water restrictions frequently asked questions

Abbotsford and Mission’s water restrictions follow four stages, which are tied to the level of Dickson Lake and Maclure Reservoir.

Dickson Lake is the main source of drinking water for both communities. As the level of our lake gets lower, our restrictions get higher!

Get to know the stages of the Abbotsford Mission Water Shortage Response Plan.


Stage 1 Water Restrictions


When is lawn sprinkling permitted?

Even numbered addresses may use a sprinkler to water the lawn on Wednesday and Saturday, between the hours of 6:00 am to 8:00 am only.

Odd numbered addresses may use a sprinkler to water the lawn on Thursday and Sunday, between the hours of 6:00 am to 8:00 am only.

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When can I water my trees, shrubs, flowers and vegetables?

Garden irrigation, watering of flowers, shrubs and vegetables may be carried out using a hand-held wand, a hose equipped with a spring-loaded shut off device or a sprinkler at any time on any day.  However, please try to water in the morning or evening when the sun won't evaporate most of the water. Also, keep in mind that most plants only require 1 inch of water per week.

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Can I install and water new sod or lawn?

Yes, but only with a permit. Permits are for 2 weeks and watering can be done every day from 6:00am to 8:00am for $50.00 in May, June and September and $100 in July and August. Permits can be bought at Abbotsford and Mission Engineering Departments. We recommend that you wait until the Fall to lay new sod or seed.

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Can I wash my vehicle or boat?

Yes, you may wash your vehicle or boat anytime using a hand held container or hose equipped with a shut-off nozzle, preferably on grass or gravel areas and at car dealerships or commercial car washes.

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Can I use a pressure washer or hose to wash sidewalks, driveways or parking lots, exterior windows or exterior building surfaces?

Yes, but use no more water than necessary to complete the task and the hose must be equipped with a shut-off nozzle. Cleaning hard surfaces and driveways with a broom is the most water efficient method.

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Can I use water to fill my wading pool, swimming pool, hot tub, or garden pond?

Yes. You may use water to fill wading pools, swimming pools, hot tubs, or garden ponds, but consider using covers to reduce water loss through evaporation.

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Can I put the sprinkler on for my kids to run through?

Yes, but please remember to turn the sprinkler off and not to run it too long.

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Who is affected by the watering restrictions?

All Abbotsford and Mission residents and businesses receiving water from the municipal system, including City operations, must comply with watering restrictions according to the bylaw. Residents supplied by private wells and residents of the Clearbrook Waterworks District are exempt.

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Why are watering restrictions so important?

Due to high peak water demands in the summer, the AMWSC implements water restrictions each year. Last year our peak demand was not as high as previous years, but due to the hot, dry summer and lack of snowpack, Dickson Lake level entered Stage 3 of the Water Shortage Response Plan. Watering restrictions help ensure that Abbotsford and Mission residents continue to have a high quality water supply capable of supporting a growing population.

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If we are experiencing outdoor water restrictions, is our drinking water safe?

Yes, the treated water from your tap is as safe to drink as usual. When a water shortage is announced, we are experiencing difficulties producing the volume of water necessary to meet all of Abbotsford and Mission needs. It does not indicate that your water quality has deteriorated in any way.

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During what months are the watering restrictions in effect?

From May 1 to September 30

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How are watering restrictions enforced?

Abbotsford and Mission both enforce the watering restrictions. The fines are as follows:
Violate Stage One Water Restrictions - $100
Violate Stage Two Water Restrictions - $150
Violate Stage Three Water Restrictions - $200
Violate Stage Four Water Restrictions - $300

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Who do I call if my neighbour is not complying with watering restrictions?

If you know your neighbour you may first want to ensure they are aware of the outdoor lawn sprinkling restrictions. Otherwise, call 604-864-5514 in Abbotsford or email waterrestrictions@abbotsford.ca and in Mission call 604-820-3761 or email pworksadmin@mission.ca.

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I live in a townhouse, what days am I permitted to water?

In townhouses and other complexes, you determine your watering day based on your complex address number and not your unit number.

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Are residents who are away on their assigned watering day able to water their lawns on an alternate day?

No, residents are only allowed to water according to the assigned day of their municipal address. The alternative is to hire a contractor or ask a friend or neighbour to water their lawn for them during the approved times.

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I leave for work early and won't be able to water. What can I do?

An inexpensive timer can be purchased at City Hall to use on your sprinkler which will turn off your sprinkler when you are gone.

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