Tips - Outdoor Conservation 


  • Use rainbarrels or other rainwater harvesting systems. Rainbarrels can be purchased at the City of Brantford’s annual Rainbarrel Sales Event on the last Saturday in May.
  • Greywater is wastewater generated from domestic activities like laundry, dishwashing, cooking, and bathing that can be collected and used for watering plants or flushing toilets.
  • Direct rainfall from downspouts towards trees, shrubs and gardens.
  • Water efficiently by directing the water as close to the roots as possible using a soaker hose, drip/trickle irrigation system, or a watering can.
  • Applying 2.5 cm (1 inch) of water once a week will result in a healthy, well rooted lawn. This type of irrigation practice will ensure your lawn is drought tolerant as it will be able to store water in its soil for longer period of time. 
  • Watering is the best during the early morning (between 7 a.m - 9 a.m.) on days with little to no wind, to minimize evaporative loss.
  • Set your sprinkler to on a lower angle rather than having it shoot up into the air. This will also minimize evaporative loss.
  • Use a moisture meter to check the moisture level of your lawn before watering.
  • Install a rain shut-off device on automatic irrigation systems. If you do not have a rain shut-off device, show all members of your household how to turn the system off if a storm is approaching or in the event of a system malfunction.
  • Consider converting your lawn into a waterwise garden. These drought-tolerant plants and grasses require little or no watering during hot, dry periods.
  • Use mulch around plants and shrubs as water is slower to evaporate keeping them cool and moist. Mulch also prevents the growth of weeds that compete with your plants.


  • Sweep driveways and sidewalks instead of using a hose.
  • Use buckets, sponges and squeegees to wash windows and cars. If you use a hose, ensure that it is equipped with a shut off valve at the discharge end of the hose.
  • Instead of cleaning your own car, consider going to a car wash that recycles the water it uses. Professional car washes use water much more efficiently.
  • When cleaning outdoor ornamental ponds, re-use this water on lawns and gardens.


  • Instead of filling a kiddie pool for your children to play in, consider letting them play in the sprinkler while you water your lawn.
  • Squirt guns or small plastic containers filled with water are as effective at keeping children cool on a hot day as running a sprinkler.
  • If you are using a sprinkler, ensure that it is turned off when not in use.
  • Consider getting a swimming pool cover and reduce the thermostat to reduce evaporation.
  • Check aquatic pumps for leaks occasionally.
  • Use a grease pencil to mark the water level of your pool at the skimmer. Check the level 24 hours later. Your pool should not lose more than a ¼ of an inch per day.
  • Unless the water is recycled, avoid using decorative pieces that use water. (ex. fountains & waterfalls)

Be Water Smart - Outdoor Water Conservation