City watering rules change, but you don’t have to


Watering with the weather is key to helping with water conservation.

Many people know that daylight savings time means a change to watering schedules in Sacramento. But this year — in the face of a drought — those watering schedules are changing.  On March 9, City of Sacramento water customers will only be allowed two days a week, as opposed to the three days a week previously allowed.

But do you really need to water right now?  Maybe not. Cooler weather and intermittent rains may mean you can leave your sprinklers off for a week or more.

To tell if your lawn or landscape needs watering, you need to do more than just look at the surface.  Here are some simple ways to determine if your lawn needs more water:

Get a Moisture Meter: These handy tools are available at most hardware stores for around $7. Simply insert the meter into the ground and see if the lawn needs to be watered.

Do the Screwdriver Test: Take an eight-inch screwdriver and push it into the ground. If the screwdriver goes into the ground easily, then the soil should have enough water in it. If it takes significant force to push it into the ground or it won’t go in the ground at all, then the landscape should be watered.

If you do need to water your lawn, be sure to do it on your watering day and before 10 a.m. or after 7 p.m.  Remember: There is no watering permitted in Sacramento on Mondays, Thursdays or Fridays. Sprinklers should be off when it is raining and carwashing must be done on your designated watering day with a hose equipped with an automatic shut-off nozzle.

For more information on how you can save water, please visit