The amount of lawn watering restrictions you face in the Twin Cities and surrounding suburbs depends on where you live. While Minneapolis and St. Paul don’t have any restrictions at the moment, many suburbs in the metro do.
The city of South St. Paul established a “heat-of-the-day” sprinkling ban on Jan. 1, 2011. It prohibits lawn watering between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. each day. This ban exists because of a state requirement for cities to enact a water supply plan. For the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) to approve the plan, cities have to adopt several conservation methods. You’ll find similar restrictions in other metro area municipalities.
The suburb of Blaine has the same daytime sprinkling ban in effect from May 15 to Sept. 15. Blaine’s lawn watering restrictions go one step further. People with addresses ending in an odd number can only water on odd-numbered days. Those with addresses ending in an even number only get to water on even-numbered days. This restriction is in place year-round.
So how can Minneapolis and St. Paul get away with no lawn watering restrictions? It’s because most of their water comes from the Mississippi River. The suburbs get their water from underground aquifers which could run dry. According to the Water Treatment and Distribution Services (WTDS), Minneapolis pumps 21 billion gallons of water from the river each year. To make it drinkable, WTDS filters soften and disinfect the water. Fun fact: Minneapolis has more than 1,000 miles of underground water mains. That’s enough to stretch from Minneapolis to Denver.
St. Paul Regional Water Services provides 40 million gallons of water to more than 425,000 customers a day. The city uses similar procedures as Minneapolis to make the water safe for drinking.
Both Minneapolis and St. Paul ask customers to conserve water, even though lawn watering restrictions aren’t in place. Both cities recommend that you water lawns in the morning or evening and not at all when it’s windy. Only water your lawn when it needs it instead of using a fixed schedule and adjust your sprinklers to avoid the sidewalks. Finally, aerate your lawn to allow more water to soak in, and let the grass grow taller during the hottest months.
Be sure to check with your city or county government for any lawn watering restrictions in your neighborhood. Penalties vary for violating the restrictions in suburban areas. If you live in the Twin Cities proper, join your suburban neighbors by watering smart this summer.
Have more questions about pest control and prevention in your lawn? Visit our Minneapolis lawn care page for more guides and additional information.