Halifax Water has issued mandatory water conservation restrictions for some residents and businesses in the Dartmouth area.

The utility says the prolonged hot, dry weather has resulted in historic low water levels in Lake Major, which serves the communities of Dartmouth, Cole Harbour, Westphal, North Preston and Eastern Passage.

All residents and businesses supplied by the Lake Major Water Treatment Plant are being asked to conserve water until further notice.

James Campbell, a spokesperson for Halifax Water, says resident shouldn’t panic, but should take the restrictions seriously.

“We've never had water restrictions in my time. I'm not aware we've ever had water restrictions on any of our systems, so this is pretty significant,” said Campbell. “Water is a precious resource and right now. It’s in short supply here at Lake Major.”

The restrictions include a ban on watering lawns, gardens or plants, or other outside water usage. Halifax Water is also asking residents not to wash cars or other vehicles at home. Commercial car washes are still available.

The utility is also encouraging people to limit essential water use by taking shorter showers, using full loads of laundry, and not flushing every time.

Halifax Water says the restrictions will help maintain essential water service for all 32,000 customers in the Lake Major service area.

With files from CTV Atlantic’s Marie Adsett.