Stage 4 Water Restrictions in Effect April 12 to 22 for the Comox Valley Water System

Users of the Comox Valley Water System are under mandatory Stage 4 water restrictions now until April 22, 2019 while an emergency water pipe repair takes place. In order to maintain sufficient water flows for domestic and firefighting water needs, all use of water for any purpose other than drinking, food preparation and personal hygiene is prohibited during this time.

Stage 4 restrictions apply to businesses use 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 are being issued.  Please phone us at 250-334-6006 to speak to our business outreach coordinator.

Click the map below to find out if your home or business is affected:

Map of the Comox Valley Water System

Stage 4 - Extreme Conditions

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

  • 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.

This applies to the Town of Comox, City of Courtenay, and Arden, Comox Valley, England Road, Marsden/Camco and Greaves Crescent water local service areas.


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.
What Local Governments are Doing

The CVRD, the City of Courtenay, and the Town of Comox are making a concerted effort to reduce water consumption as much as possible during the Stage 4 water restrictions. In addition to following the guidelines laid out in the bylaw, local governments are further reducing their water use by suspending non-emergency operational work including:

  • road sweeping
  • sewer flushing
  • hydrant maintenance
  • all irrigation, including playing fields

The CVRD’s recreation facilities will remain open. The water in the pools and hot tubs are recirculated, and do not require draining and refilling. The Recreation department is doing their part for Stage 4 by conducting the following activities:

Aquatic Centre
  • hosing of pool decks and other surfaces only when biohazards are present
  • posting signs to encourage shorter showers and turning off the shower while lathering
  • closing the steam room for the duration of the Stage 4 restrictions
Sports Centre
  • Arena 1 closed for the duration of the restrictions
  • Arena 2 open with limited ice times
Exhibition Grounds
  • No dust control on riding rings
  • No watering of fields


Reporting Water Restriction Infractions

Compliance with these restrictions is very important. Non-compliance will make demands on the pipe untenable and the system may not be able to supply the water needed for indoor and firefighting use. If water use extends beyond the system’s capacity, a “do not use” order would need to be issued for the duration of the repairs.

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: 250-338-1525

CVRD or Town of Comox

Tel: 250-334-6006

Municipal Ticket Information Bylaw

Water Conservation Bylaw