2024 Water Conservation Program

Water Conservation Program

May 1 – September 30

Oxford County relies entirely on groundwater for its drinking water supply. Compared to other communities near rivers or lakes, groundwater supplies take much longer to replenish and are more vulnerable to overuse. Oxford County takes water conservation seriously.

Oxford County By-law No. 4193-2002 limits outdoor water use (by hose or attachment) to ensure an adequate water supply for all residents. It is important we all do our part to conserve water. Your watering day is determined by your address and your community as outlined below. 

Download the 2024 notice

Community Watering Days

Every Other Day Watering1 Day Per Week Watering
Beachville, Bright, Brownsville, Dereham Centre, Drumbo, Princeton, Embro, Hickson, Ingersoll, Innerkip, Lakeside, Mount Elgin, Norwich, Otterville, Springford, Sweaburg, Plattsville, Tavistock, Thamesford, Tillsonburg and Woodstock  
  • Even-numbered addresses
    Please water on even-numbered days
  • Odd-numbered addresses
    Please water on odd-numbered days


Watering hours:

  • Residential: 6-9 a.m. or 6-9 p.m.
  • Commercial: 8-10 a.m. or 3-5 p.m.

Monday: Addresses ending in 0 or 1

Tuesday: Addresses ending in 2 or 3
Wednesday: Addresses ending in 4 or 5
Thursday: Addresses ending in 6 or 7
Friday: Addresses ending in 8 or 9
There is no weekend watering

Watering hours:

  • Residential: 6-9 a.m. or 6-9 p.m.
  • Commercial: 8-10 a.m. or 3-5 p.m.

Further water conservation efforts may be necessary due to excessive water use or when dry conditions cause water shortages.

How much water?

What does your community use?

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

Click here and open HTML Source Editor to edit 'htmlfile' module settings

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.

How much water do you need?

Oxford County'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


Exemption Permits

You can apply for an outdoor water use exemption permit if you
need to use water outside the designated hours for:

  • Automatic sprinkler systems*

  • New sod, seed, trees or outside projects

  • Non-profit fundraising

  • Filling a swimming pool*

  • Special considerations

*A fee for non-metered customers may apply
Please note: A limited number of exemption permits will be issued in Norwich this year due to maintenance on the town’s water tower. 

To obtain a permit, contact:

Oxford County at 519-539-9800, toll-free at 1-866-537-7778, or by email at water@oxfordcounty.ca
Town of Tillsonburg at 519-842-9200
City of Woodstock at 519-539-2382

Lawn and garden tips

Strong roots grow strong shoots!

The best way to grow a luscious lawn is to encourage deep root growth. A single soaking once per week is enough. Overwatering your grass can cause it to be more susceptible to dry conditions and create the perfect environment for pests and diseases.

Not sure if you are over or under watering? Try leaving a small container on your lawn when watering to see how fast it fills—you only need 1 inch (2.5 cm).

Timing is everything

Watering early in the morning or in the evening is best. This ensures the water meant for your plants makes it to their roots instead of evaporating in the mid-day sun.

Rain is free

Natural rainwater is a wonderful source of water for your plants. Use a rain barrel to collect water for your grass and gardens. You can purchase a rain barrel from Oxford County by calling 519-539-9800 or toll-free at 1-866-537-7778.

Dormant does not mean dead

Is your lawn looking a little down? In hot dry weather, grass may go dormant (brown). Dormant lawns can survive up to six weeks without water. Dormant grass is still alive and will bounce back once it rains!

 Using rain barrels to collect rain water for outdoor water use

Buy a Rain Barrel for $65

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: 519-539-9800 or toll-free 1-866-537-7778