Outdoor Water Usage Rules and Information
The City of Evanston has an outdoor watering ban that runs from May 15 through September 15 during daytime weekday hours. The City Code (7-12-14-2) does not allow for any person, firm or corporation to use water for the sprinkling or irrigation of lawns or gardens on weekdays (Monday through Friday) between the hours of ten o'clock (10:00) A.M. and four o'clock (4:00) P.M. Memorial Day, Fourth of July, Labor Day and all weekends are excluded. An exception to the watering ban is allowed for a period of ten consecutive days for watering of newly laid sod or freshly sown seeds (for new lawns).
Any person, firm or corporation violating the provisions of this section shall be fined according to the schedule provided in section 7-12-17 of the Evanston City Code, which could be anywhere between $25 to $500 per day of the violation. In the event of an emergency water shortage, the city manager can temporarily ban all nonessential water use for as long as the emergency water shortage might exist.
Outside Water Conservation Tips
Use a bucket of water and a spray head on the hose to wash your car. A running hose can waste hundreds of gallons of water in the short time it takes to wash a vehicle.
It is recommended that residents water their lawn or gardens during the coolest part of the day to minimize evaporation and thus the waste of water.
Choose plants that are native to the area in which we live or plants that are drought resistant for landscaping and gardening. Group plants together based on similar watering needs.
Plant or maintain an eco-friendly garden. Download the Eco-landscaping Guide here.
Efficient water use can cut down on water waste and still provide water for plants and turf. Outdoor water efficiency is especially important during the hot summer months when as much as 50% of home water consumption is for watering lawns and gardens.
- A typical Illinois lawn needs about 1- 1 ½ inches of water each week, including rain according to www.gardenillinois.com.
- In Illinois, cool season grasses can go dormant during hot, dry weather without watering and recover when growing conditions improve in the late summer or early autumn.
- Overwatering causes runoff, wastes water, and carries fertilizers and other chemicals into the sewer system.
- Rain gauges are devices designed to measure how much rain was received at a specific location over a designated period of time. Rain gauges are easy to use and can act as an accurate way to measure how much water plants are getting over time. Use your rain gauge to monitor how much rain was received at your house. Keep track of weekly rainfall totals to determine whether your lawn needs additional water. To learn how to make your own rain gauge click here.
- A rain barrel is a water tank which is used to collect and store rainwater runoff, typically from rooftops. Instead of running down driveways and sidewalks to sewers, rainwater falls into a rain barrel where it can be stored for use in gardens and for house plants. They are a simple, efficient, low-cost method for homeowners to conserve water. To order a rain barrel from the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago, click here.
Water is constantly being recycled through the earth’s water cycle. However, humans can consume fresh water faster than it is naturally replenished. We all use water, so we should do our part to protect and preserve it. Approximately 3% of the earth’s water supply is fresh but less than one third of 1% is available for human use!
As water users, we must preserve our water supply so it will be available today and for generations to come. Water conservation allows us to use water more efficiently and reduce water waste. Making a habit of conservation makes sense.
Conserving water is beneficial to our community, because it: helps protect our water supply for the future; protects the environment and natural ecosystems; saves energy; and saves money.
Where Does Our Water Come From?
The Evanston Water Treatment Plant is located on the shores of Lake Michigan, one of the world's most valuable sources of fresh surface water. The treatment facility has the capacity to supply up to 108 million gallons per day (MGD) of pure drinking water. The facility is municipally owned and operated and in addition to serving the residents of Evanston (population 74,239) it also supplies water to the Village of Skokie and the Northwest Water Commission which is comprised of the communities of Arlington Heights, Buffalo Grove, Palatine and Wheeling. The total population the City of Evanston serves is over 350,000!
The water distribution system is comprised of 157 miles of water main ranging in size from 3-inch diameter to 48-inch diameter. There are more than 2,000 valves and 1,400 fire hydrants in the Evanston distribution system.