Sprinkling Ban / Regulations

City of South St. Paul Sprinking Ban

Why did the City institute a sprinkling ban?

The City is required by the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) and the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) to have a Water Supply Plan. This Water Supply Plan is also part of the City's Comprehensive Plan. These plans are required and must be approved by various state agencies. The DNR is requiring cities to adopt several conservation measures before they will approve the Water Supply Plan. One of these measures is a lawn sprinkling ban during the hours of highest water evaporation. Another measure is changing the water rate structure to charge more for water use as the use increases. In order for the MDH to issue the City its 2011 Water Appropriations Permit, the City

had to get the DNR approval of the Water Supply Plan. Therefore, the City, like all other cities, had to institute a lawn sprinkling ban.

The City bans lawn irrigation between the hours of 10 AM to 5 PM everyday. This ban is good common sense and has been widely practiced in other cities for several years.

Some common sprinkling questions:

  • Are my kids allowed to play in the sprinkler during the day? Yes, but when the kids are not playing in the sprinkler, turn the sprinkler off.
  • Can I wash my car during the sprinkling ban hours? Yes. Be sure to use a shut-off nozzle on your hose, do not waste water by letting it run freely out of the hose. The recommended "green" method of washing your car at home is to wash it on the grass. Rinse the car off with a hose. Using a bucket of soapy water and sponge, wash the car from top to bottom. Rinse the car off with a hose. In this way, you have used a minimum of water, and the dirty, soapy water will be filtered by the lawn instead of going directly into the City's storm drain.
  • What if I water the garden using soaker hoses? Soaker hoses are a great way to water your garden, shrubs, and trees. These hoses minimize the water lost to overspray, run-off and evaporation. However, the sprinkling ban does not allow unattended watering from 10 AM to 5 PM each day.
  • Can I hand water my garden? You may hand water your garden, however it is recommended you use a shut-off valve on your hose. A "green" recommendation is to use a watering can instead of a hose.
  • What if I have new sod or am seeding my lawn? The City will allow you to water your new sod or seed. While seed requires more consistent watering to keep it wet, sod should be watered in the early morning or evening, and on very hot days, at mid-day.
  • What happens if I violate the sprinkling ban? The City will leave a notice on your door reminding you of the sprinkling ban the first time. Further violations will result in a $25 administrative fine, and will double with each subsequent vioaltion within a 12-month period.
  • Who should I call if someone is violating the ban? Call the city's Public Works Department at 651-554-3225.