2024 Water Conservation Program

Water Conservation Program

May 1 – September 30

Oxford County By-law No. 4193-2002 limits outdoor water use (by hose or attachment) over the summer months to conserve groundwater supplies and  ensure an adequate water supply for all residents. 

Under the program, your watering day is determined by your address and your community as outlined below. | Download the 2024 notice

Lawn watering is one of the biggest users of municipal water in our communities. Municipal water supplies that rely on groundwater, like in Oxford County, take longer to replenish and are more vulnerable to over use than municipal water from other sources, like lakes. Conserving outdoor water use helps care for this valuable resource.

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 No communities are currently under a 1-day-per week watering restriction 
  • 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.

Exemption permits

Eligible water uses

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

*Fee for non-metered customers may apply

Contacts to obtain an exemption permit

Oxford County: 519-539-9800, toll-free 1-866-537-7778 | water@oxfordcounty.ca   

Town of Tillsonburg: 519-842-9200   

City of Woodstock: 519-539-2382

 Water System Usage Map

How much water?

How much water does your community use? The Water System Usage Map shows the status of water reserves for Oxford County’s water systems.

Green: Water reserves are sufficient to meet community needs. Please use outdoor water carefully.

Yellow: Water reserve levels may be a concern. Please minimize outdoor water use.

Red: Water restrictions are in place to conserve groundwater supplies.

Smart watering tips

Is your lawn looking a little down? Remember, a brown lawn isn’t always a dead lawn. In hot, dry weather, a brown lawn may be dormant (brown) but 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. 

A healthy lawn can be maintained with one thorough watering a week. Follow these smart watering tips that help sustain our groundwater resources while building a healthy, resilient lawn.



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 low-cost, environmentally sustainable 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.

 Rain barrels for sustainable watering

Buy a Rain Barrel for $65

Natural rainwater is a low-cost, sustainable option for watering for your plants. Rain barrels collect water for your grass and garden watering and can be used through spring, summer, and fall conditions.

To purchase a rain barrel from Oxford County, please contact Customer Service:

519-539-9800, toll-free 1-866-537-7778 | customerservice@oxfordcounty.ca 




Extend the life of your rain barrel by following these tips for storage:

  • Drain any remaining water from your barrel
  • Remove any lids/attachments from your barrel before storing
  • Store the barrel in a garage/shed if you can
  • If you are leaving it outdoors, store it upside down and secure it to prevent damage or water accumulation, which can cause cracks and leaks
 Other resources 

Water-efficient landscaping booklet - Ontario Clean Water Agency

Water-wise gardens - Region of Peel