As Stage 1 of Metro Vancouver water restrictions come into effect this weekend, officials are warning residents, if they ignore the rules they risk a fine.

Lawn watering restrictions come into effect on Sunday and, unlike last year, when violators mostly received a warning, this year, enforcement is being stepped up.

"There is an expectation that there will be more bylaw officers looking for those that violate the various restrictions that will be in place for the first part of Stage 1," Inder Singh, director of policy planning and analysis in Metro Vancouver's water services department, said Friday.

"Those restrictions only work if there's a general agreement to abide by the rules."

Restrictions are coming in earlier this year as a precaution, Singh said, after record-setting April temperatures have created greater demand for water.

Nevertheless, he doesn't expect restrictions will reach Stage 3 as they did last year.

"The snow pack level is higher [this year] and if we are careful early on we can avoid Stage 3."

$500 fines

The maximum fine for watering your lawn with sprinklers outside of designated hours is $500.

As of May 15, residential lawn sprinkling will be allowed on alternating days at these times:

  • Even-numbered addresses: Monday, Wednesday and Saturday mornings from 4 a.m. to 9 a.m. PT
  • Odd-numbered addresses: Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday mornings from 4 a.m. to 9 a.m. PT

Non-residential lawn sprinkling will be allowed at the following times:

  • Even-numbered addresses: Monday and Wednesday mornings from 1 a.m. to 6 a.m. PT
  • Odd-numbered addresses: Tuesday and Thursday mornings from 1 a.m. to 6 a.m. PT
  • All addresses: Friday mornings from 4 a.m. to 9 a.m.

With files from Anita Bathe.