Outdoor water use
During extended periods of hot, dry weather, water demand can increase by up to 50% largely due to outdoor water use. However, there are limits to the volume of water Halton is allowed to draw from our water sources, and to the capacity of the water treatment and distribution system.
If necessary, outdoor water use restrictions may be put in place to ensure there is enough water for:
- essential use
- emergency firefighting use
If necessary, Halton Region may issue a change in outdoor water use restrictions. The criteria used for changing restriction levels include:
- Volume of water treated
- Water reservoir levels
- Permits to Take Water
- Well field aquifer levels
- Long and short term weather patterns
Current water restriction level
Level 1 - Careful use
- No serious shortage at this level.
- Voluntary reduction of outdoor water use.
When to water your lawn: odd/even lawn watering
To balance peak water demand, Halton Region asks residents and businesses to water lawns according to the odd/even rule:
- If your address number ends in an odd number, water your lawn on an odd calendar day.
- If your address number ends in an even number, water your lawn on an even calendar day.
You do not need to water the lawn on every odd or even day. Watering deeply once or twice a week helps encourage deeper root growth, and a stronger, healthier lawn, better able to withstand periods of drought.
Frequently asked questions about outdoor water use restrictions
Why are we asked to reduce our outdoor water use when we live near Lake Ontario?
- There are limits to the volume of water Halton is allowed to draw from our water sources, and to the capacity of water treatment and distribution system.
- Enough water needs to be available beyond regular demand for emergency services such as firefighting.
I am on a private well. Do I have to follow the Outdoor Water Use Program?
- Private wells draw from the same ground water source as municipalities. It is in everyone’s best interest to help conserve water.
How do I find out what the current level is?
Can I water my newly planted sod or seed if water restrictions are in place?
- Yes, until the sod is established
Will splash pads remain open if water restrictions are in place?
Why are we required to water our lawns at certain times?
- To allow Halton’s water treatment facilities to replenish reservoirs.
- To encourage watering during the coolest parts of the day, when the least amount of evaporation will occur.
How does the Region enforce outdoor water use restrictions?
- The goal is to avoid the need to implement restrictions by encouraging wise water use.
- Should outdoor water use restrictions be required, Halton Region's policy is to encourage compliance by providing:
- warning notices
- Halton Waterworks By-Law 79-19 (PDF file) allows for: