Water Sprinkling


Lawn sprinkling regulationsare in effect from June 1 through September 30.

During the summer months, seasonal rainfall is at its lowest and water consumption, due mainly to outdoor use, almost doubles. Sprinkling restrictions during this period of time help to manage demand on the existing Metro Vancouver and City of Langley water distribution systems.

As lawns require only 2.5 cm of water once per week to stay healthy, and most sprinkler systems can deliver this quantity of water in one hour, the following restrictions have been put into place:

sprinkling schedule

Newly-planted lawns can be watered outside of these times with a special 21-day permit issued by the Engineering Department at a cost of $30.

Only hoses equipped with an Automatic Shut-off Device are permitted to wash motor vehicles, boats, sidewalks, driveways, walls, roofs or other outdoor surfaces.

Exception: Exception to the water sprinkling restrictions include nurseries; golf courses and pitch-and-put courses; farms; turf and tree farms; and municipal parks, playing fields and other municipal properties

Frequently Asked Questions

Do sprinkling regulations apply to both gardens and lawns?

No. If a total sprinkling ban is imposed, then watering of vegetables, flowers and shrubs must be done by hand using containers or a hose with a spring loaded shut off. Drip irrigation systems are the most efficient method of watering clusters of plants and are exempt from sprinkling regulations.

Can I wash my car?

Yes, but make sure that you fit your hose with a spring loaded shut off.

How can I keep new lawns alive?

Contact City Hall for a lawn sprinkling permit that allows sprinkling outside of restricted times for a three week period. Lawn sprinkling permits cost $30.00

What if I'm not at home during my allowed watering day?

Most lawns need about 25 mm (one inch) of water a week, including rainfall, which can be easily applied on just one of your sprinkling days. The three times per week sprinkling regulation gives you the flexibility if one of your allowed days is inconvenient.

Why are parks and playing fields exempt from the regulations?

These areas are often too large to be effectively irrigated within the allowed sprinkling 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.

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 the GVRD's role in sprinkling regulations?

The GVRD supplies drinking water to 18 lower Mainland municipalities, including the City of Langley. It co-ordinates regulations to ensure consistency and a sufficient supply of water. The legal authority for the regulation of water use is retained within a City of Langley bylaw.

Why do we have sprinkling regulations when we have so much rain?

Limited storage capacity means much of the rainfall and snowmelt in the Capilano and Seymour watersheds cannot be captured to be used later when dry weather comes. Years ago, this wasn't a problem, but recent population growth in the Lower mainland has led to increased demand for water.

The GVRD implements sprinkling regulations to avoid more restrictive measures in the event of drought conditions. Sprinkling regulations also provide equitable lawn watering regulations through out the Lower Mainland and are effective in managing water demands.

I pay taxes, why can't I sprinkle 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.

When would we have once per week sprinkling?

If reservoirs drop to very low levels, sprinkling would be restricted to once per week.

When would all sprinkling be banned?

A total ban, is required only during prolonged drought when previous restrictions fail to save enough water.

For further information about sprinkling restrictions you may call either the City of Langley at (604) 514-2800 or the Metro Vancouver at (604) 432-6200 or visit their web site: Metro Vancouver.