How to Sidestep a Citation

How to Sidestep a Citation

Avoiding a water-waste citation is easy: simply follow the watering rules. But there are a few extra precautionary measures you can take to make sure you don't accidentally get one.

San Antonio remains in Stage 2 drought restrictions and enforcement officers are staying busy, issuing citations for water wasters.

Not receiving a citation is easy, simply follow the watering rules. But there are a few extra precautionary measures you can take to make sure you don’t accidently get one:

  1. Stay up to date on the current watering rules. Know your watering day – it’s determined by the last digit of your house code. If you forgot or need a reminder, here’s a helpful chart.
  2. Last Digit of
    Address
    Watering
    Day
    0 or 1 Monday
    2 or 3 Tuesday
    4 or 5 Wednesday
    6 or 7 Thursday
    8 or 9 Friday
    No watering on weekends
  3. Check the time on your controller. If you don’t have a backup battery in your controller, the time could reset every time your power goes out. Some models even go haywire and reset to water every single day when they lose power. Check your system to make sure the clock and watering schedule are correct, and keep a fresh 9-volt battery installed so your system has a backup when the power goes out.
  4. Watch your irrigation system when it runs. Do you have a mini version of Old Faithful appear in your yard every time you water? You could have a monumental water bill if you don’t watch your system. Checking on each zone as you let your system run through its schedule could save you a citation and a high water bill. Make sure you don’t have water running off your yard and down the street — that’s grounds for a citation. Runoff is also a sign you could be overwatering, so consider adjusting your run times if that’s the case.
  5. Have a rain sensor and test to make sure it works. Watering during a rain event or just after one is a violation of city ordinance because you’re required to have a rain sensor. A functional rain sensor wouldn’t let that happen. You can test your sensor by turning your irrigation system on, then placing your thumb on the top of the rain sensor. If your system shuts off, it’s functioning. If it doesn’t work (or doesn’t exist), it’s time to call an irrigator.
  6. Schedule an irrigation consultation to get your system checked. If you find yourself contemplating maintenance on your irrigation controller, give us a call first. We offer free irrigation consultations and can take a look at your system to make sure it’s running smoothly and at the right times. Give us a call at 210-704-SAVE or submit an online request. We even offer rebates to remove part or all of your irrigation system — after all, you can’t get a citation if you don’t have automatic sprinklers, right?

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Sarah Gorton

About our expert

Sarah Gorton

Sarah Gorton is an intern with SAWS Conservation department. She is passionate about bats, having worked in wildlife rehabilitation, volunteering at Bracken Bat Cave and researching bats with acoustic monitors. Sarah has the greenest porch at her apartment complex and is slowly expanding her potted native plant jungle to the nearby sidewalks. Sarah is on a mission to enhance her native plant knowledge through Master Naturalist and Texas Native Plant Society certification courses. She can often be found hiking with her small dogs in large national parks to increase her collection of Junior Park Ranger badges.