Lawn sprinklers can only be run between 4 and 9 a.m. from June 1 to Sept. 30. Delta's mayor says that puts a crimp on kids' ability to play in sprinklers in hot summer afternoons.

Metro water rules turn off tap on sprinkler fun: Delta mayor

Child play a casualty of early morning lawn watering rules, Lois Jackson says

Running back and forth through a water sprinkler on a hot summer afternoon is one of the great delights of childhood.

But Delta Mayor Lois Jackson says Metro Vancouver appears to have inadvertently outlawed those merry moments of fun and frolic as part of the regional district’s ongoing drive to conserve water.

Metro water sprinkling rules that took effect June 1 say lawns may only be watered between 4 and 9 a.m. on designated days, a measure planners say helps control peak water use and push back costly infrastructure upgrades.

“When we were small we always had the sprinkler in the backyard,” Jackson said.

“Neighbours would come over and play and shriek and laugh when it’s hot in the sprinkler. My kids did it.”

Jackson asked at the May 24 Metro board meeting if the regulations also preclude running a sprinkler so kids can have backyard fun.

She was told it does and violators could be fined $100.

But Metro board chair Greg Moore noted Metro doesn’t enforce the water sprinkling bylaw – local cities do – so local bylaw officers could show leniency.

“I think there’s some grey room,” Moore said. “If you don’t direct your staff to enforce, it’s not Metro staff going out there.”

The Metro regulations allow early morning sprinkling for even-numbered homes on Mondays, Wednesdays or Saturdays and odd-numbered addresses on Tuesdays, Thursdays or Sundays.

The restrictions don’t apply to watering flowers, vegetables, shrubs and trees.

Metro recommends lawns be watered no more than one hour a week.

Jackson said she’s not sure it would be right for a municipality to order relaxed enforcement of the rules.

And she said she doubts the early morning sprinkling rules are supported by many residents.

“I don’t know of anybody who has the ability to get up at four o’clock in the morning to attend to the sprinkler.”

Metro officials say morning-only sprinkling helps flatten spikes in water use during summer evenings, so lawn watering doesn’t also compete with uses like dishwashers, bathing and washing.

“If businesses and residents continue to conserve water during the summer, Metro Vancouver can push back the date when we have to build higher dams, bigger pumping stations and bigger water mains,” said North Vancouver City Mayor Darrell Mussatto, chair of Metro’s utilities committee.

One hour of lawn sprinkling uses as much water as 25 toilet flushes, five loads of laundry and five dishwasher loads, according to Metro.

Early morning sprinkling also means less water goes to waste from evaporation, which is faster at later times of the day.

“Why waste high-quality drinking water on lawns?” Moore asked.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Former Surrey Eagle home from ‘quiet, empty’ Italy after hockey season cancelled

Delta-born Anthony Bardaro has spent last three seasons playing professionally in Europe

White Rock Tritons stay sharp despite uncertain future of BC Premier Baseball League season

Semiahmoo Peninsula squad recently returned from truncated trip to Arizona

GREEN SPACE: COVID-19 crisis has shown that people are capable of change

Now is the perfect time to create more sustainable habits

Social media a blessing and a curse during time of crisis: B.C. communication expert

‘In moments of crisis, fear is very real and palpable,’ says SFU’s Peter Chow-White

OBITUARY: Sherrold Haddad brought giant Canadian flag to Surrey car dealership, built community

‘An amazing man, business person and community leader,’ friend Bruce Hayne posted to Facebook

Evening world update: U.S. restrictions extended 30 days; NY deaths near 1,000

Comprehensive world update, with the latest developments in the COVID-19 crisis

‘It’s up to us: Recently-returned B.C. couple urges Canadians to take COVID-19 seriously

Garrett Kucher and Tory Apostoliuk make it home after almost a week of lockdown in Spain

‘Nothing concrete’: Tenants, landlords lack details after B.C. unveils COVID-19 rental aid

Single mom in Golden says she’s already going to the food bank after being laid off

Canada will make sure masks sent by China meet quality standards: Trudeau

Chinese Embassy tweeted that China was sending 30,000 medical masks along with gowns, gloves and goggles

B.C. issues guidelines about distancing, reusable bags to grocery stores amid COVID-19

Hand sanitizer and markers to keep lines two metres are apart are needed, province says

No plans to call in military right now to enforce COVID-19 quarantine: Trudeau

Trudeau unveils $7.5M for Kids Help Phone, $9M for vulnerable seniors amid COVID-19

QUIZ: How much do you know about the Olympics?

Put your knowledge to the test with these 12 questions

B.C. announces $3M for food banks to increase capacity during COVID-19

It is not clear how much of the money will flow towards Greater Victoria food banks

Most Read

l -->