Denver Water has declared a Stage 2 drought, effective April 1, which means customers may water no more than two days a week and must follow the schedule below. These rules and watering times alone will not achieve the needed savings in water use. Learn simple tips for conserving at home and at your business.
Between April 1 and Sept. 30, Denver Water customers may only water two days a week and must follow this schedule:
Sunday Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Addresses ending in even numbers (0, 2, 4, 6, 8) No watering, except for irrigators operating under water budget agreements All other properties (HOA, multi-family, commercial, industrial, government) Addresses ending in odd numbers (1, 3, 5, 7, 9) Addresses ending in even numbers (0, 2, 4, 6, 8) All other properties (HOA, multi-family, commercial, industrial, government) Addresses ending in odd numbers (1, 3, 5, 7, 9)
Watering is prohibited on Mondays, except for irrigators operating under a water budget.
In addition, customers must follow these annual watering rules:
- Do not water lawns between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m.
- Do not waste water by allowing it to pool in gutters, streets and alleys.
- Do not waste water by letting it spray on concrete and asphalt.
- Repair leaking sprinkler systems within 10 days.
- Do not water while it is raining or during high winds.
Depending on conditions, next fall and winter (between Oct. 1 and April 1), outdoor watering may be prohibited, but watering of turf areas heavily used by the community, such as athletic and playing fields, and tees and greens at golf courses, may be permissible. Still, watering must be conducted without wasting it.
Water use enforcement will patrol the city, educating customers and enforcing these rules. Violators may be subject to fines:
- First violation — written warning
- Second violation — $250 on the next water bill for single-family residential; up to $500 for all other accounts.
- Third violation — $500 on the next water bill for single-family residential; up to $2,000 for all other accounts.
- Fourth violation — $1,000 on the next water bill for single-family residential; up to $2,000 for all other accounts. In addition, Denver Water may install a flow restrictor on the service line that will remain in place during the irrigation season or may suspend service temporarily until the cause of the violation is corrected and all outstanding penalty and water service charges have been paid.
Anyone subject to a charge for violating drought restrictions may appeal by contacting Customer Care at 303-893-2444.
Unless the customer’s appeal has been approved, the customer must pay any charges that appear on the water bill by the bill’s due date. If the customer’s appeal is approved after payment has been made, the disputed charge will be credited on the next water bill.
Watering trees and shrubs
Trees, shrubs and other perennials may be watered with a hand-held hose or drip irrigation on the assigned watering days.
Watering annuals and vegetables
Annuals and vegetables may be watered any day with a hand-held hose or drip irrigation.
Installing, operating and repairing irrigation systems
An irrigation system may be operated outside the watering schedule for installation, repair or reasonable maintenance, as long as the system is attended throughout the period of operation and water waste does not occur. All irrigation control systems must be reprogrammed for operation in compliance with the assigned watering schedule or must be operated manually.
- Personal vehicles — Customers may wash personal vehicles using only a bucket or a hand-held hose equipped with an automatic shutoff nozzle.
- Fleet vehicles — Vehicles in commercial operations or fleets may be washed no more than once per week, unless public safety requires more frequent washing.
- Commercial car washes — Commercial car washes are subject to a certification program that requires efficient use of water. Any commercial car wash not certified or in the process of becoming certified, must close its washing operations three days each week as designated by Denver Water in order to save water.
Washing impervious surfaces
- Power washing by individuals — Cleaning with water, except for immediate health or safety reasons, may occur only on assigned water days and not between the hours of 10 a.m. and 6 p.m. Water may only be used for beneficial purposes and must not be wasted.
- Commercial power washing — Commercial enterprises for whom cleaning with water is an essential element of their business are not subject to day-of-the-week or time-of-day restrictions, but must use only high-efficiency equipment and assure that water waste does not occur.
Using outdoor water features
- Fountains and waterfalls — Customers are prohibited from operating any existing outdoor fountain or waterfall that sprays water into the air.
- Outdoor misting devices — Customers are prohibited from operating outdoor misting devices.
Food and lodging establishments
- Restaurants and catering businesses may not serve water automatically with meals, but may serve water upon the customer’s request. Restaurants must comply with Denver Water’s signage program.
- Lodging establishments must not change sheets more often than every four days for guests staying more than one night, except for health or safety reasons. Sheets may be changed at a customer’s request. Food service operations in lodging establishments may not serve water automatically with meals, but may serve water upon the customer’s request. Lodging establishments must comply with Denver Water’s signage program.
For more information about the signage program, contact Katie Knoll.
Using water not controlled or provided by Denver Water
Some customers may have access to water that is not owned, controlled or provided by Denver Water. While the use of such water in a drought is not under the direct control of Denver Water, the following rules apply to the owner or occupant of a licensed premises using non-Denver water. Failure to comply with these rules may result in fines.
- To ensure the water is in fact not Denver Water’s, the customer must provide certification demonstrating the source of the water and that the water is being used in compliance with any legal restrictions on the use of water from that source.
- The premises where the non-Denver water is being applied must display prominent signage indicating that the water is not being supplied by Denver Water. Customers are encouraged to make their own signs.
- To avoid potential contamination of Denver Water’s potable water supply system, any irrigation or other system using non-Denver water must be physically disconnected from Denver Water’s potable system. In addition, the Denver Water service line providing potable water to the premises must include an approved backflow prevention device, and the customer must execute a Dual Water Supply Agreement with Denver Water.
- To prevent the waste of water, which could increase the customer’s need for Denver Water’s supplies, irrigation with non-Denver water is prohibited between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m.
Recycled water has different supply characteristics than potable water, and its source water may be more abundant during periods of drought. Customers who use recycled water are subject to more strict controls than potable water customers. In recognition of these differing circumstances, Denver Water reserves the right to adopt different drought restrictions for recycled water customers, or to refrain from imposing any drought restrictions on recycled water customers, depending on the availability of the recycled water source at the time of the drought.