Guelph Ontario | Lawn Watering Ban | Exemption for Nematodes that don’t even work | Lawn Grubs

Outside water use

The current level is:
Outside Water Use Program - the current level is blue, careful use

Outside Water Use By-law

Lawn Watering Permit Information

Lawn watering permits issued under the Outside Water Use Program

Lawn watering permits are issued by the City of Guelph to allow permit holders the ability to water their lawns for a specified number of days outside the requirements of the Outside Water Use By-law. There are two types of lawn watering permits, which differ based on the circumstances requiring special lawn watering: a Treated Lawn Permit and a New Lawn Permit.

It is important to note that lawn watering permits are valid during Outside Water Use Program Level 0 – Blue, Level 1 – Yellow and Level 2 – Red. However, should conditions persist for an extended period, all lawn watering permits may be suspended and no additional permits issued.

Treated Lawn Permits

A Treated Lawn Permit allows permit holders the ability to water lawns treated with biopesticides on any day and at any time for a period of 10 days following the treatment application date.

Biopesticides are defined in the By-law to include Class 11 pesticides, classified under the Pesticides Act as microorganisms that control pests (microbial pesticides, such as nematodes, or a pesticidal substance produced by a plant(s) containing added genetic material (plant-incorporated protectants, such as Sarritor or Fiesta).

New Lawn Permits

A New Lawn Permit allows a permit holder to water newly-laid sod or a newly-seeded lawn outside of the normal alternate day watering restrictions for a period of 30 days.

How to obtain a Lawn Watering Permit

Permits can be purchased by the registered property owner at Guelph Water Services, located at 29 Waterworks Place (just off York Road), or by calling the Outside Water Use Program at 519-822-1260 extension 2153.

Permits are valid as of the date and time of issue. Once issued, the permit will be sent to your residence to be posted in the window. There is a $10.00 administration fee for each permit. This fee can be paid in person with cash or added to your water billing account.


Even new and treated lawns should not be over watered. A good way to check if your lawn has enough water is to step on it. If your footprint is left on the grass, stop watering for the time being. Over watering can be harmful to lawn health, and can also cause water to pool and run off onto paved surfaces, which is prohibited at all times under the Outside Water Use By-law and could result in a violation.

Last Updated: November 23, 2015. Broken links or incorrect information? Let us know!