Water Rules & Tips

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Effective water conservation and efficiency practices can help extend the water supply and meet the water demand expectations well into the future.

Here are some helpful tips to follow inside — and outside — your home. For more information on water use efficiency, visit EPA WaterSense or Save Our Water webpages.

For tips on landscaping, see Landscape Guidelines. The DWP also holds residential landscaping classes. The handouts from these classes are in the publications section of this site.


Stage 2 Water Conservation – Watering Rules

  • No watering between 10 a.m. and 8 p.m.
  • Odd numbered addresses can water on Saturday, Monday and Wednesday only. * For example, if your street address is 401 Any Street, the street number ends with a 1, making this an odd numbered address.
  • Even numbered addresses can water on Sunday, Tuesday and Thursday only.* If your street address ends with an even number, such as 302 Any Street, then you have an even numbered address.
  • Watering on Fridays is prohibited. Since government institutions are not open on weekends, they may water three days per week of the agency’s choosing.
  • Sprinkler times are limited to 20 minutes maximum per station per watering day. You can have two cycles of five minutes a day, which can also help reduce runoff.
  • Drip irrigation times are limited to 90 minutes maximum per watering day.
  • Watering during and within 48 hours after rainfall measuring ½” or more is prohibited.
  • Street trees must be kept alive.
  • Leaks and broken sprinklers must be fixed in a timely manner.
  • Water cannot be allowed to runoff property.
  • Washing hard surfaces is prohibited.
  • Vehicles can only be washed using a bucket and hose with an automatic shut-off nozzle.
  • Food establishments are prohibited from providing drinking water to patrons unless requested.
  • The overfilling of swimming pools and spas is prohibited. The filling or refilling of ornamental ponds, streams and artificial lakes is prohibited.
  • The operation of any ornamental fountain or similar structure is prohibited except for short periods of time to prevent damage, unless the fountain is recirculating.


Water Conservation in the Home

  1. Fix faucet leaks
    A leaky faucet can waste up to two gallons of water per day. Make sure your faucets are turned completely off and repair any leaky faucets.
  2. Fix toilet leaks
    Put a few drops of food coloring into your toilet tank. If after fifteen minutes the color appears in the bowl, your toilet has a water-wasting leak. Check your toilet for leaks regularly.
  3. Reduce the water in your toilet tank
    If you don't have a low flow toilet, you can still reduce toilet water use by up to 20% by placing a half-gallon jug filled with water or sand in your toilet tank.
  4. Don't use your toilet as a trashcan 
    One unnecessary flush per day wastes up to 1,000 gallons of water over the course of a year.
  5. Put a low-flow shower head in your shower
    This can reduce the amount of water you use in the shower by 50%. We have them available for FREE - call us at (951) 736-2234.
  6. Install a low-flow aerator in your faucet
    Using an inexpensive, low-flow aerator in your sink can conserve up to six gallons of water per minute. We have them available for FREE - call us at (951) 736-2234.
  7. Run a full load
    Wait until you have a full load of dishes or clothes before running the dishwasher or washing machine.


Water Conservation Outside the Home

Most water is used outside of the home - mainly to irrigate landscaping.

  1.  Monitor your seasonal watering needs - 
    Gradually increase the amount you water during the spring season to help meet summer needs and lower it in the fall and winter months.
  2. Water before 10 a.m. 
    Up to 1/3 of the water from a sprinkler can be lost to evaporation in the heat and wind.
  3. Use drip irrigation to soak your shrubs and flower beds
    For shrubs and flower beds, drip irrigation or "soaker hoses" release water slowly near plant roots, where it is needed. Most trees and shrubs require deeper but less frequent watering - usually only once a month.
  4. Don't just landscape - xeriscape - Xeriscape gardening methods can reduce your water usage by up to 40%. To xeriscape, practice the following:
    - Use mulch to reduce evaporation
    - Till your soil so it absorbs more water
    - Use turf sparingly and only when necessary
    - Choose native plants that use less water
    - Raise the height of your lawnmower
  5. Aerate your lawn to ensure deep and healthy roots
    Most lawns are watered too often and too much. A good rule of thumb is to water for only 15 minutes a day, three times a week in the summer and only once a week in the winter. If you currently water more than this, make changes gradually to allow root systems to adjust. Remember to turn off your sprinklers when it is raining.
  6. Use large-drop sprinklers
    Reduce water evaporation when you water your yard by using sprinklers that produce large drops rather than fine mists.
  7. Don't water the sidewalk or street
    Check your sprinklers monthly and adjust any that are watering the street or sidewalk. Water down the gutter is money down the drain.
  8. Wash your car, not the driveway
    When washing your car, use a hose with a shut-off nozzle. We have them available for free - call us at (951) 736-2234.

Did you know that no matter how much you water your hardscape it will never grow? 


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