• Black Creek - Oyster Bay Water System - Stage 3 Water Restrictions More information


During stage 4 water restrictions, all use of water for any purpose other than drinking, food preparation and personal hygiene is strictly prohibited.

Stage 4 restrictions apply to businesses in exactly the same way as they do to residential use. If your business uses water as a regular part of its operations, you may need to make adjustments to comply with these restrictions as no permits or exemptions will be issued.

Prohibited uses include:

  • Watering lawns, gardens, plants and trees in any manner or by any means, including watering by hand
  • Filling or topping off or operating residential or commercial pools, hot tubs, ponds or fountains
  • Operating local government outdoor water parks and pools
  • Washing vehicles, boats or outdoor surfaces
  • Irrigating golf courses and other public and/or school district property

Where reasonably possible, swimming pools, hot tubs, fountains and ponds should be drained for health and safety purposes and such water used for irrigation.

No new lawn permit shall be issued during Stage 4, and no new lawn permit, whenever issued, shall be valid during Stage 4.

Exceptions to Stage 4 Restrictions:

  • Using water for health and safety reasons is permitted.
  • Water use is permitted for firefighting.
  • Local government watermain and hydrant maintenance is permitted, but only for unscheduled safety or public health reasons.
  • Water use is permitted for farm and agricultural operations, but only for livestock drinking purposes.
  • Cleaning outdoor surfaces is only authorized when required by law to comply with health or safety regulations, or to comply with an order of a regulatory authority having jurisdiction, such as WorkSafeBC or a public health inspector.
  • Irrigating local government all-weather playing fields is permitted.
  • Spot cleaning of vehicles and boats with a sponge and bucket for health and safety reasons (windows, lights, license plates, etc.) is permitted.


Water Conservation Tips For Your Home

On average we use 240 liters of water per person per day. There are many benefits to water efficiency including reduced energy bills. Here are some simple tips to help conserve water at home.

Inside Home Tips

  • Replace old bathroom fixtures (showerhead, faucets).
  • Check for home leaks (toilet, sinks, faucets).
  • Replace old washing machines for high-efficiency models.
  • Only run your dishwasher when you have a full load. Dishwashers use large volumes of water, about 60 liters of water per load. 
  • Only run washing machine with full loads or on eco mode. Washing machines use anywhere between 100-200 litres of water per load. 
  • Reduce your shower time and if bathing reduce bath water by 5 centimeters (2 inches).
  • Recycle unused water. While waiting for hot water to flow when preparing for a shower, catch the cool water in a bucket. This water can be used later for plants, pets or cleaning. 
  • Reduce the number of times you flush your toilet with multiple uses before flushing. Unnecessary flushing of the toilet even once a day can waste up to 1,000 litres of water per year.
  • Do not let the water run while you are brushing your teeth, washing your face or shaving. 
  • When washing dishes by hand, do not wash or rinse with running water. Use tubs or plug the sink. Capture the excess water and use for plants or pets. 
  • Rinse fruit and vegetables in a pan instead of running water continously and use water for indoor and outdoor plant watering. 
  • Keep a jug of water in the fridge instead of running the tap for cold water. 
  • For regular house cleaning use a pail or bucket rather than running water. 

Outside Home Tips

  • Let your lawn go golden. A lawn only needs 1 inch of water a week per week to remain healthy.
  • Mulch around plants reduces the number of weeds and conserves soil moisture, moderates soil temperature and adds nutrients to the soil. 
  • Consider installing drought-tolerant native plants such as perennials and annuals which thrive in drought conditions.
  • Weed regulary as weeds compete with your plants for moisture.
  • Consider collecting and recycling water by installing rain barrels outside your home. 
  • Clean sidewalks and driveways with a broom. 
  • Ensure your irrigation system is turned off during stage 4 restrictions.
  • Aerate and top dress with compost for a healthier lawn.


Reporting Water Restriction Infractions

Residents may be fined up to $500 per infraction if found using water contrary to Stage 4 water restrictions.

To report water restriction infractions, please contact:

City of Courtenay

Tel: 250-338-4441

CVRD or Town of Comox

Tel: 250-334-6000

Municipal Ticket Information Bylaw

Water Conservation Bylaw