In Colorado, beer is for drinking, water is for fighting! That’s why most communities along the Front Range have lawn watering restrictions in place. These restrictions help preserve the Colorado River Basin and reservoir levels, so there’s enough water for agriculture and recreation.
Denver Lawn Watering Restrictions
From May 1 to Oct. 1, Denver Water allows lawn watering three days a week, and not between the hours of 10 a.m. and 6 p.m. There should be no water spraying on the asphalt or pooling in gutters or streets. Any leaking hoses or sprinkler systems must be repaired within 10 days.
The watering rules extend to car-washing. Do-it-yourselfers must use a hose nozzle with a shut-off valve.
The city makes an exception if you’ve planted new seed or sod. You can water as necessary for up to 21 days, but you must call Denver Water and request a watering exemption.
You may water vegetable gardens and flower beds by hand — by way of a watering can or hose with a shut-off nozzle — during restricted lawn watering hours.
Aurora and Lakewood Restrictions
The rules in Aurora and Denver mirror those in Denver, but Aurora Water goes a step further by fining homeowners who break the rules. The first mistake will result in a warning. From there, the fines go up to as much as $250 and even a possible summons. Don’t even think about wasting water in Aurora.
Lakewood citizens get their water from Denver Water through third party providers, and they generally follow Denver Water’s rules.
Thanks to a late spring snowfall, Greeley, Boulder, and Broomfield don’t have mandatory restrictions in place this year, but Larimer County continues to ask residents to practice xeriscaping and plant native flowers that don’t require much maintenance or water.
A healthy lawn in the metro area requires attention to detail. Irrigation is only half the battle. Regular mowing and weeding will keep your grass healthy. It’s also best to plant Kentucky bluegrass and perennial ryegrass will thrive in our summers and survive our cold winters. Fine blended fescue is also great for lawns along the Front Range since it needs little watering and holds up well. You should only need to water two days a week, three at the most. All three varieties only need about 2.5 inches of water a week. Keep in mind, perennials and shrubs need about half as much water as grass. Too much water will drown or rot root systems and can deprive the soil of needed oxygen.
Speaking of soil, the pH balance of it will also determine the health and lushness of your lawn. Your lawn and garden soils are acidic if they test below 7.0, and alkaline if the number is above that. In Denver, Lakewood and Aurora, soil tends to be alkaline and needs to have composting material added to bring it down to a pH level in which grass will thrive. Your local extension office can test a soil sample for you.
Even if your city has only enacted voluntary lawn watering restrictions, you can still abide by them and have a verdant, lovely lawn all summer and into the fall. As long as you’ve aerated in the spring and fall, two or three deep waterings should be enough to keep the roots hydrated. There’s a reason the city asks you to refrain from turning on the sprinklers between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m. Watering during the heat of the day causes the moisture to evaporate too quickly, thereby wasting water. Watering at night is also a bad idea since the moisture will sit on the lawn too long, inviting pests and disease. Find the right balance, so there’s enough water left for our crops and rafting.
Want to learn more about creating a lush, green lawn in the Metro area? Visit our Denver, CO Lawn care page for more guides and information.