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Don't waste a drop: summer watering restrictions in effect for Metro Vancouver region

DH Vancouver Staff Jun 02, 2014 12:10 pm

With rising temperatures, Metro Vancouver regional district’s lawn sprinkling regulations are now in effect until September 30.

The reduction is part of an attempt to reduce peak demand on the water system and defer the need and associated high costs of building higher dams, bigger pump stations and larger water mains.

Every summer, water use almost doubles (mostly due to outdoor use) while rainfall is at its lowest. On the hottest days, as much as two billion litres of water are used.

Previously, sprinkling was permitted in the mornings and evenings but now is only permitted in the mornings, before 9 a.m. This is because the demand for water is highest in the evening when most people prepare meals, wash dishes, do laundry, take showers and perform other domestic activities.

By not permitting afternoon or evening sprinkling, this will help flatten the spikes in water consumption and reduce peak demand on the water system.

According to the regional district, one hour a week of watering is all that is needed for a healthy lawn. One hour of lawn sprinkling is also equivalent to the water consumption of 25 toilet flushes, 5 loads of laundry and 5 dishwasher loads combined.

Residences will be permitted to sprinkle their lawns only in the mornings on these days and times:

  • Even-numbered addresses can sprinkle their lawns from 4 a.m. to 9 a.m. on Monday, Wednesday and Saturday.
  • Odd-numbered addresses can sprinkle their lawns from 4 a.m. to 9 a.m. on Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday.

Non-residential lawns will be permitted to sprinkle their lawns only in the mornings on these days and times:

  • Even-numbered addresses may sprinkle lawns from 1 a.m. to 6 a.m. Monday and Wednesday
  • Odd-numbered addresses may sprinkle lawns 1 a.m. from to 6 a.m. Tuesday and Thursday
  • All non-residential addresses can also sprinkle 4 a.m. from to 9 a.m. Friday.

Exceptions to the rule:

  • Newly-planted lawns are exempt with the purchase of a special permit from your municipality.
  • Flower and vegetable gardens, decorative planters, shrubs and trees.
  • Pools, spas, water play parks and fountains.
  • Washing cars or boats using a spring-loaded shutoff nozzle.
  • Sports playing fields and school yards. Lawns at golf courses and turf farms.
  • Artificial turf requiring wetting and outdoor tracks requiring hosing for dust control or safety.


Featured Image: Lawn sprinklers via Shutterstock


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DH Vancouver Staff
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