What are the rules for watering outdoors?

Yes, during Stage 1, you may irrigate your lawn any day of the week (see special irrigation days in Visalia and Westlake), unless local ordinances state otherwise—but only before 8 a.m. or after 6 p.m. Outdoor watering is also prohibited within 48 hours of measurable rainfall.

Hand-watering with a hose and shut-off nozzle allows for more targeted watering. While a sprinkler system may only water for a specific amount of time, it may cover a larger area that has portions that do not need to be watered and may water longer than needed. Hand-watering conserves water because users are able to target only what needs irrigation and stop when enough water has been applied.

We recommend consulting the user guide provided by the manufacturer to learn how to adjust the programming of your specific controller.

You should stop irrigating during and for 48 hours after you receive measurable rainfall. Measurable rainfall is any amount of precipitation more than one-quarter of an inch. 

Yes, we encourage you to continue watering trees, as it will take more water to replace a mature tree than to keep it alive. Hand-watering is exempt from watering day restrictions. If using an irrigation system, watering should occur on assigned irrigation days. You can water trees responsibly by checking the soil prior to watering, allowing water to soak slowly, using mulch to retain moisture, and following other guidelines provided by experts.

Yes, hand watering is allowed and exempt from irrigation day schedules. If you use a hose, ensure you use a nozzle with a shutoff valve and stay vigilant to ensure that you don’t overwater.

Customers with drip or micro-spray systems may water any day utilizing those methods. However, the use of rainwater collection barrels is only exempt for hand watering. We still recommend you water in the evening or early morning to reduce evaporation.

Runoff is when water is not absorbed by the soil or landscape to which it is applied and flows from the landscape onto other areas, such as pavement or gutters.

Yes, you may wash your car at home as long as you use a shutoff nozzle on your hose. To save more water, use a bucket with soap and water and only rinse with the hose. Alternatively, you can take your car to a car wash that utilizes recycled water.

Currently, there are no restrictions on filling pools. However, we recommend you maintain the proper chemical levels and adequate circulation time to avoid having to drain and refill your pool. Use a pool cover to reduce evaporation. Get more water-saving pool tips. 

There are several other restrictions, the most common of which include: 

  • Water cannot be used to clean driveways or sidewalks.
  • Water cannot run off onto an adjacent property.
  • A shut-off nozzle must be used when washing a vehicle with a hose. 
  • Outdoor water structures, such as a fountain, can only operate with internal water-recirculating capabilities. 
  • Non-functional turf (lawns not used for recreation) may not be watered at commercial, industrial, and institutional properties, unless recycled water is used.
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