07/15/2015 12:00 EDT | Updated 07/15/2016 05:59 EDT

Water restrictions: patrollers coming to Port Coquitlam streets

Water wasters beware. The streets of Port Coquitlam, B.C. will soon be patrolled by city employees looking for anyone breaking Metro Vancouver water restrictions.

"They'll be working closely with the by-law division, and we'll be tracking those repeat offenders and following up," said Kirsten Meersman, director of engineering and operations for Port Coquitlam.

Instead of ticketing wasteful water users, the patrollers' mandate is to teach residents how they can curb their use of the resource, and avoid the hundreds of dollars in fines issued to those who don't comply.

"They'll be primarily focussing on education and outreach, but they'll also be issuing warnings," said Meersman.

- Water restrictions mean tickets for Metro Vancouver water hogs

City council approved the program Monday night, following a barrage of complaints from residents seeing neighbours wasting water.

"We're getting between six and 10 calls or complaints daily, so obviously a lot of people observing people watering inappropriately," said Meersman.

Metro Vancouver activated Stage 2 of the Water Shortage Response Plan last week. Those restrictions mean residents can water their lawns just once per week. They also impose conditions on how homeowners can wash their cars and use pressure washers.

Port Coquitlam city council hopes to have their patrollers on watch in the next few weeks.