Outdoor Water Use Guidelines & Restrictions

June 1, 2021
Public Works

Fresh water is a valuable finite resource, so in 2016 the Town of Collingwood updated its Water Use By-Law to restrict outdoor water usage year-round. The intent of this By-Law requirement is to promote water conservation, but it is particularly important to limit outdoor water use during the summer months to ensure peak water demands in Town can be met with the existing capacity of the Town’s drinking water treatment plant. Reducing outdoor water usage helps ensure water is available for essential purposes and emergencies, such as firefighting.

The Town’s Water Use By-Law requires properties with odd-numbered house addresses to limit their outdoor water usage to odd-numbered calendar days, and properties with even-numbered house addresses are required to limit their outdoor water usage to even-numbered calendar days. 
Residents are also encouraged to water their lawns between the hours of 7:00 AM and 9:00 AM and 7:00 PM and 9:00 PM.
Common Questions
Do I have to wait to water my lawn during the recommended times?
We’d prefer that you did. The Town’s water storage reservoirs are replenished overnight, so the preference is to keep water use lower during that period. This will ensure the water storage reservoirs are filled for the next day. Watering during the cooler times of day also limits the amount of water evaporation and allows for better soil absorption. However, you must stick to the appropriate odd or even-numbered days.
But water levels are high in Georgian Bay. Why must we conserve water?
Whether or not the water levels of the Georgian Bay are high, the Town’s water supply availability is limited by the capacity of the water plant to treat water. 

What classifies outdoor water use?
Outdoor water use is defined as any activity that requires the use of a hose. This would include lawn watering, power washers, filling pools, sprinklers, etc. Gardens can be watered using a watering can.
Can I water my newly planted sod or seed if water restrictions are in place?
Yes, newly laid sod (less than 28 days) is exempt.

How does the Town of Collingwood enforce outdoor water use restrictions?
The Town’s goal is to encourage compliance with the Water Use-By-Law through education and issuing warnings, but the Town reserves the right to issue fines and penalties.