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Watering Restrictions


Residents, businesses, and other water users in Houston which are connected to the Municipal Water System are subject to water conservation measures authorized by Bylaw No. 1064. Water Restrictions automatically take effect annually on May 1 - and depending on water supplies, advanced steps can be taken to make sure that there is enough water available for all consumers. Council may declare that a higher level of Water Restrictions are in effect at the advice of District staff, subject to water needs, production capacity, and available water supply. Such restrictions will take effect 48 hours after a public announcement is made.

The Province of British Columbia has prepared a water conservation guide for residents and consumers. To learn more about ways to reduce your water use, view the Province's online water conservation guide for more information.

Level 1 Restrictions - Water Sprinkling

Water used for watering lawns is restricted from May 1 to September 30 every year as follows:

    East of Buck Creek: (Butler Ave, 14th Street, Northside)
  • ONLY on even calendar days (i.e. May 2) between the hours of 6:00 A.M. and 10:00 A.M. or 7:00 P.M. and 10:00 P.M. ONLY!
  • West of Buck Creek: (Mountainview Drive, Elliot Road, Goold Road)
  • ONLY on odd calendar days (i.e. May 1) between the hours of 6:00 A.M. and 10:00 A.M. or 7:00 P.M. and 10:00 P.M. ONLY!

Users are also prohibited from using a hose to water to wash boats or motor vehicles unless the hose is equipped with an automatic shut-off device (i.e. a sprinkler nozzle attachment).

Exceptions to Level 1 Water Restrictions do apply to:

  • watering lawns or landscaping at premises pursuant to a permit, provided the person is and has been at all times in compliance with the permit; or
  • watering public sports playing fields, school yards, turf at turf farms, artificial turf or outdoor race tracks where watering is required for dust control and safety;
  • watering flower gardens, vegetable gardens, decorative planters, shrubs or trees; or
  • watering the playing surface of golf courses.

Level 2 Restrictions - Water Sprinkling & Washing

If Level 2 Restrictions are declared by Council, users are prohibited from:

    Watering lawns as follows:
  • East of Buck Creek: on even calendar days between the hours of 6:00 A.M. and 10:00 A.M. or 7:00 P.M. and 10:00 P.M. ONLY!
  • West of Buck Creek: on odd calendar days between the hours of 6:00 A.M. and 10:00 A.M. or 7:00 P.M. and 10:00 P.M. ONLY!
  • Using a hose providing water to wash sidewalks, driveways, walls, roofs or other outdoor surfaces, except when the hose is equipped with an automatic shut-off device (i.e. a sprinkler nozzle attachment) and when the purpose of washing is:

  • to prepare a surface for painting, sealing, or similar treatment;
  • to prevent or control fires; or
  • for the health or safety of any person.

Exceptions to Level 2 Water Restrictions do apply to:

  • watering lawns or landscaping at premises pursuant to a permit, provided the person is and has been at all times in compliance with the permit; or
  • watering public sports playing fields, school yards, turf at turf farms, artificial turf or outdoor race tracks where watering is required for dust control and safety;
  • watering flower gardens, vegetable gardens, decorative planters, shrubs or trees; or
  • watering the playing surface of golf courses.

Level 3 Restrictions

If Level 3 Restrictions are declared by Council, users are prohibited from:

  • Watering any lawn;
  • Watering flower gardens, vegetable gardens, decorative planters, shrubs or trees, except when such water is carried out by hand with a hose equipped with an automatic shut-off device and is not carried out using sprinklers or soaker hoses;
  • operating a privately owner water play park or privately owned water slide;
  • using a hose providing water to wash boats or motor vehicles, unless the hose is equipped with an automatic shut-off device and the purpose of the washing is to maintain visibility of lights or licence plates, or through windows, or is otherwise for the safe operation of the boat or motor vehicle;
  • use water to fill or re-fill garden poinds, ornamental fountains, privately owned hot-tubs, or privately owned swimming pools;
  • use a hose providing water unless the hose is equipped with an automatic shut-off device; or
  • operate a lawn sprinkler using water for play.
  • Exceptions to Level 3 Water Restrictions apply to:

    • watering public sports playing fields, school yards, turf at turf farms, artificial turf or outdoor race tracks where watering is required for dust control and safety;
    • watering flower gardens, vegetable gardens, decorative planters, shrubs or trees; or
    • watering the playing surface of golf courses.
    • watering flowers or produce at commercial nurseries and produce farms;
    • trees at tree farms; or
    • the tee-off areas and putting greens of golf courses, provided that water is used only to the extent necessary to maintain the viability of the grass in those areas.
    • Level 4 Restrictions

      If Level 4 Restrictions are declared by Council, users are prohibited from:

      • Watering or engaging in the drip irrigation of lawns or landscaping, whether newly planted or otherwise;
      • Watering or engaging in the drip irrigation of flower or vegetable gardens, decorative planters, shrubs or trees, artificial turf, or outdoor tracks;
      • use a hose providing water to wash sidewalks, driveways, walls, roofs or other outdoor surfaces, unless the hose is equipped with an automatic shut-off device and the washing has been ordered by a regulatory authority; or
      • haul bulk water for non-potable use.
      Restrictions apply to all users, including commercial nurseries and produce farms, turf farms, golf courses, sports playing fields, and school yards. No exceptions may be granted for water restrictions at this level.

      Offenses & Penalties

      Violation of water restrictions is an offense against Bylaw No. 1064, and is subject to bylaw enforcement action by District staff. If you violate the limitations of a declared water restriction, you may be liable to a fine between $75.00 and $500.00 depending on the severity of the offense.

      Contact Information

      For more information about water restrictions, or to report a violation, please contact the District of Houston at:

      District of Houston
      3367 12th Street
      PO Box 370
      Houston, BC
      V0J 1Z0
      P: 250-845-2238
      F: 250-845-3429
      E: doh@houston.ca

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