Evanston Outdoor Watering Ban Begins May 15

Posted on Thursday May 09, 2013

The City of Evanston reminds residents that an outdoor watering ban exists 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 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. However, 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).

“Watering your plants between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. is ineffective. Not only does the water tend to evaporate before it is absorbed by the plants, but plants just don’t absorb water as well during the heat of the day,” said Utilities Director David Stoneback. “Lake Michigan is a great natural resource – it is up to each one of us to act responsibly in our use of the water we take; this is just one example of how we preserve the lake for future generations.”

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.

Why Should We Conserve Water?
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?
Great-Lakes-Water-Supply-thumb-300x300-11889.jpgThe Great Lakes are the largest system of fresh, surface water on earth, containing roughly 18% of the world’s fresh water supply. Lake Michigan is the second largest of the Great Lakes.

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!