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Waste No Water Information and Resources

No Time to Waste, No Water to Waste - Level 2: Alert Drought Condition

Effective June 1, 2009, San Diego declared a Level 2 Drought Alert. Level 2 includes many mandatory water restrictions. In addition, all voluntary Level 1 conservation practices became mandatory. The Level 2 restrictions include:

  • Landscape irrigation is limited to no more than three assigned days per week. Those days are:
    • Homes with odd-numbered addresses can water: Sunday, Tuesday & Thursday
    • Homes with even-numbered addresses can water: Saturday, Monday & Wednesday
    • Apartments, Condos and Businesses can water: Monday, Wednesday & Friday
  • Between June 1 and October 31, on your watering days, you may only water before 10 a.m. or after 6 p.m. Landscape irrigation using sprinklers is limited to no more than ten minutes maximum per watering station per assigned day (does not apply to drip, micro-irrigation, stream rotor, rotary heads, hose end sprinklers with timers or valves operated by a weather-based irrigation controller).
  • Between November 1 and May 31, you may only water before 10 a.m. or after 4 p.m. Landscape irrigation using sprinklers is limited to no more than seven minutes maximum per watering station per assigned day (does not apply to drip, micro-irrigation, stream rotor, rotary heads, hose end sprinklers with timers or valves operated by a weather-based irrigation controller).
  • Trees and shrubs not irrigated by a landscape irrigation system may be watered no more than three assigned days per week by using a hand-held container, hand-held hose with positive shut-off nozzle, or low-volume soaker hose.
  • Irrigation of nursery and commercial growers' products is permitted in the hours between 6 p.m. and 10 a.m. from June 1 to October 31, and between 4 p.m. and 10 a.m. from November 1 to May 31. Watering may be done at any time when using a hand-held hose with a positive shut-off nozzle, hand-held container, or drip, micro-irrigation.
  • Irrigation of nursery propagation beds is permitted at any time.
  • Non-commercial vegetable gardens, fruit trees and potted plants are exempt from days of the week restrictions. But, between June 1 and October 31 irrigating is permitted only before 10 a.m. and after 6 p.m. From November 1 to May 31 it is permitted only before 10 a.m. and after 4 p.m.
  • All irrigation is banned while it is raining.
  • Vehicle washing between June 1 and October 31 is permitted only before 10 a.m. and after 6 p.m. From November 1 to May 31 it is permitted only before 10 a.m. and after 4 p.m. Vehicle washing is only allowed with a hand-held container or a hand-held hose with a positive shut-off nozzle for quick rinses, or at any time on the immediate premises of a commercial car wash. Vehicle washing required for public health and safety is exempt.
  • Boats and boat engines are permitted to be washed down immediately after use.
  • Water use by commercial car washes which do not use partially re-circulated water will be reduced in volume by an amount determined by the City Council.
  • All leaks must be stopped or repaired upon discovery or within 72 hours of notification by the City of San Diego.
  • Bird baths, koi ponds and any ornamental water feature using a re-circulating pump and which does not shoot water into the air are allowed under Level 2. Water fountains which discharge into the air a jet or stream of water are banned under Level 2 restrictions. However, these fountains may be operated for maintenance purposes. Any water feature that does not re-circulate water is banned.
  • Landscape establishment is allowed if required for landscape permits, erosion control, disasters or establishment, repair or renovation of public use fields for schools and parks. Landscape establishment under these conditions authorizes watering any day, and any hour of the day, as necessary, for up to two months. All other landscape establishment that requires more irrigation than the established irrigation restrictions requires an approved variance.
  • Use of recycled or non-potable water is required for construction purposes when available.
  • Water use from fire hydrants is limited to fire fighting, City meter installation as part of the Fire Hydrant Meter Program, and for public health and safety reasons.
  • Construction operations will not use water obtained by a fire hydrant meter for uses other than normal construction activity.

In addition to these Level 2 requirements, all Level 1 voluntary restrictions are now mandatory. These include:

  • City of San Diego water customers must prohibit excessive irrigation and must immediately correct leaks in their private water systems. The City's regulations now state that customers "shall not allow water to leave their property due to drainage onto adjacent properties or public or private roadways or streets or gutters due to excessive irrigation and/or uncorrected leaks."
  • Customers cannot use a running hose to wash down sidewalks, driveways, parking areas, tennis courts, patios or other paved areas, except to alleviate immediate safety or sanitation hazards unless that hose is connected to a water efficient device such as a commercial water broom. City storm water regulations require containment and capture of any runoff.
  • Overfilling of swimming pools and spas is strictly prohibited.
  • The City will not provide new water service connections for customers using single pass-through cooling systems.
  • All new conveyer car wash and commercial laundry systems connections will be required to employ a recirculation water system.
  • Restaurants and other food establishments shall only serve and refill water for patrons upon request.
  • Guests in hotels, motels, and other commercial lodging establishments will be provided the option of not laundering towels and linens daily.

San Diego residents are encouraged to report water waste by calling the Water Hotline at (619) 515-3500.