It's been a long time since we've gotten a warning like this. But the incredibly dry conditions of the last month have caught up to us here in Guelph and the City has now moved out outside water use level to Yellow 1, meaning that greater restrictions over the use of water have now gone into effect. Lawn watering is now tied to a strict schedule, and you best leave the Slip 'n' Slide put away if it gets hot again. When it comes to water now, we don't have a drop to spare.Here's the press release and water restriction outlines from the City of Guelph:
Guelph, ON, June 1, 2015—Due to local weather and water flow conditions, the City of Guelph is moving to Level 1 Yellow watering restrictions under the Outside Water Use Program effective immediately. At Level 1 Yellow, lawn watering is restricted to 7-9 a.m. and 7-9 p.m. on odd or even dates by address number—odd numbered houses are permitted to water on odd numbered calendar dates, and even numbered houses on even dates.
“Even with the significant weekend rainfall, overall rain is still much lower than the seasonal average,” said Wayne Galliher, Manager of Technical Services for City of Guelph Water Services. “Our community has always been very good about complying with watering restrictions, and with hot, dry conditions expected to continue this summer, we need residents and businesses to continue their commitment to conserving water outside and inside.”
Indicators including rainfall, local river flows and water demands influence required changes to watering restrictions. The lack of significant rainfall is the primary driver of the current change from Blue to Yellow. Continued monitoring and consultation with the Grand River Conservation Authority will determine the need for further changes throughout the season.
Other outdoor water uses such as tree and decorative or food garden watering, running sprinklers for children’s recreational use, and at–home vehicle washing are permitted without restriction. At–home vehicle washing is only permitted using a hose with a shut–off nozzle, or with a filled bucket. Responsible and efficient outdoor and indoor water use is strongly encouraged at all times.
How to report a concernTo report a possible infraction of the Outside Water Use Program, please call By-law Compliance at 519-837-2529 or fill out a report online through the How can we help you tool at guelph.ca. For reasons of privacy, please don’t post pictures of private property to social media to report an infraction. Calling or completing an on-line 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 By-law Enforcement Officers. By-law officers will issue a $130 ticket or court summons per program non-compliance event observed.
Lawn and garden care tips
- Set your mower blade to its highest setting and only your cut 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
- Water lawns only 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
- 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
- Group garden plants by water needs and water only those that need water
- Choose drought tolerant plants native to the area
Visit guelph.ca/ourstoconserve or call 519-822-1260 extension 2153 for more information about the Outside Water Use Program and for more tips on outdoor water conservation.