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When and How to Water Your Lawn in Rochester, Rochester Hills

Here are more details about the watering ordinance in the city of Rochester Hills — and general tips on conserving water in both cities.

If you use an automated sprinkler system to keep your Rochester Hills lawn green in the summer, know that when you water can affect your future water bill — and the water bills of all of your neighbors.

Rochester Hills has a watering ordinance, which states that automated sprinkler systems can water lawns between midnight at 5 a.m. only. The ordinance is designed to help city residents conserve water.

It's also designed to reduce the city's overall water consumption during the daytime hours, when water from the Detroit Water and Sewerage Plant costs the most.

The city receives its water from the DWSD. That department monitors how much water is used — and when it is used — and plans its rates to cities accordingly.

“In an effort to help control increasing costs, and protect our natural resource, it is critical that we all do our part," Mayor Bryan Barnett stated.

The ordinance affects outdoor watering by an automatic or programmable landscape irrigation system.

So you can water your plants with a hose or put a sprinkler out for your children during the day or early evening. But if you rely on a sprinkler system for watering, make sure it's programmed to water between midnight at 5 a.m. hours.

The first violation will get you a warning; the next one incurs a fine of up to $500.

The city of Rochester does not have a watering ordinance.

According to the DWSD, here are more tips for conserving water while watering your lawn:

  • Water wisely. It only needs 0.5 to 1.5 inches of water per week. Overwatering results in shallow-rooted plants that are less tolerant of heat and drought and more prone to disease.
  • Use rainwater to water your plants. Direct downspouts toward your plants and green areas or collect water with rain barrels for use later.
  • Mow high: Make your lawn cheaper and easier to maintain by mowing high (3 inches is recommended). Longer grass has deeper roots and requires less water.
Erin June 01, 2012 at 08:41 PM
A great reminder early in the season about responsible watering and the ordinance. The city rolled out an informative press release this week. Thanks for sharing the info!
Marty Rosalik June 02, 2012 at 02:00 AM
Erin, depending on wher you live and the age of the house, a still viable well may be present. Several of my coworkers in the Hills have reactivated their wells for watering when they want to. There is a down side. You have to keep the well system totally separate from the city water system. (plumber) And about 8 grains of iron. So highly watered house walls, side walks etc turn orange.

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