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Water Use Restrictions


WATER CONSERVATION ORDINANCES: The City's water use restrictions are governed by the Comprehensive Water Conservation Requirements Ordinance (SFCC 1987 25-2.2) and the Emergency Water Regulations Ordinance.

WATER USE RESTRICTIONS: NO OUTSIDE WATERING from 10am to 6pm from May 1 to October 31. Watering during the cooler times of the day is water-wise and better for your plants. Time-of-day provisions do not apply to the following:

  • Irrigation necessary for one day only with treatment of an application of chemicals.
  • Visually supervised operation of irrigation systems for short periods of time to check system condition and effectiveness.

Outdoor Water Use Requirements

Irrigation and Watering:

  • Recommend limiting watering to three days a week. One of those days should be on the weekend.
  • Overspray and runoff while watering plants is prohibited.
  • Overhead spray irrigation is prohibited for watering trees and shrubs.
  • Turf grass sod or grass seed mixed must contain less than 25 percent Kentucky Bluegrass. Warm season grasses are more appropriate for Santa Fe.
  • A permit is required for all new irrigation system installations and for major renovations of existing systems. A backflow prevention device, certified under the Uniform Plumbing Code is required for all systems connected to the city water system.

Retail Nurseries and Landscape Contractors:

  • Low water use landscape literature and water-efficient irrigation guidelines must be provided to customers with the purchase of perennial plants and sod or grass seed, or with a landscape service contract.

Other Outdoor Restrictions:

  • Santa Fe residents are allowed to wash their vehicles at home but only once a month and only with a nozzle that automatically shuts off when not in use.
  • Residents are not allowed to use a power washer or hose to clean driveways, sidewalks, parking lots, outdoor eating areas and other hard surfaces.
  • Shut-off nozzles are required on hoses used for hand watering.Outdoor swimming pools must be covered when not in use.
  • Commercial car sale lots and other commercial and governmental entities are limited to washing each vehicle one time per month unless there is a demonstrated public health or safety reason for more frequent washings.
  • Commercial car sale lots shall be allowed to wash cars at time of sale and prior to placing in a showroom.

Indoor Water Use Requirements

  • Public, semi-public, and governmental entities are required to post water conservation signage in restroom and shower facilities. (The Water Conservation Office offers signs free of charge.)
  • Hotels, motels, and other lodging facilities shall provide a water conservation informational card or brochure in a visible location in each guest room. (The Water Conservation Office offers table tents and towel hangers free of charge.)
  • The property owner or manager must repair minor water system leaks, as determined by the city, with fifteen days of initial notification by the Water Division; severe leaks must be repaired immediately.
  • All public and private eating establishments shall provide water only on request and shall clearly communicate this to customers through table tents, a note on the menu, or clearly visible signage. (The Water Conservation Office offers table tents free of charge.)
  • Lodging facilities shall not change the sheets and towels move than once every four (4) days for guests staying more than one night.
  • Title companies and others that close real estate transactions must provide the buyer with city-provided water conservation literature.
  • The City will provide new water customers with water conservation literature.

Fees for Water Use Violations

  • 1st violation - $20
  • 2nd violation - $50
  • 3rd violation - $100
  • 4th and each additional violation - $200




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