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Water Use Rules for Residents
Garden watering canOutdoor Water Conservation Rules & Recommendations*
Outdoor water use is probably the easiest place to reduce water use since it accounts for roughly half of the average water bill. Please follow these rules: 
  1. Be cool – water when it’s cool, by HAND held hose with an automatic shut off nozzle or irrigation system before 10:00 a.m. and after 8:00 p.m. With a SPRINKLER system, water before 10:00 a.m. and after 8:00 p.m. only on three designated days:
    • Odd numbered addresses may water on Mondays, Thursdays and Saturdays;
    • Even numbered addresses may water on Tuesdays, Fridays and Sundays;     
    • Properties without an address may water on Mondays, Thursdays and Saturdays.
    • Watering outdoors at other times is not allowed. Less evaporation occurs in the cooler evening and early morning hours — so you can use less water and your plants and landscape will absorb more of it.    
    • Lawns are incredibly resilient and can tolerate the dry conditions of summer, if left alone. Letting your lawn go dormant and turn brown is okay. The grass will bounce back when rainfall and cool temperatures return in the fall and winter months. Learn more lawn watering tips.
  1. Be a sharp shooter — with automatic shut-off nozzles. Cars can be washed at home, but only using hoses with a nozzle that shuts off automatically when the handle is released. This helps you aim and control the water and can save many gallons.
  2. Be quick — fix water leaks as soon as possible. Fix visible leaks as soon as possible. If notified of a leak in your system, fix it within 5 working days. Visit our leaks page to find out how to detect water leaks and fix them.
  3. Be in control — don’t let water flow into gutters or streets. Beyond minor splashing of surfaces, sprinkler and drip systems and hand watering that cause water to flow into gutters and streets or that make large puddles is not allowed.
  4. Be a sweeper — sweep hard surfaces. Use a broom instead of a hose to clean patios, sidewalks, driveways, parking lots, or other hard surfaces. Note: Hosing is allowed when health and safety issues are a concern.
  5. Be frugal — water less often and consider rebates. Many plants can survive on less water, especially when the weather starts to cool. Consider replacing lawns and thirsty plants with drought tolerant landscaping and get a rebate from the Santa Clara Valley Water District! For more information visit
  6. Be resourceful — don't water after it rains. Watering outdoors within 48 hours after measurable rain is not allowed.

* Exemptions: The use of recycled water and graywater is exempt from these rules. There are many recycled water users in the South Bay so you may see daylight watering of landscaping at business, retail, and municipal locations or in medians and parks that are connected to the recycled water system.

More tips to preserve our drinking water
There are lots of ways to conserve. Shortening your shower by just 5 minutes can save 15 gallons indoors. Find more water saving tips.

To report water waste
Report water waste to the Santa Clara Valley Water District by calling (408) 630-2000 or emailing .