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Starting Friday, watering your lawn in Surrey can cost you $300 fine

Stage 2 water restrictions come into effect Aug. 4
Watering your lawn is prohibited in Surrey after Stage 2 water restrictions came into effect Friday (Aug. 4). (Photo: Pixabay)

Watering your lawn in Surrey is prohibited now that Stage 2 water restrictions took effect Friday (Aug. 4).

The City of Surrey says it will be strictly enforcing the new rules and will issue tickets up to $300 for “unauthorized watering.”

While Stage 1 outdoor watering restrictions are in effect every year from May 1 to Oct. 15 , Stage 2 to 4 restrictions are implemented “as needed.”

The last time Metro Vancouver moved beyond Stage 1 was in 2015 due to a low snowpack and dry conditions.

Metro Vancouver board chair George Harvie said the use of the regional district’s water user remains higher than ever, with water consumption in the region since May averaging about 20 per cent higher than last year.


Note: hand-held hoses must have an automatic shut-off, such as a spray nozzle.

• Residents and businesses can water trees, shrubs, and flowers by hand, using a soaker hose, or drip irrigation at any time, or residents can use a sprinkler to water trees, shrubs, and flowers between 5 a.m. and 9 a.m. any day. Businesses can use a sprinkler an hour earlier, from 4 a.m. to 9 a.m.

• Vegetable gardens can be watered at any time by hand, using soaker hoses, drip irrigation or a sprinkler

• Washing outdoor surfaces, such as driveways and sidewalks, is allowed with a handheld hose or pressure washer.

• Vehicles and boats can be washed with a handled hose. They must be washed on gravel or a paved area where the water cannot enter storm drains. The City of Surrey recommends using a commercial car wash instead.

• Golf courses can water fairways once a week, except when they have an approved water use plan.

• Soil-based playing fields can only be watered four days a week from 7 p.m. to 9 a.m. Newly seeded fields with a valid special sprinkling permit and fields operating under an approved Water Use Plan are exempt.

• Water spray parks may operate if they have user-activated switches.

• Topping up or filling pools and hot tubs is also allowed in Metro Vancouver.


Watering residential and non-residential lawns, including schools, City of Surrey lawns, parks and grass boulevards.

Filling or topping up aesthetic water features

“Water conservation plays a key role in ensuring we will have enough drinking water today and for future generations,” Metro Vancouver’s website states.

The Better Business Bureau Serving Mainland BC recently released seven tips to conserve water:

"Seven Tips to Save Water During BC's Drought" from Better Business Bureau Serving Mainland BC

For more information about water conservation, visit the Ministry of Environment’s water stewardship website or

To report a water restriction violation, call 604-591-4340 or report online.

-With files from Tricia Weel and Lauren Collins

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Anna Burns

About the Author: Anna Burns

I started with Black Press Media in the fall of 2022 as a multimedia journalist after finishing my practicum at the Surrey Now-Leader.
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