The Sacramento City Council voted Tuesday to end the current emergency restrictions on watering and at the same time made long-term conservation a way of life by adopting a two-day-a-week watering schedule for 2018 and beyond.

The reality is that homeowners can water every day, if they water wisely, under the new ordinance that takes effect November 1, 2017

Water trees anytime – with a soaker hose

For instance, to ensure that trees establish deep roots, the best way to water is with a soaker hose or drip emitters around the tree. Residents can use soaker hoses and drip irrigation any day and any time under the new ordinance.

Water new landscapes anytime for first 21 days

Many residents may be interested in changing their landscape after the past few years of emergency drought restrictions. New landscapes are also allowed to be watered any day and any time for 21 days after the installation to allow plants to become established.

Drip irrigation and hand watering is OK anytime

To keep edible gardens thriving, drip irrigation and hand watering as needed is encouraged. Potted plants and edible gardens can also be watered any day and any time. If residents still find that certain areas of their lawn or landscape need extra water beyond the two-day schedule, hand watering (which includes sprinklers that attached to a hose) is allowed any day.

Water any day of the week with a smart-controller

Smart-controllers, which can measure the moisture content of your grass, can override restrictions and  can run any day of the week (but should still be set to water from 7pm – 10am) and the City offers a rebate of up to $400 towards a smart-controller as well. Smart-controllers can cost from around $150 to $350 – with the average costing around $200-$250.

Learn about a cash for grass program

For residents interested in replacing grass with river-friendly landscaping, the City offers a $1/square foot rebate to help with the cost. An upcoming workshop, “Converting Thirsty Lawns” is open for city residents to attend on August 26.

No water run-off allowed

Water waste on the other hand, is still not allowed. There is no watering 48 hours after measurable rainfall (1/8”) and watering should not cause water runoff from properties.

Automatic sprinklers that are not on smart controllers still need to follow the watering days and times. The new restrictions do not go into effect until November 1 – at which time the City of Sacramento will be on its winter water schedule. Until then, City residents remain on the old schedule of three days per week.

You can see in the chart below which days watering is allowed as the new ordinance rolls out. The watering time remains from 7 pm to 10 am throughout.

CURRENT: August 16, 2017 to November 1, 2017
Even Number Addresses Wednesday, Friday and Sunday
Odd Number Addresses Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday
FALL/WINTER: November 1, 2017 to February 28, 2018
Even Number Addresses Saturday or Sunday (pick one)
Odd Number Addresses Saturday or Sunday (pick one)
SPRING/SUMMER: March 1 to September 30
Even Number Addresses Wednesday and Sunday
Odd Number Addresses Tuesday and Saturday

The City of Sacramento will be providing more opportunities for residents to learn about proper tree and plant care through educational workshops and other outreach efforts.