CT Irrigation FAQs

Responsible watering starts here

People across the world are putting water high on the list of things to use more efficiently, especially given the large fluctuations in the amount of rain and snow we receive. Plus, of course, the finite nature of the water supply and the essential role it plays in human, economic and environmental well-being.

In the communities shown below, residents are saving millions of gallons of water each year by following a mandatory schedule for sprinkler irrigation.

Customers in Darien, Greenwich, New Canaan, Newtown, Stamford and Westport should follow the twice-weekly irrigation schedule from April 1 through October 31.

Drip irrigation, soaker hoses, and hand-held watering are allowed at any time. Some residential and commercial customers may qualify for a variance from the schedule. 

CT Irrigation Variance Programs

Connecticut Towns Participating in Irrigation Conservation

For Customers in Darien, Greenwich, New Canaan, Newtown, Stamford, and Westport.
The irrigation schedule is in effect from April 1 to October 31.

Last Digit of Your Address NumberPlease Water Only On:
0, 2, 4, 6 or 8 (even numbers)

Sunday & Wednesday
12:01 am - 10:00 am, or
6:00 pm - Midnight

1, 3, 5, 7 or 9 (odd numbers)

Saturday & Tuesday
12:01 am - 10:00 am, or
6:00 pm - Midnight

No address number

Sunday & Wednesday
12:01 am - 10:00 am, or
6:00 pm - Midnight

Our main commitment is to educate the public about how they can use water more efficiently and sustainably; however, we can penalize violators, including shutting off their water, if their failure to follow the schedule impairs public resources.
Yes, to reduce wasting water. For residences, Connecticut requires rain sensors on any system installed on or after July 1, 2010. For commercial properties, rain sensors are required on systems installed on or after October 1, 2003.
Use the last digit of the lowest address number to establish your schedule. Please keep in mind that the schedule only applies to automatic or in-ground irrigation systems and hose-end sprinklers only. Drip irrigation, soaker hoses and hand watering are permitted on any day.
Water only on Saturdays and Tuesdays before 10 AM and after 6 PM – and even then, only if watering is needed. Please keep in mind that the schedule only applies to automatic or in-ground irrigation systems and hose-end sprinklers only. Drip irrigation, soaker hoses and hand watering are permitted on any day.
Though sprinkler irrigation accounts for approximately 30% of total water use, it is considered a non-essential use. What’s more, much of the water used for irrigation is unnecessary—and could well harm your lawn and gardens. Watering less frequently encourages more, deeper root growth and better resilience to droughts and disease.

There are no limits on washing cars and boats. But we do ask that you avoid wasting water by:

  • Letting run-off water soak into the ground, and not onto pavement or into storm drains
  • Washing in the early morning to lessen water evaporation and the quantity you’ll need
  • Using an automatic shutoff nozzle on your hose to minimize waste
It depends. Your town may have an ordinance against using well water to irrigate your lawn. If you do use well water, keep in mind that it should be used efficiently, too. By following the suggested twice-weekly irrigation schedule, you can still have healthy lawns and gardens.
Yes. Connecticut’s very severe drought in 2016 showed that avoiding waste is something that can’t wait until the rains stop coming. Besides, nothing as precious as water should ever be wasted. It’s the responsibility of everyone to use water wisely every day.

There are exceptions. These uses are automatically exempt from the schedule and don’t require a irrigation variance. They include:

  • Watering with drip irrigation, soaker hoses or hand-watering
  • Using water from a non-Aquarion source (though state and local regulations may not permit this)
  • Irrigating during the repair or testing of an automatic irrigation system
  • Irrigating commercial nursery stock.
First, we educate our customers about the importance of water conservation and how wasteful watering can negatively impact their property. This includes educating customers about waste and how over-watering the landscape can harm lawns and gardens. Next, we keep close watch on consumption so we can notify customers when their water usage suggests over-watering. In addition, we coordinate with state regulators and local governments to build compliance through announcements and local ordinances.
Experts recommend drip irrigation, soaker hoses, or hand watering, all of which are exempt from the twice-weekly irrigation schedule.

If your system is properly set to the schedule, it shouldn’t matter if you’re home or away. We will notify customers who seem to be irrigating outside of their scheduled times. This provides multiple opportunities to conform with the mandatory limits. All the major irrigation companies in the area are aware of the schedule and know how to program systems to follow it.

If you leave someone in charge of your home while you are away, please let them know how to contact your irrigation company should the system stop working properly, including if the power goes out.

