesday  &  Saturday
  • Manual Sprinkler:  6am–8 am  OR  7pm–9pm
  • Automated drip Irrigation: 12am – 2am
  • Handwatering & Washing: Anytime with user-controlled auto-shut-off valve
  • Pools & Ponds: Top up only.
  • Bulk Water Sales: Permitted.

See the Outdoor Watering Policy and more: merritt.ca/watering

Spring Freshet 2024

As we shift into spring, melting snow and spring showers can lead to rising rivers or “freshet.” No advisory is currently in effect. According to a Snow Survey and Water Supply Bulletin released by the Province in January 2024, the snowpack in the Lower Thompson Basin is averaging 36% of normal for this time of year. While the winter is not over and more snowpack could accumulate, at this point, Spring Freshet is not expected to be significant. However, if we get several days of really hot weather, followed by heavy rainfall, high river advisories could be issued and groundwater impacts are possible.  The period to watch is late April through June. While the Coldwater River was the source of the major flood in fall 2021, it’s the Nicola River that typically experiences the greatest freshet variations. Gratefully, there is a dam at Nicola Lake, where water outflows to the Nicola River, which can control water flow and reduce the risk of flooding is reduced.

Residents can monitor river forecasts, warnings and advisories through the Province of BC River Forecast Centre.  Residents can also see current Streamflow Conditions and Flood Forecast Modeling.  Also monitor weather statements and warnings through Environment Canada.

Please note that a team of people at the City of Merritt and in the provincial government actively monitor weather events and environmental risk, and are in frequent communication with each other regarding events that may impact Merritt residents. When there is a critical warning or other emergency alert, residents will be notified via the Voyent Alert app, website, social media, and the media.  Sign up to get notifications to your mobile phone or landline.


Be Prepared

Preparation is key. Residents are responsible for flood prevention on their own private property. If your property is near any water source, you may want to be prepared for overland flood.  Sandbagging and drainage ditches are your best bet.

If your property is in a low-lying area, you may be susceptible to groundwater seepage into your basement or ground floor. Installing a sump pump and improving drainage around your home is recommended.  Also be sure to clear your drains and gutter system.  It is also recommended that you ensure that your land slopes away from your home, and, if necessary, install land drainage.

If you need to construct a sandbag dike or wall to protect your property, the City has a sandbagging facility in the Public Works parking lot at 1298 Coldwater Avenue.  Also get some sandbagging tips and information from Emergency Management and Climate Readiness (EMCR).

Other Emergency Preparedness Tips

  • Prepare an emergency plan and have a plan for evacuation of your family, pets or livestock. Visit the Get Prepared webpage before a flood for additional tips on what to do before, during, and after a flood.
  • Assemble a 72-hour kit disaster preparedness kit and acquire the tools and supplies that might be needed before, during and after a flood.  Make sure your emergency kit includes enough food, water, a first-aid kit, identification and medications for your entire family.
  • Place your important documents and identification on an upper floor in a sealed plastic bag.
  • Review insurance available for your property. Some coverage is available for overland flow and surface water; typically groundwater damage is not covered. The Ministry of Emergency Management and Climate Readiness expects property owners to obtain flood insurance, when and where available. Property owners who choose not to obtain flood insurance, where available, may not be eligible for Disaster Financial Assistance.
  • Know where the power and water shut-off is in your house.
  • Do not to pump water into the sanitary sewer system. It is only designed to accept typical household water waste.
  • Sign up for emergency alerts on the Voyent Alert app. Monitor the City of Merritt’s news page, facebook page and twitter feed (@CityofMerritt). And visit the Thompson-Nicola Regional District Emergency Page for up-to-date information on emergencies in our regional district.

Other Important Links