Frequently Asked Questions – Watering

Do sprinkling regulations apply to both gardens and lawns?

No, only lawn watering is affected. Watering of vegetables, flowers and shrubs is permitted but must be done by hand using containers or a hose with a spring loaded shut off.

Can I wash my car?

Yes, unless there is a total sprinkling ban. You must fit your hose with a spring-loaded shut off nozzle.

Can my children play in the sprinkler?

Yes, during allowable watering times. If you let them play during non-allowable periods, you could be fined.

How can I keep new lawns alive?

Work with nature and let your lawn go dormant (brown) over the summer. It’ll ‘green up’ again when it starts raining in the fall. Leave grass clippings on your lawn. They’ll help trap moisture to reduce evaporation and break down to feed your lawn naturally.

Why are parks and playing fields exempt from the regulations?

These areas are often too large to be effectively irrigated within the allowed watering times. Also, most playing fields are built on a sand base for better drainage. Turf grown on a sand base can die if not watered. The high cost of replacing playing field turf is a poor use of public money.

Why are there other exemptions, such as nurseries and tree farms?

The intent of the sprinkling regulations is to reduce water use in ways that do not cause serious economic hardship. Those users requiring water as a part of a commercial operation will be expected to conserve as much water as possible without resulting in a loss of business.

How much water do Metro Vancouver residents use?

Residential water use averages about 410 liters (88 gallons) per person per day. On a hot summer day, outdoor watering of lawns and gardens can cause consumption to double.

What is Metro Vancouver's role in sprinkling regulations?

Metro Vancouver supplies drinking water to 21 Lower Mainland municipalities, including the City of Port Coquitlam. It co-ordinates regulations to ensure consistency and a sufficient supply of water.

I pay taxes, why can't I water my lawn whenever I want?

City water user rates range from $175 to $250 on average depending on the amount of water consumed, some of the lowest rates anywhere. The cost of building facilities so everyone could use all the water they want at any time would increase water rates substantially. Water can be provided as economically as possible if we all use less.