Watering and efficient water use

Watering and efficient water use

Water is a vital resource and an integral part of our daily lives. We use it every day for a variety of purposes: cooking food, personal hygiene, watering plants, filling pools, washing cars, etc. And yet, this essential resource is too often wasted, especially during summer time, when usage is at its peak.

To this end, the Town of Kirkland adopted a By-law applicable to its entire territory (By-Law No. 2012-55) in order to ensure efficient use of this resource by its citizens. Some of the main provisions include:

  • Watering plants: Manual watering of flower gardens, vegetable gardens, flower-boxes, planters, borders, trees and shrubs, using a hose fitted with an automatic shut-off device is allowed at all times.
  • Watering times: The watering of lawns, hedges, trees, shrubs or other plants using portable sprinklers or porous hoses is allowed only between 6:00 p.m. and 10:00 a.m.
  • Automatic sprinkler systems must be equipped with the following devices:
  1. an automatic humidity sensor or an automatic shut-off device in case of rain;
  2. reduced-pressure backflow prevention device to protect the water distribution system against contamination;
  3. a handle or gate valve with manual closing used exclusively in the event of breakage;
  4. Nonetheless, an automatic sprinkler system installed before the effective date of this By-law that is incompatible with the requirements of this article, may be used, but it must be upgraded, replaced or removed from service before January 1, 2015.
  • New lawns and new landscaping: The watering of a new lawn or new landscaping is permitted at any time for a period of 15 days after the planting or laying of sod.
  • Washing vehicles: A vehicle may be washed at any time provided that a wash pail or garden hose equipped with an automatic shut-off mechanism is used.
  • Landscaped ponds and water features: Must be equipped with a functioning water recirculation system or an on-call activation system. Supplying such ponds or water features with drinking water on a continuous basis is prohibited.


Any person who contravenes a provision of By-law No. 2012-55 commits an offence and is liable:

  1. For a first offence:
    Natural Person: to a fine of $100 to $1,000
    Legal Person: to a fine of $100 to $2,000

  2. For a subsequent offence
    Natural Person: to a fine of $200 to $2,000
    Legal Person: to a fine of $200 to 4 000 $
In all cases, some fees are added to the fine. For more information about the provisions of the By-law on drinking water use, please contact the Urban Planning and Environment Department at 514 694-4100.

Tips for reducing water consumption

The Town of Kirkland proposes tips and simple steps you can use daily to reduce water waste.


  • Compare your water meter reading with that of previous years to gauge your consumption.
  • Take a quick shower instead of a bath.
  • Sweep your driveway instead of hosing it down.
  • Don’t let water run uselessly when brushing your teeth or shaving.
  • Replace defective washers to prevent taps from leaking. Replace old taps, shower heads and toilet flushes with modern water-saving models.
  • Put a water pitcher in the fridge if you like to drink cold water.
  • Don’t throw your garbage in the toilet.
  • Adjust your washing machine’s water level according to the load of laundry you are washing and load your dishwasher to its full capacity before starting it.


  • Water your gardens and lawns early in the morning or late at night to prevent water from evaporating too quickly under the sun.
  • Water your lawn only once a week, by soaking the soil 2.5 cm deep, and skip a week if it has rained heavily.
  • Cut your grass 7.5 cm from the ground. Taller grass holds water better.
  • Get a rain water barrel which you can then use to water your lawn and gardens.


  • Use a solar blanket to cover your pool. A medium-sized pool that is not covered can lose up to 4,000 litres of water/month to evaporation.


Environmental Patrols

In order to promote best practices related to the use of drinking water, the Town of Kirkland deploys every summer its environmental awareness patrols throughout the municipality.
For more information on the subject, please visit the Environmental Patrols page.