Odd Even Outdoor Watering Schedules

During the hot summer months, Lacey Water Utility customers often use up to 15 million gallons of water per day — more than double what is used during the rest of the year. Where does the water go? Outdoor watering and irrigation.

While most of us enjoy having a lush, green landscape during the height of our outdoor activities, large numbers of people watering at the same time can cause stress to the water-distribution system. Alternating our outdoor watering days helps conserve valuable water resources and assists your water utility in meeting peak summer demands.

The Lacey Water Utility adopted the following outdoor watering schedule for all of its water customers:

This schedule is in effect every year from June 1st to September 30th.

There are exceptions to the schedule that do not require prior City approval:

  • Outdoor potted plants and hanging baskets
  • Plants growing inside of greenhouses (including commercial greenhouses)
  • Publicly owned facilities with active playfields
  • Washing of cars and other vehicle
  • Pressure washing

You must apply for temporary exemptions or variances if you:

  • Planted a new lawn (sod or seed)
  • Planted new landscaped areas (trees and shrubs)
  • Have an irrigation system that waters areas on both sides of the street at the same time

To apply for a temporary exemption or variance contact Water Resources, (360) 491-5600 or WaterResources@ci.lacey.wa.us

Failure to follow the policy could ultimately lead to discontinuation of your water service.  Property owners will first receive a warning; a second instance will result in a notice of violation, and a third reported violation could end in a $125 fine.  Upon the fourth instance, water service will be shut-off and the property owner will be fined $250.

The odd / even schedule will allow our water customers to maintain landscaping to the level to which they are accustomed, while reducing temporary peak seasonal demands on the water distribution system.

For additional information:

Frequently Asked Questions

Why has Lacey’s water utility implemented odd/even outdoor watering?

Scheduled watering is a strategy to address peak demand. This summer, Lacey Water Resources projects our highest daily water use will exceed 17 million gallons. During the winter and cooler weather, daily demand is no greater than 6 million gallons. The difference highlights the increased use of water outdoors and the potential to reduce or save water through improved water practices. Operationally, this imbalance also creates challenges for the Lacey water utility. It requires the construction of a more expensive water system to meet peak demands that occur less frequently throughout the year. An odd / even outdoor watering schedule is simply a better way to manage our community’s water resource. The new water management practice has the potential to save two million gallons per day.

How does odd/even outdoor watering work?

Property addresses ending in an odd number may water Saturday, Monday, and Wednesday. Addresses ending in an even number may water Sunday, Tuesday, and Thursday. Friday is a non-watering day. For example, a property address with the numbers 9783 would follow the odd outdoor watering schedule.

How long will I have to schedule my outdoor watering?

Alternate day irrigation / watering is the new standard on how to best manage our community’s water resource. Each year, Lacey water customers will schedule water use based on their property’s address during the designated summer months only — June, July, August and September.

Does the new policy apply to washing your personal car?

No. Outdoor watering does not apply to washing personal vehicles including trailers, boats, and RV’s. In addition, routine — but not frequent — power-washing of driveways, patios, or houses is not prohibited by the current Odd / Even Outdoor Water Policy.

Does the Odd/Even Outdoor Water Policy apply to the City of Lacey’s municipal operations and public property?

Yes. The irrigation of public rights-of-ways maintained by the City of Lacey as well as public facilities and grounds will follow the odd / even outdoor watering schedule. More frequent irrigation, however, will occur on public property such as playing fields and active areas to protect the community’s investment in their parks and open spaces.

Why is Friday a “non-watering” day?

Historically, Lacey water customers use more water during the weekends compared to a typical weekday. A “non-watering” day provides the Lacey water system a beneficial pause. Reservoirs will be able to fill to their maximum levels and crews can take pumps off-line for maintenance if needed. By providing a non-watering day on Friday, Lacey’s Water System is better prepared to meet the expected increases in the demand for water over the weekend.

Can I water my potted plants and hanging baskets?

Yes. A reasonable amount of water used for outdoor potted plants and hanging baskets is acceptable. The Odd-Even Outdoor Watering Policy is aimed at reducing significant daily water use caused by activities such as watering lawns and gardens.

What if I irrigate my yard with a private well?

If you are using a private well to irrigate your lawn, garden, or landscape, then the Odd-Even Watering Policy does not apply; scheduled watering only affects Lacey water users. In the event you receive a notice for non-compliance, please call Lacey Water Resources at (360) 491-5600 to provide evidence of an alternate water source providing the property’s irrigation needs.

What is the proper amount of water to maintain a healthy lawn?

A healthy lawn needs only one-inch of water per week. This amount may vary, however, depending on your individual yard’s underlying soil conditions and the exposure to direct sunlight. To assist your efforts in proper lawn maintenance, Lacey Water Resources offers water saving kits to Lacey water customers.

Where can I find more information on wise water practices?

Lacey Water Resources has information about using water wisely available on the City of Lacey’s Water Conservation Program page as well as printed material at the Public Works counter in Lacey City Hall.

What if I recently planted a new lawn, which requires more frequent watering?

New lawns (sod or seed) and new landscaping is specifically exempted from the Odd-Even Watering Policy.  Lacey Water Resources, however, encourages the planting of lawns and other landscape items in May or during the late summer, when temperatures are cooler to reduce the duration and the need to water daily.  If you need relief under this exemption, please mail your contact and address information to the City of Lacey, c/o Water Resources, 420 College St SE, Lacey, Washington 98503, or by E-mail at WaterResources@ci.lacey.wa.us

What if someone fails to follow the Odd/Even Outdoor Water Policy?

Failure to follow the policy could ultimately lead to discontinuation of your water service. Property owners will first receive a warning; a second instance will result in a notice of violation, and a third reported violation could end in a $125 fine. Upon the fourth instance, water service will be shut-off and the property owner will be fined $250.

Are there other exemptions to the Odd/Even Outdoor Water Policy?

There are three exemptions: (1) Publicly-owned facilities with active playfields and scheduled activities, (2) newly-seeded lawns or newly planted landscape areas, and (3) plants inside greenhouses, regardless of whether they are owned by commercial enterprises or hobbyists. These exemptions recognize that more frequent watering is needed beyond the Odd / Even Outdoor Water Policy.

For newly-seeded lawns or newly planted landscape areas, you must request an exemption by contacting Public Works, (360) 491-5600 or WaterResources@ci.lacey.wa.us

Public Works

phone: (360) 491-5600

Monday - Friday: 9:00 am - 5:00 pm