Lawn Watering Restrictions in College Station

Turf irrigation by automatic pop-up sprinkler

During Aggieland’s dog days of summer, the water supply can run low, causing the city to declare a state of emergency. Read on to learn about the lawn watering restrictions in College Station during a water shortage.

Water is a precious resource, especially in the brutal Texas heat, so it’s important to know how to do your part to have enough to go around.

What are College Station’s Lawn Watering Restrictions?

Brazos County only sets water restrictions during extreme drought and increased fire risk to protect the people of College Station in case the water lines break or a large fire occurs.

These restrictions are known as the drought contingency and water emergency plan and are put in place to prevent wasting water by reducing the daily demand.

This plan has three different stages depending on the severity of the drought:

Stage 1: High Water Demand

Man Holding water pipe
Photo Credit: Pexels

During stage one, non-essential water usage is much more restricted. But what counts as non-essential? Obviously, there are things that need to be watered, but some things can do without for a while.

Non-essential water usage includes:

  • Washing vehicles
  • Watering golf courses
  • Refilling swimming pools and jacuzzis

Now that you have an idea of what is considered “non-essential water usage,” here are the mandatory restrictions set in place during the first stage of drought in Cstat:

  • Non-essential water use should occur only twice a week on the designated outdoor watering days determined by the city of College Station.
  • On the designated watering day, non-essential water use is permitted from 12 a.m.-10 a.m. and from 6 p.m.-12 a.m. 
  • Hand-held hoses that automatically shut off when the hose is not being held are allowed at any time of the day.

There are several things that are not allowed during stage one, regardless of the time of day. These include:

  • Charity car washes.
  • Operating ornamental fountains or ponds (unless they contain aquatic life) 
  • Washing sidewalks, driveways, parking lots, or tennis courts
  • Using water for dust control

These restrictions are only required if you use the City water system. They do not apply to other water sources, such as recycled water or harvested rainwater

These restrictions also do not apply to:

  • Commercial plant nurseries
  • Newly installed landscaping
  • Testing new or recently repaired irrigation systems (If your irrigation system needs repair, see our guide on How Much Does Sprinkler Repair Cost? for more information.)

Stage 2: Severe Water Shortage

So now the drought has gotten worse, and the demand for water has increased. In order to keep the demand below 90% of the system capacity, more restrictions need to be set in place. Not only do the rules in stage one apply, but now there are some additional restrictions.

These include prohibitions on:

  • Using irrigation systems
  • Washing cars or other motor vehicles
  • Filling or refilling swimming pools
  • Installing new landscapes

What is still permitted is the use of buckets or hand-held hoses with nozzles that shut off automatically when not being held. These can be used only between 6 a.m.-10 a.m. and 6 p.m.-10 p.m. on designated non-essential water use days.

Stage 3: Water Supply Emergency

Drought Dry Grass Heat Wave
Photo Credit: Needpix

Now the drought has been going on for so long that the city is in a state of emergency. To bring everything back to normal as soon as possible, even more water usage restrictions are put in place:

  • All non-essential water use is now prohibited.
  • Public service announcements may be released on the radio and TV to inform residents that they should boil water or use bottled water.
  • The city manager may order water rationing or terminate service (in this order):
    • Recreational users
    • Commercial users
    • School users
    • Residential users
    • Hospitals, public health, and safety facilities

Lawn Watering Tips for College Station

For the most efficient use of your water, keep these helpful tips in mind:

  • Water only two days a week.
  • Water for 10 minutes, three times, with at least an hour between each watering time. This will give your Texas grass a deep soak.
  • Don’t operate an irrigation system with broken sprinkler heads.
  • Don’t let water run off your property or pool in the street or parking lot.
  • A layer of organic mulch, such as shredded pine bark, grass clippings, or tree leaves, can increase water absorption by reducing evaporation and keeping the plants cool.
  • Lightly water after applying chemical fertilizer to your Texas lawn so that it doesn’t burn the grass. Avoid fertilizing during droughts.

If you’re unsure whether your grass is the most water-wise fit for your lawn, check out our article Best Grass for Central Texas for pro tips on how to choose a grass that suits your landscape best.

FAQ About Watering Restrictions in College Station

How Many Minutes Should You Water Your Lawn in Texas?

The amount of time you should water your Texas lawn varies by soil type and your irrigation system. But a general rule is to water your lawn for about 30 minutes, or however long it takes for the soil to soak to a depth of 4 to 6 inches. This ensures the water reaches the plants’ root system, creating a stronger lawn that can better withstand stresses like drought, disease, or pests. 

What are the Three Rules of Watering?

The three biggest rules for watering are these:

  • Water evenly
  • Keep the foliage dry but the roots wet
  • Water in the morning

How Often Does College Station Have Drought?

College Station has a 50% risk rating for drought, with 64% of the weeks throughout the past 22 years going through some degree of drought.

To prepare for the inevitable possibility of a drought in the future, you can prepare your lawn by weeding, fertilizing, overseeding, and aerating during your grass’s peak growing season in late spring and early summer.

Hire a Pro

Want to keep your lawn lush and healthy even during brutal Aggieland summers? If you could benefit from an expert, Lawnstarter will connect you with lawn care professionals in your area today.

Gig ‘Em Aggies!

Main Image Credit: Adobe Stock

Lydian Pine

Lydian Pine

Lydian Pine is a creative writer and studio artist whose work first debuted in a short story anthology. She graduated from the University of North Texas in 2020 and enjoys video games, theatre, and swimming. Lately, she has started to study entomology as a hobby.