Frequently Asked Questions
- Why did you change the watering restrictions in 2016?
The watering restriction bylaws and policies were reviewed in detail after an unprecedented hot, dry summer in 2015. Feedback from property owners and neighbouring municipal leaders indicated there was confusion over the levels and inconsistencies between municipalities. All major water purveyors in the region worked together to develop this new unified framework for 2016. The intent is that with common definitions of watering restriction stages across the region, there will be more clarity for residents.
- Whose watering restrictions do I have to follow?
Check the interactive map to confirm where you live and what the current restrictions are. If you are still unsure, then consider who sends you a water bill.
- Where does my water come from?
We're glad you asked! Your drinking water comes from either a licensed surface water supply, or from groundwater wells, or a combination of both. On the interactive map you will find your water service area and the water source will be described in the roll-over info bubble.
- Why does Watering Restriction Stage 1 consist of night time watering only?
The aim is to avoid periods of excessive demand around breakfast time and dinner time by directing sprinkling to the hours between 7pm and 7am in Stage 1, thereby giving our wells, pumps, reservoirs and aquifers a chance to rest and recover.
Please note that in Stage 1 & Stage 2 hand-watering, micro irrigation and drip irrigation are permitted anytime; the restricted times only apply to pop-up, rotor and other sprinklers.
- Are vegetable gardens restricted?
No. The value of growing local food is recognized and commendable. You can water vegetable gardens and fruit trees by any method you like, any time, any day, even in Watering Restriction Stage 4.
- Why is Watering Restriction Stage 3 so open-ended?
When stress on our water supply is heightened, Stage 3 Voluntary Reductions give the opportunity back to the homeowner to decide how best to reduce their own water use, above and beyond Stage 2 restrictions. At this Stage, if a measureable reduction in water use is not achieved by the community as a whole, the Manager of Water Services has the discretion to move to Stage 4 - a sprinkling and outdoor washing ban.
It's about flexibility. Did you work hard to cultivate your perennial beds? Keep them watered, and let the side and back lawns go golden. Love your Saturday morning car wash? Make it a monthly chore rather than a weekly one! Ask yourself where your household's water priorities and use reduction opportunities are. Remember, every drop counts!
- Is my pressure-washing business exempt?
Please check with your specific municipality or water purveyor (link) for details about commercial exemptions.
- What is micro irrigation and drip irrigation?
Micro and drip irrigation systems consist of water delivered to the root zone of a plant and use less than 20 gallons per hour at less than 25 PSI. Soaker hoses and weeper hoses are NOT considered to be micro or drip systems.
- Can I run a sprinkler for the kids, or fill a wading pool?
Please check with your specific municipality or water purveyor for details about sprinklers and pool exemptions.
- Can I water my brand new lawn (sod/seed)?
You can apply for a permit to be exempt from the watering restrictions in Stage 1 and Stage 2. A new lawn exemption permit may not be issued or be valid if the restrictions move to Stage 3 or Stage 4. Please check with your specific municipality or water purveyor. It is recommended that lawn seeding or installing sod be done in the spring or fall shoulder seasons. For more information on healthy lawn care, check out this resource (brochure).
- Where can I report violations to the watering restrictions?
We love your dedication to protecting water resources! Please feel free to leave a note on the person's door as a reminder of the watering restrictions. Failing that, please contact your local water provider. If you are in and RDN Water Service Area please send us an email at rcu [at] rdn.bc.ca and we'll check it out.
- How are the watering restrictions enforced?
Each municipality and water purveyor has bylaws and/or policies that pertain to the enforcement of watering restrictions. It's good practice to give a friendly reminder to members of the community of the current watering restriction level. Further action may be taken at the discretion of the municipality or water purveyor. Many municipalities have ticketing bylaws that could be utilized if there are infractions.
- I already stopped watering my lawn. How else can I conserve water?
We have an extensive list of tips at teamwatersmart.ca. Get creative! For example, give the kids a squirt bottle to play with instead of running the sprinkler!
- Can I follow the RDN on social media?
Yes. Please like and follow us on social media for updates on watering restrictions stages and current conditions throughout the summer season.