Guelph still at Level 2 Red for outside water use

Lawn watering and at­-home vehicle washing not permitted

Image illustrates restricted and permitted outside water useGuelph, Ont., August 11, 2016—Today, the Grand River Conservation Authority, on behalf of the Grand River Low Water Response Team, called a watershed-wide Level 2 designation due to ongoing lack of rain, low river levels and high water use.

“Guelph moved to Level 2 Red of the Outside Water Use Program in July due to more local water conditions,” said Emily Stahl, supervisor of water efficiency for the City. “We would need about a month’s worth of rain to go back to Level 1 Yellow and we expect we’ll be staying in Level 2 Red for a while yet.”

In Level 2 Red, lawn watering and at-home vehicle washing (cars, trailers, boats, motorcycles, etc.) are not permitted.

“Everyone has a role to play in conserving and protecting Guelph’s water supply and our residents are doing a fantastic job through this dry summer,: noted Stahl. “We’re really grateful that people know and follow the outside water use rules; it shows a great level of caring in our community.”

Other Level 2 Red water use rules are as follows:

  • Watering decorative/flower gardens is allowed on alternate days between 7-9 a.m./p.m. with odd numbered addresses watering on odd numbered calendar days and even numbered addresses on even days
  • Watering trees and food gardens is allowed anytime; early morning watering is best
  • Use of water for recreational sprinklers and splash pads is allowed; these act as important cooling opportunities for some residents
  • Use of water to fill residential swimming pools, wading pools and hot tubs is allowed; pool covers should be used to reduce evaporation
  • Decorative fountains must circulate water

Although residents can apply for special permits to water new lawns and grass seed, the City strongly recommends that sod and grass seed not be added until conditions improve in order to improve the chance of survival.

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 and use all water wisely.

The program is actively enforced during levels 1 and 2 by the City’s By-law Enforcement Officers. By-law officers can issue a $130 ticket or court summons for each program violation.

Visit or call 519-822-1260 extension 2153 for more information about the Outside Water Use Program and for more tips on using water wisely outside and inside.

For more information

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