Outdoor water use and restrictions in Guelph

Current level

The current level is yellow – reduce use.

The current level is yellow - reduce use

Report an outside water use violation

Allowed at all levels

  • You can water trees and vegetable gardens any day, any time
  • You can play in sprinklers and splash pads
  • You can fill swimming pools, hot tubs, garden ponds or fountains (must recirculate water)

Outside water restrictions

  • Level 0 blue

  • Lawn watering

    Permitted from 7 to 9 a.m. and 7 to 9 p.m. If your street address is an even number, you can water on even-numbered calendar days. Odd street numbers can water on odd calendar days.

  • Car washing

    Permitted at home with shut-off nozzle

  • Watering flowers and plants

    Permitted any time

  • Enforcement

    $250 ticket or court summons for repeat violations

  • Water supply

    No serious storage, rainfall or stream flow issues

  • Level 1 yellow

  • Lawn watering

    Permitted from 7 to 9 a.m. and 7 to 9 p.m. If your street address is an even number, you can water on even-numbered calendar days. Odd street numbers can water on odd calendar days.

  • Car washing

    Permitted at home with shut-off nozzle

  • Watering flowers and plants

    Permitted any time

  • Enforcement

    $350 ticket or court summons

  • Water supply

    Less rain, low flow rates or low water storage levels:

    • Less than 80 per cent of historical average precipitation over one and/or three months, or two weeks without rain
    • Eramosa River flow (less than 70 per cent of minimum low flow)
    • Water storage level (less than 75 per cent of average)

  • Level 2 red

  • Lawn watering

    Not permitted

  • Car washing

    Not permitted

  • Watering flowers and plants

    Permitted 7-9 a.m./p.m. odd/even dates by address

  • Enforcement

    $550 ticket or court summons

  • Water supply

    Serious rainfall, stream flow or storage concerns:

    • Less than 60 per cent of historical average precipitation over one and/or three months, or three weeks without rain
    • Eramosa River flow (less than 50 per cent of minimum low flow)
    • Water storage level (less than 65 per cent of average)

Apply for a lawn watering permit to water new or treated lawns outside restricted times.

Water condition reports

Please don’t waste water

Use a commercial car wash – help keep soap and chemicals out of our rivers and use less water.

For automated irrigation/sprinkler systems, use a smart controller, a rain sensor or soil moisture sensor to avoid overwatering and runoff.

In addition to the fines listed above you could be fined for:

  • Using a hose without a shut-off nozzle
  • Using a hose to wash your driveway
  • Running sprinklers or irrigation systems in the rain
  • Letting sprinklers run onto driveways, sidewalks, or roads
  • Overwatering lawns or gardens so the water pools or runs onto hard surfaces
  • Operating a fountain or pond without recirculating the water

About Guelph’s outside water use program and bylaw

Guelph takes water conservation seriously. Guelph is the largest community in Canada that relies almost completely on groundwater for our water supply. Compared to other cities near rivers or lakes, Guelph’s water supply takes much longer to replenish, and it’s a lot more vulnerable to overuse.

Thanks to you, Guelph is a National leader when it comes to water conservation, and the outside water use program is one of the most successful and recognized water conservation programs in Ontario.

Guelph’s Outside Water Use Bylaw

For more information

Guelph Outside Water Use Program
519-822-1260 extension 2153
[email protected]