When you think of how hot the summers get in South-Central Texas, you may want to water your lawn for as long and as often as possible. Not so fast! Getting into this mindset could threaten the water supply. That’s why there are watering restrictions in San Antonio and nearby cities.
Since a stretch of Historic droughts in the 1990s, cities across Texas have adopted water restrictions. Here is everything you need to know about conserving water in San Antonio.
As do most cities, San Antonio enacted various stages of water restrictions, depending on recent rainfall. So far in 2019, supply seems to be fine in San Antonio. The city is currently under year-round restriction status, which means the water supply is at a healthy level — the city’s source, the Edwards Aquifer, is at or above 660 feet.
As long as the aquifer remains at that level or above, here’s what you need to know about water use:
- Fountains (both commercial and residential) are OK to use.
- Sprinkler systems are only allowed before 11 a.m. and after 7 p.m., but the best time to water is early in the morning.
- Watering by hand is fine any time of day, whether it is with a bucket, drip irrigation, hand-held or soaker hose.
- Water waste is a big no-no at all times, meaning any water run-off into a drain, gutter, or ditch. You could also face a fine for a leaking sprinkler or outside faucet.
- Washing impervious cover, such as parking lots, streets, and driveways, is OK as long as it doesn’t result in water waste. This means water should be contained to the area you’re washing.
- Commercial car-washes can operate without restrictions.
Should the water level fall below 660 feet, the city will begin to layer on additional water-use restrictions.
New Braunfels has four stages of water restrictions as well as nondrought water restriction status, which the city is currently under. That means you can use a water sprinkler or irrigation system twice a week.
Your house number determines which days you can water:
- Street addresses ending with odd numbers may water Tuesdays and Fridays.
- Watering days for even numbered homes are Mondays and Thursdays.
- Homes with no numbers can turn on the sprinklers Mondays and Fridays.
There are some exceptions, though. Hand-held and bucket watering, drip irrigation systems, and soakers are okay any day at any time.
What else you need to know
- Aesthetics, like water fountains and waterfalls, can operate on both commercial and private property.
- Ornamental lakes and ponds are OK.
- Vehicle washing over pervious cover, (porous surfaces such as yards and gravel), is permissible at any time.
What if I live in a surrounding city?
If you’re living in the San Antonio-New Braunfels Metroplex, it’s a good idea to check your city or community water restriction status. It will most likely be similar to the requirements listed above. A quick online search on your city’s government website can help with this. Failing to follow the water-restriction guidelines can land you a citation or even a fine. Some water districts also attach an extra fee for extravagant water use. So, considering Texas is a drought-prone state, every effort to protect our water systems counts!
Looking for more information about lawn care and landscaping in the San Antonio area? See our San Antonio, TX lawn care page.