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Water Restrictions

Watering a lawn

There are currently no seasonal water restrictions in Surrey.

Last year, water restrictions in Surrey were in effect from May 15 to October 15, 2017. During periods of restriction, restrictions and allowances are divided among four different stages in Surrey. For more details, see the 2016 Water Shortage Response Bylaw.

During Stage 1, any lawn watering, either by sprinkler or by handheld hose, is permitted only three times per week.

Lawn Watering Schedule in Stage 1

Residential Addresses

  • Even numbered addresses: Monday, Wednesday, and Saturday from 4am to 9am
  • Odd numbered addresses: Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday from 4am to 9am

Non-residential Addresses

  • Even numbered addresses: Monday, Wednesday from 1am to 6am, Friday 4am to 9am
  • Odd numbered addresses: Tuesday, Thursday from 1am to 6 am, Friday 4am to 9 am

Please Note:

  • Multi-unit developments, such as apartments and townhouses, are permitted to sprinkle according to the development address, not the individual unit numbers.
  • Mixed-use buildings (i.e. residential with commercial buildings) water according to the non-residential address schedule.
  • When hosing or pressure washing outdoor surfaces, or washing boats or motor vehicles, water hoses must be equipped with an automatic shut-off device.
  • There are no restrictions on watering flowers, vegetables, planters, shrubs, and trees during Stage 1.

Special Water Permit

A special water permit is available for new lawns, newly seeded lawns, or lawns under natural pest control, such as the Nematode treatment to control European Chafer Beetles.

To get a permit, visit the Engineering Front Counter on the 2nd Floor of City Hall. Bring a copy of the receipt for your Nematodes or new lawn as proof. Permits related to Nematode treatments are free, and permits for new lawns are $35 to $175.

Reporting a Water Sprinkling Violation

Active Violations

Report any active water sprinkling violations to the Bylaw call centre at 604-591-4370.

Past Violations

To report past violations or submit a request for information, please call the Engineering Department at 604-591-4340 or email EngWebmail@surrey.ca

Any complaints received, or observed violations, may result in fines imposed under the Bylaw Contravention Fines (see page 23).

Helpful Lawn Care Tips

  • Lawns mainly do not require more than 2.5 centimeres (1 inch) of water per week, which can be achieved by sprinkling once a week.
  • Water early in the morning to reduce evaporation.
  • Use a rain barrel to water your garden.
  • Leave grass clippings on your lawn; they reduce evaporation and the need to water.
  • Check out the waterwise Lawn Care Brochure.
  • See more Water Saving Tips on Metro Vancouver's Lawn Watering Regulations page and We Love Water campaign.

History of Lawn Watering Regulations

In the winter and spring of 1992, low rainfall and snow pack significantly reduced water levels within Metro Vancouver's 3 main reservoirs. In addition, during the summer months, unusually warm weather resulted in a much higher water consumption rate, further lowering water levels. This resulted in a solution requiring a 10-week ban on all lawn and garden sprinkling.

In the summer of 1993, Metro Vancouver's member municipalities imposed regular twice weekly lawn sprinkling regulations. Starting 2011, new lawn sprinkling regulations were imposed in our region each summer between June 1 and September 30. These regulations allows people water 3 times a week, keep the rate of water consumption evenly distributed, and lower the risk of reservoir levels being depleted too quickly.

Effective 2016, Metro Vancouver extended the Water Shortage Response Plan, regardless of weather condition, from May 15 to October 15, 2017.

Shower head

Water Conservation

Find tips on how you can conserve water and minimize your impact on the environment.

Rain barrel

Rain Barrel Program

Rain barrels are available for purchase by Surrey residents at City Hall or the Operations Centre.