Water only on Sundays and Wednesdays before 10 AM and after 6 PM – and even then, only if watering is needed. Please keep in mind that the schedule only applies to automatic or in-ground irrigation systems and hose-end sprinklers only. Drip irrigation, soaker hoses and hand watering are permitted on any day.
We ask that you please follow the schedule. The schedule is designed to spread out irrigation demands during the summer months to reduce the overall demand and peak demands. It’s not possible or fair to accommodate individual requests. Plus, not following the schedule could subject you to penalties that include a shut-off of your household’s water.
This can cause serious consequences to natural water resources, including making them unpleasant to live around. We ask you to avoid this practice. Your town or the State may even prohibit against using water from brooks, ponds, lakes, or other natural sources for irrigation.
Midday heat increases evaporation rates, so water is lost to the air before benefitting plants. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, “Experts estimate that 50% of the water we use outdoors goes to waste from evaporation, wind, or runoff due to overwatering.”
At the same time as even-numbered addresses – on Sundays and Wednesdays before 10 AM and after 6 PM – and even then, only if watering is needed. Please keep in mind that the schedule only applies to automatic or in-ground irrigation systems and hose-end sprinklers only. Drip irrigation, soaker hoses and hand watering are permitted on any day.

Experts in horticulture have found that landscapes are healthiest with deep and infrequent watering. Even in the heat of summer, landscapes can thrive on only about one inch of water every five to ten days.

Over-watering not only wastes water, it discourages healthy root growth, making plants more susceptible to damage from extreme heat, freezing temperatures, pests, diseases, and droughts. Native or adapted plants require less water. In fact, some perennial flowers can go weeks without supplemental watering.

Often a plant suffering only from temporary heat stress will look like it needs more water when it doesn’t. If a plant droops in the afternoon, check on it early the next morning. If it looks good, the plant is likely just reacting to heat. Watering won’t be necessary.

Check the soil, too. The surface may look dry, but a few inches below it may feel damp, showing that it has ample water. Checking soil moisture levels frequently will help you prevent needlessly drowning your landscape. You can also conserve soil moisture by laying down three to four inches of mulch around plantings.

Yes. The State of Connecticut, through the Public Utilities Regulatory Authority, gives Aquarion the right to “restrict the use of water by any Customer or class of Customers when in the Company’s judgment such restriction is in the public interest.”*

With clean, high-quality water so vital to people everywhere, regulating its use is clearly in the public interest. As the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) notes, “The U.S. population has doubled over the past 50 years, while our thirst for water has tripled. With at least 40 states anticipating water shortages by 2024, the need to conserve water is critical…."

*Rules and Regulations. Aquarion Water Company. Section x – Water Conservation, Item 2

Those are the days when water use is highest, which leads to major drops in reservoir levels. We’ve designed the schedule to better balance the demand across the full week.
Sometimes it does, but the frequency and quantity of it is much less reliable. We now tend to see intense storms followed by extended dry periods. Meanwhile, the demand for water has increased significantly. As our state’s population has grown, so has the size of homes and lawns. Many are equipped with automatic sprinkler irrigation systems that frequently waste water by over-irrigating the landscape. Given these issues, we need to manage our water resources more efficiently. It’s the only way to ensure there’s always enough water to meet critical needs including drinking, dousing fires, and maintaining healthy, natural flows in our state’s rivers and streams.
Your town may have an ordinance against using well water to irrigate your lawn. If you do use well water, keep in mind that it should be used efficiently, too. If you’re using trucked water, it needs to come outside the area where the schedule applies. Using collected rain water has no restrictions. By following the schedule with whatever water you use, you can still have healthy lawns and gardens and show your consideration for neighbors and others in your community.
We allow watering by these methods at any time. But they’re best used during the early morning or nighttime hours. High evaporation rates during the heat of the day prevents water from soaking down to the roots to benefit plants.

To renew your irrigation variance, submit a Large Property or High-Efficiency variance application, and indicate that you are requesting a renewal in the Explanation for Variance Request field.

Upon submission, you will receive an email confirmation and your request will be reviewed. If the property has met the consumption savings target, your variance will be approved without a site-assessment requirement. In the 4th year, a variance property would require a site re-assessment with the property’s irrigation contractor, as irrigation systems change over time.

For details about the variance applications, please visit our CT Irrigation Variance Programs page.

In order to be considered for an irrigation variance renewal, a property must have:

  1. Applied for a variance each sequential year by submitting a variance application
  2. An irrigation system maintained by a licensed irrigation contractor
  3. Consistently met water savings target of that particular variance requirement:
    1. If the property has met the savings target, the property will be approved for a variance with no site assessment and a new permit for the season will be emailed to the applicant. At the 4th year, a variance property would require a site re-assessment with the property’s licensed irrigation contractor, as systems change over time.  
    2. If the property did not meet the savings target, the property situation will be reviewed and a site re-assessment will be requested with the property’s irrigation contractor to understand why it did not meet the savings target (e.g. an undetected leak).

For details about the variance applications, please visit our CT Irrigation Variance Programs page.