City’s Outside Water Use Program moves to Level 1 Yellow

Lawn watering allowed 7-9 a.m. and 7-9 p.m. on odd or even calendar dates by address number

Guelph, Ont., June 24, 2022 – In response to recent hot, dry weather, the City is changing watering restrictions today, moving to level 1 yellow from a level 0 blue as part of the Outside Water Use Program.

At level 1 yellow, lawn watering is restricted to 7-9 a.m. and 7-9 p.m. on odd or even calendar dates by address number—odd numbered houses can water on odd numbered dates, and even numbered houses on even dates.

In addition to rainfall and dry conditions, other indicators that change local watering restrictions include local river flows, how much water the community is using and how much the City is producing or pumping through the system. The City will continue to monitor conditions and work with the Grand River Conservation Authority throughout the summer to decide if water use levels need to change again, up or down.

Outdoor water uses such as watering trees and flowers or food gardens, and running sprinklers for children’s recreational use are still allowed. Any use of a garden or outdoor hose around the yard must use a shut–off nozzle. Wasting water is not permitted at any time.

Guelph is a groundwater community. Groundwater comes from rain and melted snow that seeps into open spaces and cracks in soil and rock. As temperatures rise and we experience low precipitation, our water supply infrastructure needs to work harder to keep up with demands, especially during peak water use times. Guelph’s water supply is limited and is greatly dependent on local precipitation, which is why the City promotes responsible and efficient outdoor and indoor water use at all times.

How to report a concern

To report a possible infraction of the outside water use program:

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.

In level 1 yellow, the outside water use program is actively enforced by the City’s bylaw officers. Bylaw officers will issue a fine or court summons for each observed infraction.

Lawn and garden care tips

Lawns

  • Lawn grasses will stop growing in hot weather and should be allowed to go dormant
  • In severe drought and heat it’s better for your grass if you don’t mow at all or walk on it
  • If you have to mow your lawn, set your mower blade to its highest setting and only cut your lawn when grass is 7.5 cm (3 inches) tall; this will help your grass grow stronger, deeper roots
  • If you choose to water your lawn, it is recommended to only apply 2.5 cm (1 in.) per week; if it’s rained in the past week, irrigation is not recommended – measure this using a rain gauge
  • Use oscillating sprinklers that shoot water low to the ground instead of fan­–style sprinklers which lose more water to evaporation and wind

Gardens

  • Use mulch in gardens to keep soil moist; add 7-10 cm (3-4 inches)
  • 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 or later in the evening
  • Choose drought tolerant plants native to the area and only water plants to get them established

Want help with using less water on your lawn or garden, sign up today for a Healthy Landscape visit!

Resources

Water conservation tips

Media contact

Karen McKeown,Landscape and Yard Program Coordinator
Compliance and Performance, Environmental Services
City of Guelph
519-822-1260 extension 2109
[email protected]