Vancouver west end by Calkan, 2004
Vancouver west end by Calkan, 2004

The sizzling summer in the Pacific Northwest didn’t stop at the Canadian border. Western and southern British Columbia also baked.

While many local pool builders enjoyed a business boost from the high temperatures, they also faced government-imposed water restrictions.

Many municipalities had declared  Stage 3, but implementation varied. For some, it meant no car washing or lawn watering; elsewhere, such as in metro Vancouver and Vancouver Island, no fresh local water could fill new or existing pools. However, water could be trucked in, though expensive. Aloha Pools Ltd., an upscale concrete pool builder in metro Vancouver, has transported water as far as 50 miles, said Marco Rizzo, company co-owner along with brothers Roger and Mauro.

In at least one area — Surrey, a suburb of Vancouver — drought measures are affecting filtration choice. There, permits call for cartridge pool filters, said Lorie Merritt, project coordinator at Vancouver-based Trasolini Pools Ltd..

In response to the restrictions, the Pool & Hot Tub Council of Canada sent a letter to mayors and district councilors in the province, informing them of industry efforts to conserve water and inviting questions.

Fortunately, the drought did not hamper business this year, professionals reported. “If anything, the drought got more people thinking about putting in pools for next summer,” Rizzo said. “The thought was, ‘If this is going to be the norm, let’s get a pool in now.’ ”

Though Stage 3 interrupted pool plastering, Merritt’s firm still saw a business uptick. “It was a good summer for us,” she said.

It helps that many restrictions were lifted after Labor Day, in anticipation of the upcoming wet season.

What’s next for British Columbia? Weather experts are concerned about low snow packs and the water supply, but citizens don’t seem worried. They expect the rains to return after summer like clockwork. Time will tell.