News Flash

City News

Posted on: March 29, 2022

Changes to Lawn Watering Rules in Coquitlam

Lawn watering restrictions sprinkler

COQUITLAM, B.C., March 29, 2022 – The City of Coquitlam intends to adopt Metro Vancouver’s revised regional watering restrictions starting on May 1, and residential and business owners will notice changes from past years.

The new water conservation changes were approved by the Greater Vancouver Water District (GVWD) in November 2021 and are being implemented throughout Metro Vancouver. The City of Coquitlam Drinking Water Conservation Plan (DWCP) Bylaw, which aligns with Metro Vancouver’s revised regional watering restrictions, received its first three readings last night and goes to Council for final approval on Monday, April 4. 

One Day of Watering Per Week Under Stage 1

Looking ahead to Stage 1 Watering Restrictions, which run from May 1 to Oct. 15, lawn watering for both residential and non-residential properties will be limited to one day per week. 

During Stage 1, residential lawn watering will be permitted from 5 to 9 a.m. on Saturdays for even-numbered addresses and Sundays for odd-numbered address. 

Permitted times for non-residential premises will be 4 to 9 a.m. on Mondays for even-numbered addresses and Tuesdays for odd-numbered addresses.

All permitted watering times are further limited by the type of watering with two hours for automatic watering and three hours for manual watering.

Stage 2 Changes 

There are also changes to Stage 2 restrictions, which are activated by Metro Vancouver who monitors the drawdown of our regional water supply. The new Stage 2 restrictions prohibit all lawn watering, whether residential or non-residential.

All properties in Coquitlam are required to comply with the water-use restrictions. Non-compliance can result in fines of between $150 and $500. 

Water Exemption Permits

Additional changes are made to the water exemption permits for nematode treatments. The nematode permits are now aligned with water exemption permits for new lawns, which allow watering between 4 and 9 a.m., any day.  

As well, no new water exemption permits — which are allowed during Stage 1 — will be issued in Stage 2 for new lawns or nematode treatments, although existing permits will remain active. Upon the activation of Stage 3, all active permits will be cancelled immediately.

2021 Heatwave  Prompted Changes to Watering Rules

The changes in water-use restrictions by Metro Vancouver are a result of the extreme heat wave that hit the region in 2021. Last summer, the prolonged and record-breaking hot, dry weather resulted in over 40 days of high water usage in the region exceeding 1.5 billion litres per day, an increase of 12 per cent over the previous three-year average.  

In response, Metro Vancouver consulted with its member municipalities about strengthening the Stage 1 and Stage 2 restrictions to potentially delay the need to advance to Stage 3, which could significantly impact businesses, as well as to help defer the need for costly future infrastructure expansion. 

In addition to conserving the City’s water resources, the DWCP changes will improve the resilience of Coquitlam’s water infrastructure against climate change risks. 

Conservation for Future Generations

Coquitlam has had a water conservation program since 1993 that delivers public outreach and education and includes the updated region-wide restrictions. These initiatives are a cost-effective way to manage our water demand and align with the City’s new Environmental Sustainability Plan and Enhanced Water Conservation Strategy, which are focused on conserving and protecting Coquitlam’s drinking water. 

Your Lawn Doesn’t Need Constant Watering

Water use can double in summer and early fall, largely due to outdoor uses, including lawn watering. Here are some tips for reducing your outdoor water use at home:

  • Use a water timer to control the amount of water your lawn receives.
  • Use water from a rain barrel on your gardens and hanging baskets.
  • Clean driveways and patios by sweeping with a broom instead of using water.

The City will share full details on the regional water use restrictions — including rules about watering trees and shrubs and Stage 3 restrictions — in April, prior to the implementation of Stage 1 restrictions on May 1.

Check the City’s water conservation webpage at coquitlam.ca/H2O for the most up-to-date water-use restrictions and for more details.

Media contact:
Caresse Selk
Manager Environment, Engineering & Public Works
604-927-3500
waterconservation@coquitlam.ca

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