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Residents Frequently Asked Questions

A quick reference for Sacramento residents to the most commonly asked questions about water conservation and the City’s watering ordinance.Here are some answers to frequently asked questions:

 

When can I water my lawn?

The Spring Watering Schedule begins March 1 and runs through October 31. Watering days are based on your odd or even address. Even numbered homes water on Wednesday and Sunday. Odd numbered homes water on Tuesday and Saturday.
 
The Winter Watering Schedule begins November 1 and runs through February 28. Watering is reduced to one day per week, either on Saturday or Sunday. Residents may pick their watering day. No weekday watering is permitted. The remainder of the year, watering is allowed two days per week. Watering days are based on your odd or even address.
 
Regardless of the season, watering is allowed from 7PM-10AM only. Visit Watering Schedule for more details and a handy, downloadable infographic. No over-watering (excessive water running off properties and onto sidewalks or gutters, or ponding of water on properties) is allowed, nor is watering allowed within 48 hours of measurable rain (1/8”).

How often can I water to establish new landscaping?

You may water up to 30 consecutive days when new sod is installed. However, if you are irrigating with drip, or are watering plants in containers, they are exempt from the schedule. Learn more at How to Water. Note that runoff from your irrigation is not permitted at any time.

When can I wash my car?

Car-washing can be done any day of the week but must be done with a hose equipped with an automatic shut-off nozzle or a bucket. Hoses may not be left running. Find more information at How to Water.
 
Consider taking your car to a Water Smart Car Wash. Remember, many local car washes recycle their water on-site and use it many times before draining it back into the sewer systems. These procedures help conserve water and protect local waterways by limiting the amount of soap and oil that flow untreated down storm drains into creeks and rivers.

What if I see a city park or facility over-watering or watering on the wrong day?

Because our city parks are primarily used on weekends, they are allowed to water during the week.
 
Other city facilities, however, should follow the watering schedules.
 
Please report over-watering or watering on the wrong day to the City by calling 311, emailing your report to 311@cityofsacramento.org, or by using the Sacramento 311 app  on your mobile phone. You can find the Sacramento 311 app in Google Play or the App Store on iTunes.
 
When reporting information to the City, please be sure to include:

  • Days and times the watering is occurring
  • Address of where the water misuse is taking place
  • Any pattern to the watering, like the frequency it is being watered or for how long the watering is taking place.

 
What can I do if I see a neighbor watering on the wrong day?

Please report over-watering or watering on the wrong days to the City by calling 311, emailing your detailed report to 311@cityofsacramento.org, or by using the Sacramento 311  app on your mobile phone. You can find the Sacramento 311 app in Google Play or the App Store on iTunes. When reporting information to the City, please be sure to include:

  • Days and times the watering is occurring
  • Address of where the water misuse is taking place
  • Any pattern to the watering, like the frequency it is being watered or for how long the watering is taking place.

How can I reduce my family's water use?

The average Sacramento household uses 307 gallons of water per day. The best first step to water savings is to comply with the City’s watering schedule.
 
There are several other changes you can make to your daily routine that can add up to big savings

  • Taking a 5-minute shower instead of a 10-minute shower can save approximately 12.5 gallons of water (using a 2.5 gallon per minute, water-efficient shower head)
  • Turning off a faucet while brushing your teeth or washing your hands can save approximately 10 gallons per day
  • Running a full load of clothes in your washing machine instead of smaller partial loads can save between 15 and 50 gallons of water per load.

 
The City can help you find ways to save water with a Water Wise House Call. As part of this free service, a City Water Conservation Specialist will walk through your home and property to help you find ways to save water, help you set your sprinkler timer, and bring you free water saving tools, like WaterSense high-efficiency showerheads, automatic shut-off nozzles for hoses, and aerators for sinks. They will even pre-qualify you for available rebates. Call 311 or email 311@cityofsacramento.org  to schedule your Water Wise House Call today.
 
The City also offers rebates to help you convert your turf to River-Friendly Landscape.

How much are the fines for watering on the wrong day or overwatering?

The fines for failing to comply with the City’s water conservation ordinance are listed below.

 Violation  Fine
 First notice of violation  Written notice of violation, no fine is issued
 Second notice of violation (within 365 days)  $25 fine, which can be waived by attending a Water Conservation Workshop or scheduling an audit
 Third notice of violation (within 365 days)
 $100 fine
 Fourth notice violation, and each subsequent notice of violation (within 365 days)    $500 fine

 
Contact Us

Still have questions? We're here to help. Contact us at either 311@cityofsacramento.org or waterconservation@cityofsacramento.org.

 
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