Watering Violations

Castle Rock Water has regulations in place to manage our most precious resource, to instill a conservation culture and to maintain appropriate demand concerns. To this end, there are violations for water waste. Warnings are the first course, as education is the most beneficial method of changing behavior - and we know that many of these violations are simply an oversight. For repeat occurrences, surcharges are assessed.

These surcharges help fund the conservation rebates available to all Castle Rock Water customers.

New sod overwatering
Alignment issues
Public area streetscape
Overspray on rock

What is water waste?

Water waste is the application of water that does not result in beneficial use, including:

  • Run-off of water not absorbed into the ground, which flows away from the area being irrigated
  • Continuous irrigation to any area resulting in pooling or ponding of water
  • Any leaking irrigation system
  • Application of water intended for irrigation to any impervious surface (like sidewalk or street)
  • Letting water run unrestricted (and unattended) from a hose or faucet
  • Watering during or immediately after a rain or snow event 
  • Watering outside the watering schedule without appropriate permits or designations
  • Watering outside the cooler overnight watering times

When can I water?

  • For residents, Castle Rock Water provides an every-third-day watering schedule which is in place May through September. Your watering day is based on the last digit of your address*  
    •  Addresses ending in a 0, 1, 2, or 3 water on days designated by a square
    • Addresses ending in a 4, 5, or 6 water on days designated by a circle 
    • Addresses ending in a 7, 8, or 9 water on days designated by a diamond 
    • Some addresses in Founder’s Village are assigned alternate days; those impacted are notified by mail. Contact us if you are unsure if this applies to you.
  • Find the Watering Schedule
  • Non-residential customers, like HOAs, businesses, and Town properties, also have watering schedules

What time am I allowed to water?

  • For residential customers, watering is allowed before 8 a.m. or after 8 p.m. on your designated watering day.
  • During this time, there is less solar radiation, less wind and more humidity, which helps reduce evaporation. 
  • See how the watering schedule can help reduce water loss from evaporation — Watering Times video
  • The ‘best’ time to water, is between midnight and 5 a.m. when wind is low and humidity is high. Due to Colorado’s arid climate, there are no issues with mold or fungus when watering at this time.

What is exempt from a watering violation?

  • Hand watering is allowed at any time and on any day; however, hand watering is when a person is literally holding the hose in their hand while applying the water. A sprinkler attached to a hose is not hand watering and must follow the watering schedule.
  • Regular maintenance of your irrigation system is highly encouraged. Maintenance can be performed at any time on any day; however, there must be a person in the immediate vicinity, actively participating in that process while the water is running. When you are finished, or if you need to walk away for any reason, turn the water off.
  • Water Wiser designation does not exempt residents from watering violations as a result of water waste. This designation does exempt residents from the every-third-day portion of the watering schedule; however, all residents, including those with a current Water Wiser designation, must abide by the watering hours of before 8 a.m. or after 8 p.m. This designation must be kept current and renewed every five years.
  • A watering exemption allows watering more frequently than the every-third-day schedule in order to establish a healthy root system for newly planted vegetation. However, watering still needs to occur before 8 a.m. or after 8 p.m. and no water waste issues are present.
  • Any application of water not resulting in the beneficial use of that water can be considered water waste. Sprinklers running under a temporary irrigation exemption or Water Wiser designation are still subject to the same water waste guidelines.

How are violations discovered?

Castle Rock Water has a team of employees who monitor for compliance throughout the Town, seven days a week, day and night. These monitors drive marked vehicles and only write violations if they actually see the sprinklers running. Usually, a picture is taken of this violation. Violations are not written based on a neighbor’s complaint.  

To notify customers, a postcard is sent identifying the specific details of the violation. A white flag is often placed within the yard at or near the location of the water waste incident.

What is the surcharge for a watering violation?

  • Violations are sent to customers directly and immediately via postcard in order for customers to correct the issue quickly. The surcharge will automatically be added to the monthly water bill.
  • A first violation is simply a warning with no surcharge. The first violation is sent as a courtesy and is meant to raise awareness of an out-of-compliance condition. 
  • If the condition persists (watering at the wrong time, watering on the wrong day, or water waste) or subsequent issues arise within the year, additional violations do come with surcharges: a second violation is $25, a third violation is $50, a fourth violation is $100, fifth and subsequent violations are $200 each.  
  • Non-residential properties have a different surcharge structure.

Frequently Asked Questions

I believe I was written a violation in error, how do I correct this?

Violations may be appealed in writing within 10 days of the mailing date of the violation. You may submit the appeal by sending an email to waterconservation@crgov.com. Please provide your account number and the reason why you feel the violation was issued in error. We will review the photo taken at the time of issuance and determine validity. Please keep in mind that surcharges must be paid by the billing due date to avoid late charges. If the appeal is approved, the related surcharge will be credited to the water billing account within the subsequent billing cycle.

How do I program my irrigation timer for every third day?

Most timers can be set to this schedule. This schedule is often referred to as interval watering. Watch our video for help in programming the Hunter X-Core, which is the most common timer used in new builds. There are also links to instructions for other common brands of controllers. If you still need help, email us.

Do I get a violation if I go over my water budget?

A water budget, identified on your billing statement, has been established for every customer to provide you with an amount of efficient water consumption indoors and outdoors for your individual property. Every home is different and has different water needs; therefore, every home is assigned a unique water budget. Castle Rock Water doesn’t restrict the amount of water you use, and going over your water budget will not result in a watering violation; however, additional rates and surcharges may apply. See how your budget is calculated using AWMC.

How can I water new plant material more often than every third day?

To establish a healthy root system, newly planted vegetation requires water more frequently than the every-third-day schedule allows. A watering exemption allows for watering to occur on any day necessary while the exemption is in effect. Watering still needs to occur before 8 a.m. or after 8 p.m. The exemption period for new sod is 21 days and for new seed or other plant material is 30 days. Watering exemptions are not issued or applicable during the month of July so installation of plant material should be done on June 9 or June 1, respectively. Customers can apply the same day as new seed, sod, or plant installation. The exemption fee of $9 will be applied directly to your water bill. The placard will be mailed to you and should be posted prominently. Despite the exemption, watering during daytime hours or water waste occurring can still result in a watering violation. Apply here: Watering Exemption Request (Online Form).