At home water usage is at an all time high, and cutting back on consumption can be done without even noticing. There are plenty of benefits to conserving water, the most rewarding is a decrease in your monthly water bill charges. 

On average, every Canadian uses about 350 litres (80 gallons) each day – just indoors. During the summertime, lawn watering and car washing can increase water use by up to 50%.

Use the tips below to help conserve water in Oxford County.

 Top 5 ways to save water
  1. Be forgetful, sometimes - Watering your grass or gardens all the time is not always a good thing- especially when you have to save water! Follow the watering by-law and don't over do it. Brown lawns are not dead lawns, they will come back once the hot summer heat disappears.
  2. Quick & speedy - Don't take long showers. Try taking 10 minutes off your normal shower time. If you have a low flow shower head, you could be saving up to 40 litres of water. Also- be quick to turn off the tap when brushing your teeth or washing your face.
  3. Out with the old, in with the new - Replace all your old water appliances, if you can. Newer water efficient shower heads or sink faucets can save a family up to 160,000 litres of water in a year.
  4. Get responsible with your toilet - If you don't have a new low-flow toilet, make sure your old water guzzler is dressed in style. Water displacement outfits are what's in, and so is saving money on your water bill. Do not use a brick, either- it can ultimately break your toilet. Limit how many times you flush and use the garbage bin for tissues.
  5. In the kitchen - Your kitchen gets a lot of action. Try to slow it down by hand washing dishes in a small sink full of water instead of running the dishwasher. Rinse fruits & veggies in a bowl rather than under the tap, then use that water to feed your house plants or garden. Last but not least, fill up a big bottle with tap water and keep it in the fridge- this way you don't run the tap for cold water.
 Using rain barrels to collect rain water for outdoor water use

Buy a Rain Barrel for $53

Avoid wasting your local water source and start utilizing natural rain water. Our rain barrels are designed to withstand all of the spring, summer, and fall conditions and capture natural rain water for your garden needs.

Natural rain water is a wonderful source of water for your plants and with a rain barrel it becomes easy to capture and use.

For information on purchasing a rain barrel from Oxford County, please contact customer service.

 Lawn & garden tips to conserve water

Lawn watering

Water only when necessary, and according to the County’s water conservation program guidelines.

Remember, a brown lawn isn’t always a dead lawn. Brown lawns can recover their green colour after rainfall and cooler weather. 

  • Promote a healthy lawn by aerating and mowing no shorter than 7.5 cm.
  • Avoid frequent watering. Watering too often causes your turf to develop shallow roots, making it more vulnerable to dry conditions. One inch or 2.5 cm (including rainfall) per week is plenty.
  • It’s time to water when grass turns grey‐green and footprints remain when you walk across the lawn.
  • If most of the lawn looks green, only water the dry spots.
  • Water early in the morning or late at night to avoid evaporation.
  • Avoid using a lawn sprinkler. A single lawn sprinkler spraying 19‐litres per minute uses more water in half an hour than 10 toilet flushes, two 5‐minute showers, two dishwasher loads, and a full load of laundry put together.
  • If you must use a sprinkler, use a low rise sprinkler head. Make sure you’re not watering sidewalks and driveways.
  • When reseeding or planting, consider drought‐resistant grasses, which are often more resistant to insects and disease.

 Gardening tips

  • Consider alternatives to lawns, such as naturescaping or xeriscaping, which uses water efficient plants in mixed woodlands, rock gardens, etc.
  • Group plants according to their water use to reduce the chance of damage due to over-watering.
  • Look for plants with grey, fuzzy, waxy, or finely divided leaves, which are the most drought tolerant. Plants with larger leaves generally require more water.
  • Place mulch around trees and plants to keep moisture in and reduce evaporation.
  • Collect rain water using barrels and other rain harvesting equipment.

Adapted from Region of Waterloo - More about lawn and garden care

Water-efficient landscaping booklet - Ontario Clean Water Agency

Water-saving tips for your lawn and garden - CHMC (Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation) 

Water-wise gardens - Region of Peel

" How much water?" Campaign

How much water do you use?

Did you know that lawn watering is one of the biggest users of municipal water in our community? Last year, about 250 million litres of water was used on Oxford County lawns and gardens. 

Hot, dry weather can push Oxford County's water systems to their limit. If everyone cuts back a little now, we can help avoid watering bans in our communities.

What does your community use?

The Current Water Usage graph (right) shows the status of water reserves in communities across Oxford County:

 

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RESIDENTIAL PROPERTIES

  1. Properties with street numbers ending in 0, 2, 4, 6, 8 may use water on even days of the calendar from 6:00 a.m. to 9:00 a.m. and from 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.
  2. Properties with street numbers ending in 1, 3, 5, 7, 9 may use water on odd days of the calendar from 6:00 a.m. to 9:00 a.m. and from 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.

INDUSTRIAL, COMMERCIAL AND INSTITUTIONAL

  1. Properties with street numbers ending in 0, 2, 4, 6, 8 may apply water on even days of the calendar from 8:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. and from 3:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.
  2. Properties with street numbers ending in 1, 3, 5, 7, 9 may apply water on odd days of the calendar from 8:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. and from 3:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.

How much water do you need?

The County of Oxford's water conservation program runs May 1 to September 30 each year. These are guidelines for when you can water-- they aren't intended to promote watering during each and every one of those time periods throughout the summer. A healthy lawn can be maintained with one thorough watering a week.


Worried about a brown lawn? Remember, a brown lawn isn’t always a dead lawn. In hot, dry weather, a brown lawn may be dormant and will recover its green colour after rainfall and cooler weather. Dormant lawns can survive up to six weeks as long as you control foot traffic and pests. 

Water-efficient landscaping booklet - Ontario Clean Water Agency

Water-wise gardens - Region of Peel