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Outdoor Water Use Restrictions

Ensuring adequate quantities of potable water for consumer demand and fire fighting purposes.

Currently, lawn watering restrictions are in effect as per the "Careful Use" (Level 0) guidelines below. From time to time it may be necessary for the City to restrict water usage. Temporary Watering Ban notices will be posted on this page, This Week in Barrie, Facebook and Twitter.

The Program

The City's Outdoor Water Use Strategy allows for the implementation of outdoor water use restrictions in times of peak water demand to avoid water delivery challenges for essential purposes. At times when production cannot meet high consumer demands the Water Operations Branch / Operating Authority will initiate an outdoor water use restriction.

Historically, the City has controlled supply/demand shortfalls through the use of lawn watering restrictions by limiting both the particular day and time when consumers water their lawns, this limitation is ALWAYS in effect.. Additional measures beyond the Lawn Watering Restrictions have been established in By-law 2010-036.  These measures will assist in ensuring sufficient water system reserve availability during peak use periods for fire protection and other emergency events.

By-Law 2010-036 
The Regulatory Matters by-law is the mechanism that gives authority to restrict discretionary water usage; it establishes the types of restrictions that can be enforced during times of high consumer demand. It also authorizes the City's Operating Authority to issue these restrictions to address supply/demand shortfalls and in situations where the distribution and operational issues limit the ability to distribute water to consumers (i.e. water main breaks and equipment failure).

The following chart identifies all activities permitted for each level of the Outdoor Water Use Strategy.

Level 0
Blue
Careful Use
Level 1
Yellow
Limited Use
Level 2
Red
Restricted Use

Lawn Watering Restrictions:
Consumers with even/odd municipal addresses will water accordingly on even/odd numbered calendar days between the hours of 6pm and 8am. Consumers with even/ odd municipal addresses will water accordingly on even/ odd numbered calendar days between the hours of 6pm and 8am. Temporarily not allowed.

Watering of newly planted sod or seed:
Allowed for 14 days after sod or seed has been installed. Regular lawn watering rules apply thereafter. Allowed for 14 days after sod or seed has been installed. Regular lawn watering rules apply thereafter. Allowed for 14 days after sod or seed has been installed. Regular lawn watering rules apply thereafter.

Watering Trees, Shrubs, Flowers or Gardens:
Allowed. Allowed. Consumers are encouraged to restrict outdoor water use. Not allowed. *

Recreational Sprinklers and Splash Pads for Children:
Allowed. Allowed. Consumers are encouraged to restrict outdoor water use. Not allowed. *

 Filling Residential Swimming and Wading Pools, Hot Tubs, Garden ponds or Fountains:
Allowed. Allowed. Consumers are encouraged to restrict outdoor water use. Not allowed. **

* No restrictions if for a water dependant commercial enterprise or service.
** Allowed only if failure to do so would result in damage or injury; we strongly recommend using a shut-off nozzle on your hose. No restrictions if for a commercial enterprise or service dependant on outdoor water use.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why is there an Outdoor Water Use Strategy in the City of Barrie?
During peak drinking water demand periods, typically from April until October, water consumption within the City of Barrie can increase by 60%. During these times, low pressures and insufficient reserves required for fire protection may result and, therefore, pose a potential risk to public safety. In addition, the Ministry of Environment limits the taking of source water from the underground aquifer and Kempenfelt Bay through a permit process. These individual withdrawal rates cannot be legally exceeded.

It is during these times that the City of Barrie may be required to issue an outdoor water use restriction to ensure adequate amounts of water are available for consumption, maintenance and emergency purposes.
How does the Strategy work?
The City of Barrie’s Water Operations Branch continually monitors and evaluates water supply patterns based on an established criteria. The results of the evaluation determine the need to activate one of three (3) water restriction levels of response as established in By-Law 2010-036:

Depending on the situation, residents may be asked to reduce outdoor water use  or stop all non essential outdoor water use until such time that the restriction can be lifted.
What is the criteria to determine what level of restrictions will be issued?
The City of Barrie identifies the level of restriction to issue based on the following criteria:

  • Extended hot, dry periods;
  • Difficulty in recovering storage levels during peak time;
  • Low pressures caused by excessive demand in local areas or pressure zones;
  • Extended run times on equipment and temperatures at stations;
  • Equipment break downs or overuse of equipment.; and
  • Emergencies such as a large fire or infrastructure failure.
What are the Restriction Levels in the City of Barrie’s Outdoor Water Use Strategy?
The restriction levels of the City of Barrie’s Outdoor Water Use Strategy are as follows:

  • 1. Level Zero; Careful Use – Lawn watering restricted to even and odd numbered calendar days for even and odd numbered municipal street addresses respectively as per the current By-law 2010-036 as amended.
  • 2. Level One; Limited Use – This restriction may be issued in circumstances deemed necessary at the discretion of the City of Barrie Water Operations Branch.
  • 3. Level Two; Restricted Use – This restriction may be issued in circumstances deemed necessary at the discretion of the City of Barrie Water Operations Branch.
When a Level One of the Outdoor Water Use Strategy is in effect, what does this mean to me as a resident?
This Outdoor Water Use Restriction signifies the need for restricted outdoor water use. Level Zero is still in effect but the issuance of a Level One restriction encourages residents to reduce outdoor water use wherever possible.
When a Level Two of the Outdoor Water Use Strategy is in effect, what does this mean to me as a resident?

In the event that a Level Zero and Level One restriction does not resolve a supply/demand shortfall, this Temporary Outdoor Water Use restriction is issued to eliminate all unnecessary outdoor water use. No consumer, within the City of Barrie, shall use municipal water outdoors for:

  • lawn watering;
  • the washing of vehicles on any property or any portion of a right-of-way or boulevard adjacent to the property;
  • the filling of swimming pools, wading pools, outside hot tubs, decorative fountains or garden ponds; sprinklers or splash pads on residentially zoned properties; and
  • to wash down driveways, parking lots, sidewalks or patios unless failure to do so would lead to damage or unsafe conditions.

Services and commercial enterprises which could not function without the use of water are exempt from these restrictions.
If I am a resident and I am not connected to the Municipal Drinking Water System, am I affected?
No. Since you are not on the Municipal Drinking Water System, these restrictions do not affect you.
Where would I find more information about the Outdoor Water Use Strategy?
If you require more information on the Outdoor Water Use Strategy, please contact the City of Barrie Water Operations Branch at 705-739-4220 ext. 4805.

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