Why they can water the grass and you can’t


Lawn watering from May to September in Greater Victoria is supposed to be limited to Wednesdays and Saturdays for even addresses, and Thursdays and Sundays for odd addresses. And only from 4 a.m. to 10 a.m., and 7 p.m. to 10 p.m.

So, why are sprinklers spraying away on public lawns and boulevards outside those days and hours?

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Turns out, there’s a separate rule for municipal properties, a more generous one. Municipal lawns and boulevards can be watered on Mondays and Fridays, 1 a.m. to 10 a.m. and 7 p.m. to 10 p.m.

This explains why I’ve encountered sprinklers splashing the grass and road in the early morning while bicycling home from a night on the town. I wrongly thought it was municipal thumbing of the nose at rules the rest of us have to obey.

Speaking of those watering rules for the rest of us, there would be more compliance and less confusion if the rules were simpler. I can never quite get straight which are my watering days without looking them up, and I sense that it’s like that for many other people. (OK, I only have firm evidence of three others, who agreed after I prompted.)

It would be easier and compliance would be higher, if households with even addresses watered on even-numbered days, and odd addresses watered on odd-numbered days. Continue to limit watering to just twice a week on the honour system, which is what the existing hard-to-remember rules also rely on, despite the existence of fines, which are rarely levied.

I've made it easier for myself by not watering the lawn, letting it turn yellow. But I do water the shrubs and trees, following the rules most of the time.

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Email me at pjang@timescolonist.com

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