Twice-Weekly Sprinkler Irrigation Schedule

Twice-Weekly Irrigation FAQs

Q: Are rain sensors required?

A: Rain sensors are required by state law on any residential system install on or after July 1, 2010.  For commercial properties, it’s on or after October 1, 2003.

 

Q: What should I do if I’m away and in violation of the irrigation schedule?

A: Once a system is set properly, it really should not matter if the customer is home or away. With our notification process, there are multiple opportunities for the customer to correct their system’s irrigation schedule to conform with the mandatory restrictions. All of the major irrigation companies in the area are aware of the schedule and know how to properly code it.

 

Q: Why is sprinkler irrigation restricted?

A: The restrictions focus on sprinkler irrigation because it is considered a non-essential use and, on average, accounts for approximately 30% of total annual water use. Much of this water use is unnecessary.

 

Q: Are there any other reasons for the mandatory schedule?

A: Using water wisely helps the environment by preserving natural flows in our rivers and streams, and also provides resiliency against drought in an ever changing climate.  In addition, research has shown that watering more than 2-days per week is not necessary for maintaining a healthy lawn.  Aquarion works diligently to ensure there is reliable supply of water to meet current and projected needs of the communities we serve. Water conservation efforts are critical to using existing resources responsibly.

Q: What is the watering schedule for twice-weekly watering?

 

Residential and commercial customers with street addresses ending in an even number (0, 2, 4, 6 or 8) may only water on Sundays and Wednesdays.

Customers with addresses ending in an odd number (1, 3, 5, 7 or 9) are only allowed to water on Saturdays and Tuesdays.

Residential and commercial customers without a street number in their address may only water on Sundays and Wednesdays.

Properties with multiple addresses (duplexes, apartment complexes or office parks) must base their watering day on the last digit of the lowest address number.

As a reminder, watering between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m. is prohibited for all customers from April 1 through October 31. These restrictions apply to automatic or in-ground irrigation systems and hose-end sprinklers only. Drip irrigation, soaker hoses and hand watering are permitted on any day.

 

Q: Can I use drip irrigation, a soaker hose or hand water between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m. on any day?

A: Watering with these more efficient methods is allowed, but is not encouraged between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m.

 

Q: What is the most effective way to water my vegetable garden?

A: Personal and community vegetable gardens are allowed to water any day with drip irrigation, soaker hoses or hand watering. Experts agree these are the best ways to water for healthy vegetable gardens.

 

Q: I’m not using Aquarion water on my landscape; does the watering schedule apply to me?

A: Aquarion water customers using rainwater, well water or trucked water for irrigation are not required to follow the watering schedule, but are encouraged to follow the schedule.  Trucked water must come from outside the restricted water supply.

 

Q: Can I keep my landscape alive if I only water twice a week?

A: Yes, horticultural experts agree that landscapes are healthiest with deep and infrequent watering. Even in the heat of summer, landscapes only need about one inch of water every 5 to 10 days to thrive. Watering your landscape often encourages shallow roots, which are more susceptible to damage from extreme heat, freezing temperatures, pests, diseases and future drought conditions. Native or adapted plants require even less water – in the right conditions some perennial flowers can go weeks without supplemental watering.

Keep in mind that signs of heat stress are similar to the signs of a plant needing more water. If a plant is drooping in the afternoon, check it the next morning. If it looks OK, the plant is reacting to the high air temperature. Also check the soil – the surface area may feel dry, but check a few inches below the surface. The soil below may still have plenty of water. This will prevent the accidental drowning of your landscape. Three to four inches of mulch can also make a big difference in shading the soil and reducing evaporation.

 

Q: I’m trying to establish a new lawn or new landscaping – how can I do that on a twice-weekly watering schedule?

A: Temporary variances will be allowed for new landscaping. Applications for variances to the irrigation restrictions are available at www.aquarionwater.com/watering. Printed copies can be obtained for those without access to the Internet by calling our Customer Service Center at 1-800- 732-9678. Variances will be considered for both residential and commercial customers.

If you are only planting a few new shrubs or a new tree, consider watering with a soaker hose, hand watering or drip irrigation on any day without a variance.

Please be aware that if conditions require Aquarion Water to implement additional water restrictions, variances for new lawn or landscaping may not be considered.

 

Q: What about golf courses and other large properties that cannot be physically watered on a single day?

A: Very large properties, athletic fields and golf courses also may request variances to the watering schedule.

  • Residential and commercial properties will be required to reduce consumption by 15%, based on their 2015 consumption. If a large property does not obtain a variance, and waters outside the mandatory maximum schedule, they will be in violation of the ordinance.
  • Golf courses will be required to reduce consumption by 10%.  In most cases, they already have implemented water conservation strategies.

 

Q: Why does my property’s licensed irrigation contractor have to be onsite during the Aquarion Large Property or High-Efficiency Variance Assessment?

A: The irrigation contractor can answer any technical questions that the Aquarion Assessor may ask and can fix issues during the inspection, which will help in the approval process. We hope to reduce the number of rejections and repeat inspections.

 

Q: Are there any other types of variances being considered?

A: Exceptions to the watering schedule are made for irrigation professionals maintaining irrigation systems. Irrigation professionals must be on site for there to be an exemption from day of week or time of day restrictions.

Commercial nurseries are also exempt from the watering schedule and time of day requirements.