What are the new temporary watering restrictions?
Effective July 24, Lawn watering is allowed two days per week – “Trash Day + 1.”
- If your trash pick-up day is Monday or Tuesday, you can only water your grass on your trash pick-up day and Saturday.
- If your trash pick-up day is Wednesday or Thursday, you can only water on your trash pick-up and Sunday.
If you have an irrigation controller, it should be reprogrammed to water on the new day(s) or use the manual setting to operate the system on the appropriate day.
The regular noon to 5 p.m. time-of-day restriction will remain in effect.
Why are the increased water restrictions necessary?
With more than 70% of Minnesota experiencing severe drought and many areas experiencing extreme drought, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is requiring local water suppliers to implement additional water restrictions in their communities.
How does the DNR call to action/drought designation work?
The call to action by the DNR is not solely based on our drought designation (for example D1 Moderate Drought). Rather, we are included because we are part of a larger Minnesota Statewide Drought Plan Watershed which includes areas of severe and extreme drought.
More information on drought from the DNR
How will I know if the increased water restrictions change and/or expiring?
Signs will be placed around the community. You can also register to receive calls and texts from city’s CodeRED emergency calling system (or text “WashingtonMN” to 99411). Information also will be shared on the city’s website, social media accounts and InTouch email notification system.
What happens if someone violates the policy?
The property owner will be issued an administrative citation and fined $50 for the first offense, with the fine doubling with each subsequent offense within the same calendar year. Taking action and following the rules is the right thing to do assuring adequate water will be available.
So many communities are just now moving to odd/even watering schedules, why is Woodbury doing more?
Every municipal water system is different based on source water, size, demographics, demand, etc. The DNR set a goal of 50% above January use for all water suppliers. We know we cannot achieve that goal with our normal restrictions and therefore are making appropriate adjustments. We’re proud to be a leader in the area of water efficiency, seeing that our regular policies are an example for those when challenged with conservation.
How long will the increased water restrictions be in effect?
It’s hard to say; the forecast is not in our favor. The DNR says, “Under current conditions, it will take at least three to five inches of precipitation spread over a period of about two weeks to significantly alleviate drought. Soils are more efficiently replenished by multiple rainfall events than by any single heavy rainfall event. Surface water and groundwater respond somewhat differently over time.”
Will we end up with a total watering ban?
These restrictions could be elevated further in the coming days should drought conditions continue to grow in severity.
Can I water my flowers/garden/landscaping?
Hand-watering plants and trees, washing vehicles, and children playing in sprinklers are allowed.
What if I am planting new seed/sod?
Special use permits for new seed/sod may be issued as of Sept. 13. You must apply by filling out the online application.
I'm worried about my grass dying. How can I protect it?
With Trash Day+ 1 restrictions your lawn should not die; it will still get water up to two days a week. Woodbury and its residents are being responsive to the DNR and current drought conditions. Taking these actionable steps may help avoid or delay additional watering restrictions:
- Do not overwater your lawn on “your days” to water. Continuing to use the “1 inch per week” guideline will create deeper roots, helping to make a more drought-resilient lawn.
- Minimize traffic on drought-stressed lawns. Growth is very slow during periods of drought, so postpone mowing until moisture returns. Traffic from lawnmowers and equipment can cause permanent damage when conditions are hot and dry. Mow at high heights of cut at least 3 to 4 inches.
- Postpone fertilizer applications until moisture returns and grass is actively growing. Fertilizer applied now will not be taken up by dormant grass and the nutrients could cause environmental harm.
How can I help conserve irrigation water use?
Residents are encouraged to be Water Wise when irrigating their lawns. In general, your lawn only need 1 inch of water per week to stay healthy and green. Purchase a discounted smart irrigation controller through the city’s program for $35 (retail value $230) to effectively run your irrigation system and allows for customized programmable options for watering days.
Learn more and purchase
Do the increased restrictions apply to city facilities?
In order to comply with the increased water restrictions, irrigation on city property not used for recreation (i.e. fields) will be shut off. However, HealthEast Sports Center and Eagle Valley Golf Course have their own well systems for irrigation and will continue to manage them responsibly. Irrigating these properties supports the entire community’s access and use of these facilities.
Even though irrigation will ensure continued public access and use of these critical community assets, steps to reduce the water footprint will be taken. For example:
- HealthEast Sports Center - All non-field irrigation will be shut off.
- Ojibway, Liberty and Stonemill Farms Park - All non-field irrigation will be shut down. Fields are watered in zones and will be switched from every other day to twice per week.
- Eagle Valley Golf Course - Irrigation in non-playing zones (e.g. the entrance road, clubhouse area and driving range) will be shut off.
- Newly planted trees and landscaping -Trees will be hand watered. Newly planted landscaping will receive watering no more than two days a week, tied to the neighborhood trash pick-up schedule, when possible.
Do the increased restrictions apply to commercial properties and homeowners associations?
Commercial properties will be allowed to water on Fridays. Homeowners associations will follow the same restrictions as residential properties – their assigned trash pick-up day and one weekend day.