Watering Restrictions

Learn about Burnaby's watering restrictions and how they apply to you.

Watering restrictions are in effect from May 1 to October 15, 2021. These restrictions help us use our drinking water wisely and ensure we have a regular supply throughout the year.

You can find the full details of water use regulations for Stages 1 to 4 in Metro Vancouver's Drinking Water Conservation Plan, which helps manage:

  • drinking water supply during summer when rainfall is low and demand is high
  • water shortages during unforeseen emergencies (e.g. earthquake, service disruptions)
  • limited storage capacity of reservoirs
  • increased demand due to continued population and industrial growth

Stage 1

During Stage 1 restrictions, you can water your lawns with a sprinkler, handheld hose or drip irrigation twice a week only. All hoses must have an automatic shut-off device.

If there's a violation during this phase, it may result in a $150 fine.

Residential

  • Even-numbered addresses: Wednesdays and Saturdays between 4-9 am.
  • Odd-numbered addresses: Thursdays and Sundays between 4-9 am.
  • Water flowers, planters, shrubs, and trees:
    • any day between 4-9 am using a sprinkler.
    • any day at any time using a handheld hose or drip irrigation.

Non-residential

  • Even-numbered addresses: Mondays between 1-6 am and Fridays between 4-9 am.
  • Odd-numbered addresses: Tuesdays between 1-6 am and Fridays between 4-9 am.
  • Water flowers, planters, shrubs, and trees:
    • any day between 1-9 am using a sprinkler.
    • any day at any time using a handheld hose or drip irrigation.

 

Mixed-use buildings with residential and commercial units must follow watering times and regulations that apply to non-residential addresses.

Learn more

Fines and reporting violations

Watering outside the allowed days and times will result in the following penalties:

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

To report lawn watering violations, call the Water Conservation Officers at 604-293-6528 or email [email protected].

Have the following details ready when you call us:

  • Address - where the violation has taken place
  • Date(s) and time(s) of the observed violation
  • Location of watering (e.g. front lawn)
  • Device used (e.g. auto sprinkler)
  • Your name and contact details

Lawn watering exemption permits

The City offers special exemption permits for new lawns (newly seeded, sodded or turfed) or lawns using nematode treatments to control European Chafer Beetles.

BTG (Bacillus thuringiensis galleriae) products don't qualify for exemption permits.

Permit requirements

New lawns may need more water than allowed under the watering regulations. We don't issue exemption permits when stage 3 restrictions are in effect. However, if you have applied for a permit during stage 2, your permit will still be valid during stage 3 restrictions.

If you're applying for an exemption permit, remember:

  • You must show the current date on the purchase receipt for lawn seed, sod, turf or nematode.
  • Your permit will be valid for 21 consecutive days from the permit start date.
  • You must pay the $50.00 fee (includes taxes) before we can issue a permit.
  • The permit is free when it's for treating European chafer beetles.
  • Residential properties: you can use your permit for 21 consecutive days, i.e. from Mon-Sun between 4-9 am.
  • Commercial properties: you can use your permit for 21 consecutive days, i.e. from Mon-Thurs between 1–6 am and Friday between 4-9 am.
  • After issuing an exemption, City staff will visit the site for inspection.

How to apply for an exemption permit

  • Apply for a lawn watering permit through our online portal
  • It may take up to 3 working days to process your application.
  • We accept credit, debit, cash or cheque payments. We charge a credit card fee of 1.75% per the City of Burnaby Fee Recovery Bylaw 13640. 
  • Email [email protected] if you have any questions.

Was this page useful?