Time-of-day watering restrictions begin

Created: 04/01/2014 9:35 AM

It may be April Fool's Day, but time-of-day watering restrictions are no joke.

Beginning Tuesday, April 1, customers of the Albuquerque Bernalillo County Water Utility Authority are prohibited from using sprinkler irrigation between 11 a.m. and 7 p.m. Time-of-day watering restrictions will remain in effect through October 31.

Those who water during prohibited times face water waste fines for each violation. Fines are based on the number of violations received by the individual customer in the past five years.

"The reason for this time-of-day restriction is that we want people to water when it will do the most good," said Katherine Yuhas, the Water Authority's Conservation Officer. 

Yuhas said that when sprinkler irrigation is used during the hottest and windiest part of the day, only about half of the water actually reaches the ground.The other half evaporates.

"Since outdoor irrigation accounts for 40 percent of our overall water use, it is critical to ensure that we water efficiently and responsibly—and don’t waste any—as we face what could be another very dry spring and summer," Yuhas said.

The Water Authority also assesses fines for other types of water waste, and recommends that businesses and residents take the following precautions:

  • Make sure sprinklers are not overflowing or over spraying onto sidewalks, driveways and other hard surfaces.
  • Check sprinklers to make sure they are working correctly. Property owners are required to repair malfunctions within 48 hours to avoid fines.
  • Instead of washing your car at home, use a commercial car wash. If you do wash your car at home, use a shut-off nozzle and contain all water on your own property.
  • Clean dry waste off sidewalks and driveways with a broom or power blower instead of a hose.
  • If you are draining a pool, spa or other water storage device, use the sanitary sewer cleanout.  A cleanout is usually located within 10 feet of a typical home, between the building and the municipal sewer line.

Water Authority customers witnessing water waste are encouraged call 768-3640 or report it online at Water conservation and rebate information are also available by calling 768-3655.  

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