How Water Restrictions affect Window Cleaners

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This summer North America has experienced record setting temperatures and right now Vancouver is experiencing the driest and hottest summer on record. Since Vancouver has limited water storage capacity, there is a fear that the water we have in our reserves will not be sufficient to last us until the rainy season from September to November. Droughts are a result of excessive heat and abnormal amounts of low rainfall. Years ago this wasn’t a problem, but recent population growth in the Lower Mainland has led to increased demand for water. City of Vancouver

The high summer temperatures are also contributing to the devastating growth of wildfires across British Columbia, leading the province to burn through three times the wildfire budget.

Due to the current situation, the city of Vancouver has imposed stringent water conservation measures to limit the amount of water use across Metro Vancouver. Stage 3 water restrictions are now in effect which means that as window cleaners we are not allowed to use treated drinking water to clean windows for aesthetic purposes.


In a situation like this, as a society everyone needs to do pitch in and participate.   Vancouverites all across the city are forgoing the aesthetics of watering their lawns, their gardens and being extremely mindful of water consumption. There are fines of $250 for those who don’t follow the restrictions and if that fails online shaming and apps are out there to report people who are watering their lawns. #Grassholes

The efforts are being recognized as we are seeing that Metro Vancouver’s consumption is now below the targeted levels which means that if everyone manages to maintain their water usage at this level that we will be able to make it until Fall without any rain.

So what happens when keeping things clean is part of your business? What happens when you have a team of 20 employees who depend on their paycheque to feed their families?
Typically summer is the busiest time for window cleaners. And window cleaners and pressure washers alike are feeling the heat. Business is dropping straight across the board and companies are looking at ways to keep afloat during this challenging time for cleaners.

From the beginning, we at Black Tie had decided not to put all our eggs in one basket. The strategy to diversify our services in exterior maintenance has benefited us and has lessened the pain. Currently we are in the process of building our offices so while we have a shortage of work, we are able to employ our crew in different areas.

Everyone is taking the water saving initiatives very seriously and that is one of the things I have always admired about Vancouver. It’s a green city and environmentalism has always been an important issue. Since the stage 3 restrictions, all window cleaning has come to a standstill.