The official website of the City of London300 Dufferin Avenue519-661-CITY (2489)
watering can

Outdoor Chores

Keep it clean, but do it green


In London, residential water use increases by an average of 18% between May and September. The reason for this increase may be high water consumption activities - such as car and driveway washing, as well as outdoor pool usage.


Outdoor water chores - Did you know?

You can save up to 300 L of water each time you wash your car by using a bucket of water instead of a hose.

  • Wash your car on your lawn, the water used will water the grass an also prevent excess water going to the stormdrains.


Small things you can do to make a big difference in your water bill:

Use a bucket filled with water, instead of a running hose, for all outdoor washing.

  • Use water collected with a rain barrel for final rinsing.
  • Clean your driveway or sidewalk with a broom, rather than a hose.
  • Remove leaves and other debris with a broom.
  • Bathe your pets outdoors in an area in need of water.
  • Cover your pool with a solar cover when it's not in use. This has many advantages - it minimizes the amount of water lost to evaporation; keeps the water warm; and keeps your pool cleaner - reducing the amount of chemicals needed.
  • If you install an ornamental water feature - such as a fountain - ensure the water used is recycled and that the feature is situated where water loss due to evaporation and wind is minimized.
  • Check all of your outside taps, hoses, faucets, and sprinklers for leaks. Stopping a drip can save a lot of water.
  • Limit the amount of water you use to water your lawn. Grass only requires 25 mm or 1 inch of water per week to encourage deep, strong root growth to allow for the lawn to manage hot, dry periods in summer. Make sure you abide by the City’s even-odd lawn watering schedule by-law.
  • Ensure your outdoor water supply is turned off in the winter as frozen pipes can burst, which wastes water and causes a lot of damage to your home.


Grate idea - protect our environment:

  • Wash your car or bike over grass or gravel to prevent any soapy runoff from going directly into the storm sewer grate.
  • Use permeable surfaces for your driveway to allow run-off to sink into the ground rather than entering the storm water system.


Stormwater - Did you know?

The storm water system collects rainwater, melted snow, and surface water through storm grates that drain directly into the nearest creek, river or lake.

  • Storm water is not treated before it reaches our waterways.
Last modified: