Metro Vancouver rolls back water restrictions

After a summer of brown lawns and dusty cars, the heavy rain in recent weeks has allowed Metro Vancouver to downgrade its water restrictions from stage 3 to 2.

Residents now allowed to water lawns and wash cars

Metro Vancouver residents can now water their lawns twice a week, but only on certain days and certain times. (Amanda Marcotte/CBC)

After a summer of brown lawns and dusty cars, the heavy rain in recent weeks has allowed Metro Vancouver to downgrade its water restrictions from stage 3 to 2.

For the first time in months, Metro Vancouver's reservoirs are back to acceptable levels, according the chair of the utilities committee Darrell Mussatto.

"People have been conserving water along with the fact that we've had some recent rainfall," said Mussatto.

That means residents can now water their lawn once a week and wash their car with a spring-loaded nozzle.   

Mussatto said if things continue this way, restrictions could go down to stage 1 within a week or two.

Nicholas Brand with Men in Kilts Window Cleaning, said business has been down 75 per cent since stage two restrictions were implemented in July, banning private and commercial washing of driveways and sidewalks and pressure washing for aesthetic reasons.

"We've had to lay off most of staff. We've got two trucks running on a daily basis and they're only about half booked right now, where normally we'd probably be running five trucks and pretty much the whole month would be booked in advance," he said.

Brand is hoping when all the restrictions are lifted, business will pick up quickly.

Stage 2 restrictions

Residential lawn sprinkling allowed:

  • Even-numbered addresses Monday mornings 4 a.m. to 9 a.m.
  • Odd-numbered addresses Thursday mornings 4 a.m. to 9 a.m.

Non-residential lawn sprinkling allowed:

  • Even-numbered addresses Wednesday mornings 1 a.m. to 6 a.m.
  • Odd-numbered addresses Tuesday mornings 1 a.m. to 6 a.m.

Private and commercial washing of driveways, sidewalks, and parkades as well as pressure washing are only allowed for health and safety purposes. Aesthetic purposes are not allowed.

Sports and sand-based playing fields may only use the minimum level of water needed to keep them in usable conditions.

Water use is also prohibited for public and commercial fountains and water features.

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