FAQ

When was the water conservation ordinance passed?

The Dallas City Council amended the water and wastewater ordinance (Chapter 49) to include restrictions on the irrigation of lawns and landscapes on September 21, 2001 and again in April 2012. The ordinance is intended to help the City of Dallas defer the costs of expanded infrastructure and water supply sources that will be necessary to meet the increasing demands made on the system.

What are the City of Dallas water restrictions?

See the Water Conservation Ordinance page for the guidelines.

How do I report a violation of the water restrictions?

You may call in the violation to 3-1-1 or use our online contact form. This is the information we will need:

  • Address of violation
  • Time of violation
  • Date of violation
  • Your name and phone number

(This information is just for us to call you back if we have questions. Your name will be kept private.)

Is there any watering allowed between 10:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m.?

Residents are restricted from watering between 10:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m. from April 1 through October 31 every year. Hand watering and soaker hoses will be permitted at any time. In addition, lawn and landscape watering is restricted to two assigned days per week. If these restrictions cause an undue hardship, it is possible to request an exception or variance from the ordinance.

Do City of Dallas parks and golf courses have to observe the twice-weekly watering schedule?

Government properties and quasi-government areas such as parks, golf courses, and other City of Dallas properties have applied for large property variance permits. This is largely due to the fact that they have installed large areas of new turf that must be watered at least twice daily to spur root development and to protect the City of Dallas’s investment.

I just put in new sod or new seed and my landscaper told me to water it every day. I know that we have watering restrictions—what should I do?

Variances will be granted to water new seed or sod during restricted watering days and hours for new-installed landscapes. Please be prepared to show proof of sod, seed, and soil amendment purchase when you apply for a variance. All sprinkler systems must have a sprinkler permit as required by the City of Dallas Irrigation Systems Ordinance.

What is the best way to water my lawn?

Most people water their lawns a lot more than they need to. The Water-Wise way to maintain your lawn also encourages healthier turf. You can find tips on how to water your lawn in our How to Save Water Outdoors brochure.

I’ve heard the City of Dallas will help find leaks in my sprinkler system. Is this true?

Yes, City of Dallas Water Conservation has licensed irrigators that will come to your home FREE of charge to help find leaks and assist with efficient watering schedules. Go to our FREE Irrigation System Check-up page to learn more.

Where can I buy native and drought-tolerant plants?

As more people have learned the advantages of Water-Wise landscaping, native and drought-tolerant plants have become more widely available. Once you know what you’re looking for, you can find some varieties of Water-Wise plants and Texas Superstar® plants at your local garden center. You may find a larger selection of native and drought-tolerant plants at nurseries that specialize in Water-Wise landscapes.

How can I learn more about Water-Wise landscaping?

Our Water-Wise Landscaping page can give you more information. We also have brochures available in PDF format on our Resource Center page. In the spring and fall we offer FREE Water-Wise Landscape Seminars, and every year we have a FREE, self-guided Water-Wise Landscape Tour. You can find out more about these learning opportunities on our “Upcoming Events” column of our website.

What are some good ways to save water indoors?

There are lots of ways to save water indoors that take very little time or money. Most are simply changing behaviors we don’t stop to think about. Visit our Saving Water Indoors page to learn some great ways to save water.

Does the City of Dallas have a toilet replacement program?

Yes, there are two options – Dallas homeowners can apply for either a voucher or rebate on their water bill towards the replacement of up to two toilets per household if those toilets were installed prior to January 1, 1994. Multi-family residential managers and owners can also apply for up to 200 toilets per account per year. However, the rebate option is not available for multi-family residential customers, only the voucher.

For more information, go to our New Throne for Your Home Toilet Replacement Program page.

My neighbor received some help getting their plumbing fixed. How does that program work?

Our Minor Plumbing Repair Program helps low-income homeowners fix leaks in their homes. Go to our Minor Plumbing Repair Program page to learn more.

Why does the City of Dallas have a water conservation tier in its water rates?

The rate was added to encourage water conservation and curb increasing demands on the water system. Increasing demands impact DWU’s ability to treat and deliver water to its customers.

Residential customers who use more than 15,000 gallons a month are charged a higher rate for gallons used above 15,000. Seventy-five percent of residential customers use less than 15,000 gallons and are not affected. The conservation tier also affects commercial customers who use more than 10,000 gallons a month and whose usage exceeds 1.4 times their annual monthly average. Eighty-eight percent of commercial customers are not affected.

How is my commercial average calculated?

Commercial accounts are calculated based on the previous 12-month’s average. Once your average is established, it will be recalculated every year on October 1. New accounts that have been established for three months, or a minimum of 75 days, will be calculated based on the average monthly usage for that period. The average for new accounts active less than three months, or for a minimum of 75 days, will be established on the following October 1. Click here to see current water rates.

Who do I call if I have questions about my water bill?

If you have questions regarding your account, please call Customer Service at 3-1-1.

What about my sewer charge? How is that determined?

Because it is not cost effective to meter wastewater use, DWU estimates it. To estimate wastewater use, DWU uses your winter months average (the average of your water use billed in December, January, February and March). This is thought to be the best time to average because customers water their lawns less in the winter. However, if a customer’s current month’s actual water use is less than the winter month’s average, the customer’s sewer (wastewater) bill is based on the actual water use. Click here for an example of how these charges are calculated.

What are our current water sources?

The City of Dallas provides water to customers from six reservoirs: Fork, Grapevine, Lewisville, Ray Hubbard, Ray Roberts and Tawakoni.

How can we help prevent water pollution?

  • Buy only the amount of fertilizers, pesticides or other hazardous chemicals that you need so that you don’t have to dispose of the leftovers.
  • Read all the labels and follow directions.
  • Be an informed consumer. Consider alternatives if any of the following words are on the labels: “caution”, “warning”, “danger”, “poison”, “flammable”, “volatile”, “caustic” or “corrosive.”
  • Use organic lawn and garden alternatives that do not contain synthetic chemical poisons.
  • Recycle your used oil, automotive fluids, batteries and other products.
  • Don’t dispose of hazardous wastes in wastewater systems, storm drains, creeks, alleys or the ground. This pollutes the water supply.

For more information on how to prevent pollution of our rivers and lakes, go to the City of Dallas Storm Water Management website.

How can I learn more about water issues?

Please visit our Resource Center page to find other organizations that are involved with water resource issues.

How can I request a speaker or a brochure?

Go to our Resource Center page to download PDFs of our brochures. If you wish to have brochures or other educational materials mailed, please complete the Water Conservation Division Contact Form. You may also request a speaker or event participation.

What is the future for water conservation in Dallas?

The City of Dallas has developed the following plans that deal with water conservation: the Dallas Water Conservation Five-Year Strategic Plan, the Water Conservation Plan and the Drought Contingency Plan, as well as an Executive Summary of the Five-Year Strategic Plan.

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