July 20, 2015 2:05 pm
Updated: July 23, 2015 1:26 pm

Metro Vancouver moving to Stage 3 water restrictions

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WATCH: Our record summer drought now means Stage 3 water restrictions are now in effect in Metro Vancouver. Leigh Kjekstad reports.

Metro Vancouver will be moving to Stage 3 water restrictions, effectively immediately.

Due to unseasonably dry and hot weather, Metro Vancouver has further restricted water use, including lawn sprinkling regulations.

The region was at Stage 2 water restrictions, except for Abbotsford and Chilliwack, which already moved to Stage 3.

What are Stage 3 water restrictions?

  • No residential or non-residential lawn sprinkling.
  • No new residential or commercial permits issued or renewed. All forms of watering using treated drinking water are prohibited. New lawns, cemetery lawns, ornamental lawns belonging to municipal buildings, and grassed boulevards will not be exempt.
  • Watering of flowers and vegetable gardens, decorative planters, trees and shrubs are allowed but only  if done by hand using a spring-loaded shut-off nozzle, or using containers or drip irrigation. Use of sprinklers or soaker hoses is prohibited.
  • Watering of commercial flowers and vegetable gardens is still allowed.
  • No refilling of pools, spas or garden ponds.
  • Public water parks and pools will be operated by user-activated switches.
  • No public or commercial water fountains and features.
  • Private and commercial outdoor surface washing is permitted only for health and safety purposes or to prepare a surface for painting or similar treatment. Washing for aesthetic purposes is prohibited.
  • Commercial pressure washing  is permitted only for health and safety purposes or to prepare a surface for painting or similar treatment. Washing for aesthetic purposes is prohibited. Private pressure washing prohibited in Stage 3.
  • No washing of vehicles and boats, except for safety reasons, (windows, lights, licenses) and only then if using a spring-loaded shutoff nozzle. This includes residential, commercial, institutional and government vehicles.
  • Golf courses may water greens and tee areas minimally; fairways may not be watered.
  • Artificial turf and outdoor tracks may be hosed down for health and safety reasons only.
  • Minimal watering of school yards and sports fields to maintain areas in useable condition.

READ MORE: ‘The best approach is to always talk to people’: Vancouver city official on #lawnshaming trend

Commercial car washes may continue to operate in this stage, as Metro Vancouver says studies have shown that commercial car washes use significantly less water per vehicle than manual washing.

The fine for watering lawns outside the restrictions or washing non-permeable surfaces, such as driveways or walkways, is $250. The City of Vancouver is looking at adding more bylaw officers during Stage 3.

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