Conservation Ordinance

With finite water resources and a growing population, El Paso began an aggressive water conservation program in 1991. The City Council adopted the Water Conservation Ordinance in that year that makes wasting water a violation.

The plumbing code was also changed to require the installation of low-flow models for all new indoor plumbing fixtures, including shower heads, faucet aerators and toilets.

Here are highlights of Water Conservation Ordinance. To see the full ordinance, click link below:

Follow a Landscape Watering Schedule

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Landscaped areas can be watered up to three times a week throughout the year based on even/odd addresses. Water flowing into the streets is prohibited. Time of day restrictions are seasonal. Details:

  • No residential watering on Mondays
  • EVEN numbered addresses are allowed to water Tuesdays, Thursdays, or Saturdays.
  • ODD numbered addresses are allowed to water Wednesdays, Fridays, or Sundays.
  • Schools, parks, cemeteries, golf courses and industrial sites are allowed to water Mondays, Wednesdays, or Fridays.
  • Times Restrictions: From April 1 through September 30, outdoor watering is only permitted before 10:00 a.m. or after 6:00 p.m. on designated EVEN or ODD days.

Wasting Water = Violations, Citations

Violations to the ordinance can result in a Class C misdemeanor citation. Fines can range from $50 to $500 per citation.The following uses of water are defined as wasting water and are prohibited:

  • Landscape watering on the wrong day and/or wrong time
  • Allowing water to flow into public right of way or storm water drainage system.
  • Failure to repair a leak within five working days of the discovery of the same.
  • Washing down impervious surfaces, except in emergencies to remove spills of hazardous materials or eliminate dangerous conditions.

Residential Car Washing

  • Residential car washing is only allowed if a bucket and/or a hand-held hose equipped with a positive shut-off nozzle is used.
  • During a water emergency or during Stage 3 drought restrictions, washing of vehicles will only be permitted at commercial establishments equipped with treatment and recycling systems and approved by the El Paso Water.
  • Fundraising car washing events can only be held at commercial car wash establishments.

Permits and variances may be available under certain conditions.

Permits

  • Residential car washing is only allowed if a bucket and/or a hand-held hose equipped with a positive shut-off nozzle is used.
  • During a water emergency or during Stage 3 drought restrictions, washing of vehicles will only be permitted at commercial establishments equipped with treatment andrecycling systems and approved by the El Paso Water.
  • Fundraising car washing events can only be held at commercial car wash establishments.

Variances

  • If a customer desires a change in irrigation days and hours, it is the customer's responsibility to apply for a variance and demonstrate hardship by contacting El Paso Water’s Water Conservation Department at (915) 594-5508.  
  • A Review Board can modify established schedules or approve requests for variances.  
  • Variances are based on the Review Board's recommendations and are usually granted to customers that, because of age or health, depend on someone else to do yard work, or for those outdated irrigation systems that can't irrigate within the allotted time.  
  • All variances are discontinued during water emergencies and drought Stages 2 and 3.

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