Outdoor Watering FAQs

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1. Does the City of Carrollton limit how often I can water my lawn?

The City of Carrollton is currently under Phase I water restrictions as outlined in the city’s Water Conservation and Drought Contingency Plan. Under these conditions, there are no specific limitations regarding the number of days that you can water your lawn. However, the City has a voluntary watering limit of two days per week. We ask that addresses ending in even numbers (2, 4, 6, 8, 0) water on Thursdays and Sundays and that addresses ending in odd numbers (1, 3, 5, 7, 9) water on Wednesdays and Saturdays. However, if you choose to water more than two days per week and create sprinkler runoff in excess of 50 feet from your property, that constitutes a violation of city ordinance. More importantly, watering two days a week or less (depending on the season) is sufficient to maintain a healthy, attractive lawn, even during the hottest parts of the year. In addition to conserving water and saving you money, watering less frequently encourages deeper root growth, making your turf more resistant to drought.  

2. What are the rules regarding lawn maintenance in the City of Carrollton?

Under current conditions, the following rules apply:

  • From April 1st-October 31st, there is no watering between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m.
  • No watering is allowed during precipitation events (rain and snow).
  • Irrigation systems must be kept in good repair to prevent water waste.
  • Water runoff in excess of 50 feet from your property is prohibited.

3. What is the penalty for violating watering restrictions?

Mandatory water use restrictions will be enforced by Notices of Violation and penalties as follows:

  • On the first violation, customers will be given a written notice of violation.
  • On the second and subsequent violations, citations may be issued to customers, with violations not to exceed $2000 per day.
  • After two violations have occurred, the City of Carrollton many install a flow restrictor in the line to limit the amount of water that may pass through the meter in a 24-hour period.
  • After three violations have occurred, the city of Carrollton may terminate water service to the customer.

 4. How can I avoid “excessive runoff” as a result of watering my lawn?

Runoff occurs as a result of saturated soil or applying water too quickly for the soil to absorb. Practicing the cycle soak method of irrigation (described below) and avoiding overwatering will prevent excessive runoff from your lawn onto city streets and sidewalks. This aids in the prevention of storm water pollution as well.

 5. What is the cycle soak method of irrigation?

Most experts recommend the cycle soak irrigation method for North Texas lawns. Because North Texas soils have very high clay content, they should be watered slowly since clay has a lower water absorption rate than other soil types. In general, running an irrigation zone for 15 – 20 minutes at a time is too much water for the clay soil to absorb, creating runoff from your yard onto the street. Try breaking the run time into 3 shorter cycles. For example, instead of running the zone for 15 or 20 minutes straight, break the watering cycle into 3 cycles of 5 or 7 minutes with about 30 – 60 minutes in between cycles. This gives the clay soil time to absorb the water that you have applied, facilitating better absorption during the next short cycle. Watering this way encourages deep root growth, making your turf more resilient to our frequent periods of drought in North Texas. It also conserves water, saves money, and aids in preventing storm water pollution from runoff. Texas A&M Agrilife provides a good video tutorial of this irrigation method, available here.

6. How often should I water my lawn?

Lawns need less water than you might think. From approximately November to February, watering once a month is sufficient. Between March and May, increase watering to every 7-14 days and avoid watering if it has just rained or if rain is expected. During our hottest months here in North Texas, June through September, watering twice per week will keep grass healthy, encourage deeper roots, conserve water, and save you money. Around October, return to watering every 7-14 days, keeping precipitation amounts in mind since significant precipitation is often received in the fall.

7. When is the best time of day to water my lawn?

To avoid water loss from evaporation (which increases with rising temperatures), it is recommended to water lawns early in the morning or late in the evening. In the summer, when evaporative loss is potentially greatest, watering early is your best bet. Also keep in mind that between April and October watering is prohibited by city ordinance between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m. Watering is also prohibited during any precipitation events, such as rain or snow, both to eliminate water waste and, in the case of a freeze, avoid potentially hazardous slick spots.

8. Are watering restrictions subject to change? How do I know what watering restrictions are currently in place?

Watering restrictions are subject to change based on drought conditions and other factors affecting the water supply. You can check the City of Carrollton Water Conservation website at cityofcarrollton.com/water for updates on Carrollton’s water supply and current watering restrictions. The Phase I watering restrictions outlined above indicate that we are not currently in a drought and the water supply is considered stable. Carrollton purchases water from Dallas Water Utilities (DWU). DWU receives water from 6 local reservoirs: Lake Fork, Lake Grapevine, Lake Lewisville, Lake Ray Hubbard, Lake Ray Roberts, and Lake Tawakoni. The trigger for DWU to require mandatory watering restrictions is when the cumulative depletion of all these reservoirs reaches 35%.