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Watering Restrictions

Stage 1 of the Water Shortage Response Plan, regardless of weather conditions, is in effect May 15 to October 15, 2017.

Metro Vancouver's Water Shortage Response Plan is a way to manage:

  • The demand for drinking water during summer months when rainfall is lowest and demand is highest.
  • Water shortages during an unforeseen emergency (eg earthquake, major service disruption).
  • Limited storage capacity of reservoirs.
  • Continued population and industry growth that have led to increased demand.
  • These restrictions do not apply to the use of rain water, gray water, any forms of recycled water, or other sources of water outside the GVWD/municipal water supply system.

Stage 1 Water Restrictions

Do you need to water? Print out a card or visit our Frequently Asked Questions page.

Activity Restrictions
Residential lawn watering
  • Even-numbered addresses: Monday, Wednesday and Saturday 4:00 AM to 9:00 AM
  • Odd-numbered addresses: Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday 4:00 AM to 9:00 AM
Non-residential lawn watering
Combined mixed-use addresses (e.g. residential and commercial), follow “non-residential” watering times
  • Even-numbered addresses: Monday and Wednesday 1:00 AM to 6:00 AM
  • Odd-numbered addresses: Tuesday and Thursday 1:00 AM to 6:00 AM
  • Both Even and Odd addresses: Friday 4:00 AM to 9:00 AM
New (unestablished) residential and commercial lawns and pest management, such as European Chafer Beetles Watering outside restricted times allowed only at the City's discretion and with water exemption permits to be displayed in a visible location on the property
Flowers and vegetable gardens, decorative planters, shrubs and trees No restrictions
Commercial flowers and vegetable gardens No restrictions
Private pools, spas, and garden ponds No restrictions
Public water play parks and pools No restrictions
Residential, public and commercial fountains and water features No restrictions
Private and commercial outdoor impermeable surface-washing (like driveways, side walks, and parkades) No restrictions
Private and commercial pressure washing No restrictions
Outdoor vehicle washing and boat washing Only with hoses equipped with a spring-loaded shut off. Vehicle washing or boat washing must be done on a grass or gravel surface to prevent run-off from entering the City's storm sewer system 
Commercial car washes No restrictions
Golf courses No restrictions
Commercial turf farms No restrictions
Artificial turf and outdoor tracks (like bicycle and motorcycle tracks, and running tracks) Hosing for health and safety only
School yards, and sports and sand-based playing fields No restrictions
Cemetery lawns Three mornings per week
Municipal parks, ornamental lawns, and grassy boulevards No restrictions for City parks. City lawns and boulevards watered three mornings per week
Municipal hydrant flushing Routine flushing to be scheduled outside restriction timeframe. Unscheduled flushing only for a health or safety reason

Fines and Reporting Violations

Watering outside of the allowed days and times is subject to a fine in Burnaby based on the current stage of the Water Shortage Response Plan.

  • Stage 1 $150
  • Stage 2 $250
  • Stage 3 $350
  • Stage 4 $500

To report lawn watering violations, please contact the Water Conservation Officers at 604-293-6528, or waterrestrictions@burnaby.ca. When reporting, please provide the following information:

  • Address
  • Date(s) and time(s) of the observed violation
  • Location of watering (e.g. front lawn)
  • Your name and contact details

Lawn Watering Exemption Permits

The City offers exemption permits in cases where the amount of water allowed would not be enough to keep your lawn alive. You can apply for a lawn watering exemption permit if you are:

  • Caring for a new lawn (sod, turf or seed)
  • Treating your lawn for European Chafer Beetles

Permit Requirements

New Lawns

New lawns can require more water than provided under the watering regulations. The City charges $50.00 (includes tax) for a new lawn watering exemption permit. No exemption permits will be issued under Stages 3 restrictions. Any permits issued under Stage 2 will remain valid during Stage 3 restrictions. If you are applying for an exemption permit:

  • You must show a current dated receipt for lawn seed, sod or turf.
  • Your permit is valid for 21 days from the date of purchase.
  • Payment of $50.00 (includes tax) is required at point of permit issuance.
  • For residential properties, your permit can be used for a period of 21 days, Monday to Sunday, during 4:00–9:00 AM.
  • For commercial properties, your permit can be used for a period of 21 days, Monday to Thursday, during 1:00–6:00 AM and Friday 4:00–9:00 AM.
European Chafer Beetles

When treating your lawn with nematodes to control European chafer beetles, your lawn should be as moist as a wrung-out sponge. The amount of water needed will depend on your lawn, soil depth, and weather conditions. If you need more water than provided under the watering regulations, apply for an exemption permit.

If you are treating your lawn with nematodes to control European chafer beetles:

  • You must show a current dated receipt for nematode purchase.
  • For residential properties, your permit can be used for a period of 21 days, Monday to Sunday, during 4:00–9:00 AM.
  • For commercial properties, your permit can be used for a period of 21 days, Monday to Thursday, during 1:00–6:00 AM, and Friday, during 4:00–9:00 AM. 
  • The City does not charge for watering permits for treatment of European chafer beetle.

All issued exemption permits are subject to a site inspection by City staff to validate issuance of the exemption.

Apply for a Lawn Watering Exemption Permit

Bring your receipt for lawn, seed, sod, or nematode treatment, in person to:

Engineering Department
4th Floor - 4949 Canada Way |

We are open Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday 8:00 AM to 4:00 PM and Thursday 8:00 AM to 8:00 PM.

We accept credit card, debit, cash or cheque. Per the City of Burnaby Fee Recovery Bylaw 13640; for payments made by credit card a fee of 1.75% will be charged at the time of the transaction to recover the costs the City of Burnaby pays for accepting credit cards as payment.

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