In order to reduce daily peak water demands during periods of warmer weather, the Metro Vancouver regional district has enacted sprinkler restrictions starting June 1.
In the past, lawn sprinkling hours included times in the evening, but are now restricted to 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," the Metro Vancouver district said on its website.
"If businesses and residents continue to conserve water, Metro Vancouver can defer building higher dams, bigger pump stations and larger water mains. Morning-only lawn sprinkling will help minimize additional costs, for both taxpayers and the environment," it says.
Residential properties in the Greater Vancouver Water District with even-numbered addresses are allowed to have lawns watered between 4 a.m. and 9 a.m. Monday, Wednesday and Saturday and residents at odd-numbered addresses are allowed to water during the same times but on Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday.
Businesses are restricted to sprinkling between 1 a.m. and 6 a.m., with even-numbered addresses allowed to do so Monday and Wednesday, and odd-numbered addresses permitted Tuesday and Thursday. Businesses are also permitted to sprinkle from 4 a.m. to 9 a.m. on Fridays.
Metro Vancouver also notes there are many exemptions to the lawn sprinkling regulations, including:
- Newly-planted lawns, with the purchase of a special municipal permit
- 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.
Metro Vancouver says homeowners and business owners can also choose to not water their lawns at all, letting the grass instead "go dormant" until the rains come back in the fall, and should consider replacing their lawns with drought-resistant plants that require less water.
The Greater Vancouver Water District includes Anmore, Burnaby, Coquitlam, Delta, Electoral Area A (which includes the University of British Columbia, Langley City, Langley Township, Maple Ridge, New Westminster, North Vancouver City, North Vancouver District, Pitt Meadows, Port Coquitlam, Port Moody, Richmond, Surrey, Tsawwassen, Vancouver, the Village of Belcarra and West Vancouver.
The lawn sprinkling regulations remain in effect until Sept. 30.