Guelph, Ont., July 5, 2016 – Due to local weather conditions, the City of Guelph is moving to Level 2 Red watering restrictions under the Outside Water Use Program, effective immediately.
At Level 2 Red, residents and businesses are asked to reduce and stop nonessential water use, such as lawn watering and at-home vehicle washing. New lawn and treated lawn permits remain active at this time. However, should conditions persist all water permits may be suspended.
In addition, alternate day and time watering restrictions are in place for flower gardens. Homeowners with odd-numbered addresses are permitted to water plants on odd-numbered calendar days and even-numbered addresses on even-numbered days—only between 7 and 9 a.m. and 7 and 9 p.m. as needed.
Other outdoor water uses such as tree and food garden watering, running sprinklers for children’s recreational use, pools and hot tubs are permitted without restriction. Responsible and efficient outdoor and indoor water use is strongly encouraged at all times.
“While we had some rain on Canada Day, it wasn’t enough to reverse the effects of the dry conditions over the last several weeks, which require us to move to Level 2 watering restrictions,” said Emily Stahl, supervisor of Water Efficiency for the City, adding, “We appreciate the efforts residents and businesses are already making to conserve water, outside and inside, during these dry periods.”
Indicators including long- and short-term rainfall, local river flows and water demands influence required changes to watering restrictions. The lack of significant rainfall over the past few months and last week’s request from the Grand River Conservation Authority for a 10 percent reduction in water consumption among watershed communities are the drivers of the current change from Yellow to Red.
Hot Summer Nights
Level 2 Red will also impact the City’s scheduled ‘Hot Summer Nights’ events hosted by the Guelph Fire Department. These events typically include water activities, but due to imposed water restrictions, the fire department is removing this feature from the events. However, the public is still invited to meet members of the fire department, Guelph Police Service, and Guelph-Wellington Emergency Medical Service who will continue to attend the events to promote summer safety and provide tours of emergency vehicles.
About the Outside Water Use Program
The Outside Water Use Program is designed to curb high water use demand days. When there is low precipitation and high summer temperatures, water use increases. These days are a strain on Guelph’s water system. To lower water use in drought conditions the City asks residents to reduce their outside water use.
The program is actively enforced during levels 1 and 2 by the City’s Bylaw enforcement officers. Bylaw officers can issue a $130 ticket or court summons for each program violation. To report a possible infraction, please call Bylaw Compliance at 519-837-2529 or fill out a report online through the How can we help you tool at guelph.ca or report using the 311GIS web tool and App. For reasons of privacy, please don’t post pictures of private property to social media to report an infraction. Calling or completing an online request are the fastest and most effective ways to report a concern.
Lawn and garden care tips
The City recommends not installing new lawns or adding grass seed to lawns at this time. Instead planting new lawns in late summer or early fall, when outside temperatures are lower and precipitation is more reliable. In severe drought it is better for grass health not to mow at all.
- 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 during the allocated hours
- 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 guelph.ca/water 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
Supervisor, Water Efficiency
519-822-1260 extension 3411