Watering lawns is now restricted to once a week.

Watering lawns is now restricted to once a week.

Stage 2 for watering rules

The City of Maple Ridge is asking its residents to do two things during the drought.

The new street trees need your help during the heat wave, but if your lawn has gone that crispy brown – forget about it.

The City of Maple Ridge is asking its residents to do two things during the drought that’s descended on to B.C. this long, hot summer.

First, it’s asking people with young street trees in front of their homes, to give them about 70 litres of water, twice a week.

That can be done by setting a garden hose to a slow trickle and leaving it under the tree for four hours, either before 9 a.m. or after 7 p.m., a couple days a week.

Another way of watering the young trees is by punching holes in a 23-litre pail and leaving it under the tree. Put a ring of bark mulch around to keep in the water.

Another way of watering trees is to use a deep-root watering attachment available in most nurseries.

But that’s all residents have to do for street trees. Piling dirt or bark mulch up the tree trunk will kill the tree. As for any pruning, leave that to the city’s crews.

Maple Ridge’s second request is to only water lawns once a week.

That’s a result of Metro Vancouver moving to Stage 2 watering restrictions on Friday.

People can now only water their lawns once a week – between 4 a.m. and 9 a.m., Mondays only for even-numbered addresses and Thursdays only for odd-numbered address. An hour of water is enough for most lawns.

More watering is allowed for newly planted lawns, but a permit is needed from Maple Ridge city hall.

Watering is still OK for flower and vegetable gardens, planters, shrubs and trees and garden ponds.

But hosing down driveways just to make it look good or pressure-washing a house is banned. That can only be done for heath or safety reasons for preparing a surface for painting.

People can still wash their pickup trucks or SUVs, or boat, as long as they use a spring-loaded shut-off nozzle.

According to the city’s website, one hour of lawn sprinkling uses as much water as 25 toilet flushes, five loads of laundry and five dishwasher loads, combined. The same watering restrictions are in force in Pitt Meadows.

“We are seeing record temperatures and there was virtually no rain in June when normally we have rain on about 12 days,” Metro Vancouver board chair Greg Moore said. “We all have to do our part and conserve water whenever possible, and that now includes only watering lawns once a week.”