Water conservation ordinance changes now in effect

Apr 26, 2023

New ordinances for water conservation are in effect starting April 26, 2023. These ordinances contain key elements for the continued conservation of the City’s available treated drinking water and will affect all property types across the entire City of Georgetown Water Utility.

“Georgetown is located in an area of Texas that is prone to droughts,” Georgetown Mayor Josh Schroeder said. “By focusing on water conservation, the City can help to ensure there is enough water to meet the needs of its residents and businesses, even during times of drought.”

Water conservation holds a key role in responsibly managing the City of Georgetown’s available water. The ordinance changes were made to promote and encourage conservation efforts across all account types within the City of Georgetown Water Utility.

“It is important that we preserve our natural resources and that when we do use them, we are doing so in a responsible and efficient manner,” Georgetown Water Utility Director Chelsea Solomon said. “The conservation ordinance is a time- and condition-based approach that considers local conditions and evaporation as a guide to make educated decisions on how to efficiently and effectively use our available water resources.”

Changes include updates to water use restrictions when the City is not in Drought Contingency (the City is currently in drought stage 2), a new fee structure, developer requirements, inspection requirements for commercial and HOA irrigation systems, and new watering timeframes for all irrigation methods. Drip, soaker hoses, and hose-end sprinklers also must adhere to the new set times for irrigation—hand watering is still allowed on any day.

The new ordinance also includes updated watering schedules across all drought phases, as well as times when the City of Georgetown is not in a stage of drought contingency. Reducing irrigation times can help conserve water and cut down on water waste. Over-irrigation can result in excess water runoff, which not only wastes water but can also lead to soil erosion, nutrient leaching, and contamination of water sources. The new ordinance will also help with the reduction of irrigation in the middle of the day during peak times, which in turn will cut down on the amount of evaporation due to high temperatures.

New DCP 2 Watering Schedule
(The City of Georgetown is currently in this phase)

Automatic Irrigation Systems, Soaker Hoses, Drip and Hose-End Sprinklers 
Last digit of property street address  Allowed watering day(s) Allowed watering hours
Tuesday Midnight-7 a.m.
7 p.m.-Midnight
2 or 6  Wednesday Midnight-7 a.m.
7 p.m.-Midnight
Thursday Midnight-7 a.m.
7 p.m.-Midnight
5 or 9  Friday Midnight-7 a.m.
7 p.m.-Midnight
4 or 8  Saturday Midnight-7 a.m.
7 p.m.-Midnight
3 or 7  Sunday Midnight-7 a.m.
7 p.m.-Midnight
Monday None

Developers, builders, and irrigation-system installers will now be required to provide instructions on the irrigation system’s design and functionality. Additionally, they must provide information to homeowners on where to find the City’s watering schedule and how to properly maintain their irrigation systems.

Council also approved an automatic irrigation system audit ordinance that requires homeowner associations and nonresidential customers to have irrigation systems inspected every two years.

The violation process and associated fee structure also were adjusted. Residential and nonresidential customers are on a different violation and fee structure, and fees will be based on the drought stage the City of Georgetown is in at the time of the violation.

At the first occurrence of a violation, customers will receive a courtesy notice. (Customers will only receive one courtesy notice in a 12-month period.) They will have 10 days to move into compliance. If there is no proof of change after the courtesy notice, a violation will be issued to the customer. If customers need more than 10 days to make repairs after the first violation has been received, up to an additional 20 days may be granted. Customers can appeal and request an administrative hearing within the first 10 days of a violation, as well. If no contact is made, an administrative fee will then be added to the customer’s account on the 11th day.

Residential Violation Structure

Single Family Residential Violations First Occurrence Second occurrence in 12 month Period Third occurrence in 12 month period Fourth occurrence in 12 month period Fifth and subsequent occurrence(s) in 12 month period
Non-DCP Courtesy Notice $50 $75 $100 $250
DCP1 Courtesy Notice $50 $75 $250 $400
DCP2 Courtesy Notice $75 $150 $300 $450
DCP3 Courtesy Notice $150 $300 $450 $600
DCP4 Courtesy Notice $200 $350 $500 $650
Administrative Hearing Cost N/A $25 or 10% of fee $25 or 10% of fee $25 or 10% of fee $25 or 10% of fee

Non-Residential Violation Structure

Non-Single Family Residential Violations 1st Occurrencer 2nd Occurrence in 12 month Period 3rd Occurrence in 12 month period 4th Occurrence in 12 month period 5th and subsequent occurrence(s) in 12 month period
Non-DCP Courtesy Notice $250 $400 $500 $750
DCP1 Courtesy Notice $250 $400 $500 $750
DCP2 Courtesy Notice $500 $600 $800 $800
DCP3 Courtesy Notice $750 $750 $750 $750
DCP4 Courtesy Notice $800 $800 $800 $800
Administrative Hearing Cost N/A $25 or 10% of fee $25 or 10% of fee $25 or 10% of fee $25 or 10% of fee

For more information about the City of Georgetown water utility, visit water.georgetown.org.

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