Monday, June 9, 2008

Austin Water Restrictions Currently in Effect

Mandatory City of Austin water restrictions for residential customers went into effect on May 1st and will last through September 30th. The restrictions are part of the City's water use management ordinance (Chapter 6-4 of City Code) and require that all customers (commercial, multifamily residential) adhere to the watering schedule unless granted a variance.

Pursuant to the watering schedule, commercial and multi-family customers are permitted to outdoor water use on Tuesday and/or Friday. Residential customers with odd-numbered addresses are permitted to water on Wednesday and/or Saturday. Those with even-numbered addresses may may water on Thursday and/or Sunday.

Customers with sprinkler systems or other automatic irrigation systems may not water between the hours of 10 a.m. and 7 p.m. Customers wishing to water during these hours must use a hand-held hose or bucket.

Customers may request a variance from the outdoor watering schedule in limited situations, including new landscapes, large properties, athletic fields (i.e., dust abatement), and for health and safety reasons (i.e., fertilizer or pesticide applications).

The City could further tighten the restrictions if weather conditions get extremely dry during the summer. If further restrictions are implemented, announcements will be made through the local media and City websites.

Violations of the water use ordinance are Class C misdemeanors, with each instance punishable by a fine of $500. The City enforces the ordinance and encourages residents to report violations via an online reporting form.

To satisfy watering needs, the City encourages residents to purchase rainbarrels through its rainbarrel sales program. Austin Water Utility customers may purchase up to four rainbarrels per month from Austin Water Conservation at a discounted price of $60 per barrel. Rainbarrels distributed through the Water Conservation program hold 75 gallons and are made of sturdy dark green polyethylene. They are 3' tall and roughly 27" at the widest point. Rainbarrels come with a debris screen and outflow hose, as well as an overflow tube.

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