City moves Outside Water Use to Level 1 Yellow

Enforced watering restrictions now in effect

Guelph, Ont., June 6, 2016 — Due to local weather conditions, the City of Guelph is moving to Level 1 Yellow watering restrictions under the Outside Water Use Program effective immediately. At Level 1 Yellow, lawn watering is restricted to 7-9 a.m. and 7-9 p.m. on odd or even dates by address number—odd numbered houses are permitted to water on odd numbered calendar dates, and even numbered houses on even dates.

“While we had some rain this weekend, the move up to Level 1 watering restrictions is largely due to a lack of significant rainfall over the last month,” said Emily Stahl, Supervisor of Water Efficiency for the City. “In fact, we moved into Level 1 around the same time in 2015 and, like last year, we really appreciate the efforts residents and businesses make to conserve water, outside and inside, during these dry periods.”

Indicators including rainfall, local river flows and water demands influence required changes to watering restrictions. The lack of significant rainfall is the primary driver of the current change from Blue to Yellow. Continued monitoring and consultation with the Grand River Conservation Authority will determine the need for further changes throughout the season.

Other outdoor water uses such as tree and decorative or food garden watering, running sprinklers for children’s recreational use, and at–home vehicle washing are permitted without restriction. At–home vehicle washing is only permitted using a hose with a shut–off nozzle, or with a filled bucket. Responsible and efficient outdoor and indoor water use is strongly encouraged at all times.

How to report a concern

To report a possible infraction of the Outside Water Use Program, please call By-law Compliance at 519-837-2529 or fill out a report online through the How can we help you tool at For reasons of privacy, please don’t post pictures of private property to social media to report an infraction. Calling or completing an on-line request are the fastest and most effective ways to report a concern.

In Level 1 Yellow, the Outside Water Use Program is actively enforced by the City’s By-law Enforcement Officers. By-law officers will issue a $130 ticket or court summons per program non-compliance event observed.

Lawn and garden care tips


  • Set your mower blade to its highest setting and only your cut lawn when grass is 7.5 cm (3 inches) tall to grow stronger, deeper roots
  • In severe drought it is better for grass health not to mow at all
  • Water lawns only once per week; use a rain gauge and apply 2.5 cm (1 inch) at the most
  • Use oscillating sprinklers that shoot low to the ground instead of fan­–style sprinklers which lose more water to evaporation and wind


  • Use mulch in gardens to retain moisture; apply 7-10 cm (3-4 inches) deep
  • Use a soaker hose or watering can to water plants at their roots and reduce water lost to evaporation
  • Water first thing in the morning; watering at night can lead to plant disease
  • Group garden plants by water needs and water only those that need water
  • Choose drought tolerant plants native to the area

Visit or call 519-822-1260 extension 2153 for more information about the Outside Water Use Program and for more tips on outdoor water conservation.

For more information

Emily Stahl, Supervisor Water Efficiency
Environmental Services, Water Services
519-822-1260 extension 3411