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City puts watering restrictions in place due to heat, lack of rainfall

Enforced watering restrictions now in effect
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NEWS RELEASE
CITY OF GUELPH
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The City is enforcing watering restrictions for level 1 yellow of the outside water use program because of a lack of rainfall, hot temperatures and increased demands on the water system.

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 are permitted to water on odd numbered dates, and even numbered houses on even dates.

“Despite some recent rain, overall rainfall is still much lower than usual,” said Heather Yates, Supervisor of Water Efficiency. “With hot, dry weather expected to last through the summer, we need residents and businesses to continue their commitment to conserving water both outside and inside to ensure a sustainable water supply.”

Indicators that change local watering restrictions include amount of rain, local river flows and water demands. Current hot and dry conditions, and a weather forecast predicting increased temperatures and low rainfall, are the primary reasons for the current change from blue to yellow.

The last time Guelph’s watering restrictions were in level 1 yellow was in 2016.

The City will continue to monitor conditions and work with the Grand River Conservation Authority to decide whether more changes to local watering restrictions are needed throughout the summer.

Outdoor water uses such as tree and flower or food garden watering, running sprinklers for children’s recreational use, and at–home car washing are still allowed. At–home car washing is only allowed using a hose with a shut–off nozzle or with a bucket of water.

Guelph is a groundwater community. Groundwater comes from rain and melted snow that seeps into open spaces and cracks in soil and rock. That means Guelph’s water supply is limited and dependent on local precipitation, and 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:

  • Call 519-837-2529,
  • Use the 311GIS map app, or
  • Fill out a report online through the How can we help you tool by clicking on the “Bylaw compliance and concerns” button.

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

  • Set your mower blade to its highest setting and only your cut your lawn when grass is 7.5 cm (3 inches) tall to grow stronger, deeper roots
  • In severe drought it is better for grass health not to mow at all
  • If you water your lawn, only do so once per week, use a rain gauge and apply 2.5 cm (1 inch) at the most
  • Use oscillating sprinklers that shoot low to the ground instead of fan­–style sprinklers which lose more water to evaporation and wind

Gardens

  • Use mulch in gardens to retain moisture; apply 7-10 cm (3-4 inches) deep
  • 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; watering at night can lead to plant disease
  • Choose drought tolerant plants native to the area

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