Water Use Rules and Regulations
Effective November 1, 2018, watering is restricted to one day a week, Wednesdays only before 9 AM or after 7 PM.
Water is always a precious resource in Morgan Hill and with this in mind, our permanent watering restrictions have been designed to best manage the City's potable water supply. These restrictions will help us avoid or minimize the effects of drought, climate change and the unreliability of imported water infrastructure that serves the City of Morgan Hill.
We have prepared a list of Frequently Asked Questions to help you better understand these restrictions. If you have any additional questions, send us an email or give us a call at 408-310-4169.
To support our water conservation efforts, the City’s Water Waste Ordinance includes the following rules and regulations that are in effect at all times and apply to any person in the use of any potable water in the City with the following exceptions:
- Uses of water necessary to protect public health and safety or for essential government services, such as police, fire and other similar emergency services.
- The use of recycled water (limits on watering hours still apply).
- The use of water by commercial nurseries and commercial growers to sustain plants, trees, shrubs, crops or other vegetation intended for commercial sale, to the use of water in a community garden providing garden plots to the public, or to home fruit and vegetable gardens less than 200 square feet.
1. Limits on Watering Days: Watering or irrigating of lawn, landscape or other vegetated area with potable water is limited to one day per week during the months of November through March as follows:
- Watering is limited to Wednesday only before 9AM or after 7 PM
- Watering limitations increase to 3 days a week (days based on your address) beginning April 1st.
- Landscape irrigation zones that exclusively use very low flow drip type irrigation systems when no emitter produces more than two (2) gallons of water per hour.
- Watering or irrigating by use of a hand-held bucket or similar container, a hand-held hose equipped with a positive self-closing water shut-off nozzle or device, or for very short periods of time for the express purpose of adjusting or repairing an irrigation system.
- Landscape irrigation zones that are controlled by an activated weather-based irrigation controller.
- Watering or irrigating a newly installed or significantly rehabilitated landscape for the first sixty days after the first plant is placed in the ground. (a significantly rehabilitated landscape is a landscape in which 25% or more of a property’s landscape is replaced).
4. No Excessive Water Flow or Runoff: Watering or irrigating of any lawn, landscape or other vegetated area in a manner that causes or allows excessive water flow or runoff onto an adjoining sidewalk, driveway, street, alley, gutter or ditch is prohibited.
5. No Washing Down Hard or Paved Surfaces: Washing down hard or paved surfaces is prohibited except when necessary to alleviate safety or sanitary hazards. Washing down structures, fences, and hard surfaces expressly for the purposes of preparing a surface for the application of a surface coating is not prohibited provided it does not occur more than one time in any twelve (12) month period.
6. Obligation to Fix Leaks, Breaks or Malfunctions: Excessive use, loss or escape of water through breaks, leaks or other malfunctions in the water user’s plumbing or distribution system for any period of time after such escape of water should have reasonably been discovered and corrected and in no event more than ten (10) days of receiving written notice from the city, is prohibited.
7. Limits on Washing Vehicles: Using water to wash or clean a vehicle, including but not limited to any automobile, truck, van, bus, boat or trailer, whether motorized or not is prohibited, except by use of a hand-held bucket or similar container or a hand-held hose equipped with a positive self-closing water shut-off nozzle or device. This subsection does not apply to any commercial car washing facility.
8. Commercial Lodging Establishments Must Provide Guests Option to Decline Daily Linen Services: Hotels, motels and other commercial lodging establishments must provide customers the option of not having towels and linen laundered daily. Commercial lodging establishments must prominently display notice of this option in each bathroom using clear and easily understood language.
9. Drinking Water Served Upon Request Only: Eating or drinking establishments, including but not limited to a restaurant, hotel, cafe, cafeteria, bar, or other public place where food or drinks are sold, served, or offered for sale, are prohibited from providing drinking water to any person unless expressly requested.
10. Recirculating Water Required for Water Fountains and Decorative Water Features: Operating a water fountain or other decorative water feature that does not use recirculated water is prohibited.
11. Pool Covers: Constructing a pool without the inclusion of a pool cover is prohibited. All contracts for the construction of a new pool entered into after September 2, 2015 shall include the provision of a pool cover.
Violations of this ordinance are against the law and may be reported online, or you may call the Water Waste Hotline at 408-310-4195.