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Water Restrictions

Watering a lawn

Starting May 15 until October 15, Metro Vancouver's Outdoor Water Use Restriction is in effect. We are now in Stage 1, and lawn watering is allowed 3 times per week.

During Stage 1, any lawn watering, either by sprinkler, or by handheld hose is permitted three times per week.

Lawn Watering Schedule in Stage 1 (Effective May 15 - Oct. 15)

Residential Addresses from 4 a.m. to 9 a.m.

  • Even numbered addresses: Monday, Wednesday, and Saturday
  • Odd numbered addresses: Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday  

Non-residential Addresses

  • Even numbered addresses: Monday, Wednesday from 1 am - 6 am, Friday 4 am and 9 am
  • Odd numbered addresses: Tuesday, Thursday from 1 am. - 6 am, Friday 4 am and 9 am

Please note

  • Multi-unit developments, such as apartments and townhouses, are permitted to sprinkle according to the development address, not the individual unit numbers.
  • Mixed-use buildings (i.e. residential with commercial buildings) water according to the non-residential address schedule.
  • When hosing or pressure washing outdoor surfaces, or washing boats or motor vehicles, water hoses must be equipped with an automatic shut-off device.
  • There are no restrictions on watering flowers, vegetables, planters, shrubs, and trees during Stage 1.

Special Water Permit

A special water pemit is also available for new lawns, newly seeded lawns or lawns under natural pest control, such as the Nematode treatment to control European Chafer Beetles.

To get a permit, visit the Engineering Front Counter on the 2nd Floor of City Hall. Bring a copy of the receipt for your Nematodes or new lawn as proof. Permits related to Nematode treatments are free, and permits for new lawns are $35 - $175.

Reporting a water sprinkling violation

Active Violations

Report any active water sprinkling violations to the By-law Call Centre at 604-591-4370.

Past Violations

To report past violations or request for information, please call Engineering Department at 604-591-4340 or email at EngWebmail@surrey.ca.

Any complaints received, or observed violations, may result in fines imposed under Surrey Bylaw No. 12508, the Bylaw Contravention Fines (see page 23).

Helpful lawn care tips

  • Lawns mainly do not require more than 2.5 cm deep of water per week (equivalent to the depth of a tuna can) which can be achieved by sprinkling once a week;
  • Water early in the morning to reduce evaporation;
  • Leave grass clippings on your lawn; they reduce evaporation and the need to water;
  • Get some more Water Saving Tips here, and on Metro Vancouver's Lawn Sprinkling Regulations page.

History of Lawn Sprinkling Regulations

In the winter and spring of 1992, low rainfall and snow pack significantly reduced water levels within Metro Vancouver's 3 main reservoirs. In addition, during the summer months, unusually warm weather resulted in a much higher water consumption rate, further lowering water levels. This resulted in a solution requiring a 10-week ban on all lawn and garden sprinkling.

In the summer of 1993, Metro Vancouver's member municipalities imposed regular twice weekly lawn sprinkling regulations. Starting 2011, new lawn sprinkling regulations were imposed in our region each summer between June 1 and September 30. These regulations allows people water 3 times a week, keep the rate of water consumption evenly distributed, and lower the risk of reservoir levels being depleted too quickly.

Effective 2016, Metro Vancouver extended the Water Shortage Response Plan, regardless of weather condition, from May 15 to October 15.

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Water Conservation

Find tips on how you can conserve water and minimize your impact on the environment.