When can I water my lawn in Sacramento? City schedule is about to change

With warmer temperatures on the horizon, the city of Sacramento is switching to a new watering schedule.

The spring and summer watering schedule, which governs how residents irrigate their lawns and landscaping during the hotter months, goes into effect on March 1 and runs through Oct. 31.

Here’s what you need to know about the change.

Sprinklers water grass at a home on July 1, 2014.
Sprinklers water grass at a home on July 1, 2014.

When can I use my sprinklers in Sacramento?

From Nov. 1 to Feb 28, watering guidelines in Sacramento allow residents to turn on their sprinklers one day per week, on either Saturday or Sunday.

On March 1, Sacramento will add an additional day to its weekly watering schedule — allowing residents to use sprinklers two days a week instead of one.

On those days automatic sprinklers can be used for irrigation before 10 a.m. or after 7 p.m.

The watering schedule for homes and businesses within Sacramento city limits is based on each property’s address:

  • Residents and businesses with odd-numbered addresses can water on Tuesday and Saturday.

  • Residents and business with even-numbered addresses can water on Wednesday and Sunday.

“Watering is not allowed (for) 48 hours after an eighth (of an) inch of rain has fallen,” the city said on its website.

What are exceptions to city watering rules?

The watering schedule doesn’t apply to local homes and businesses using drip irrigation methods such as a watering hose and spray nozzles.

Smart controllers that have been validated by Sacramento city staff are also exempt, according to the city.

In addition, the watering rules don’t apply to folks irrigating potted plants, edible plants and landscaping that was installed up to 30 days previously.

When there are two or more days where the temperature reaches or exceeds 100 degrees, watering rules don’t apply, the city said.

How much are fines for not following irrigation schedule?

City residents and businesses who don’t abide by the watering schedule can be fined, according to the city’s website.

First-time violators will receive a written warning.

Those who violate watering rules a second time will receive a $25 fine, which can be waived by participating in a city-sponsored water conservation program.

Third-time offenders will receive a $100 fine and fourth-time offenders will receive a $500 fine.

What do you want to know about life in Sacramento? Ask our service journalism team your top-of-mind questions in the module below or email