Water Use Rules and Regulations

The City of Morgan Hill has a long history of leadership in ensuring that water is used efficiently. To support these efforts, the City’s Water Waste Ordinance includes the following rules and regulations that are in effect at all times and apply to any person in the use of any potable water in the City with the following exceptions:
  • Uses of water necessary to protect public health and safety or for essential government services, such as police, fire and other similar emergency services.
  • The use of recycled water (limits on watering hours still apply).
  • The use of water by commercial nurseries and commercial growers to sustain plants, trees, shrubs, crops or other vegetation intended for commercial sale, to the use of water in a community garden providing garden plots to the public, or to home fruit and vegetable gardens less than 200 square feet.

1. Limits on Watering Days: 
Watering or irrigating of lawn, landscape or other vegetated area with potable water is limited to three days per week during the months of April through October as follows:
  • Mondays, Thursdays and Saturdays for odd numbered addresses and properties with no address
  • Tuesdays, Fridays and Sundays for even numbered addresses
  • Watering limitations decrease further, to 1 day a week (Wednesday) beginning November through March.
NOTE: This provision does not apply to the the following uses of water: 
  • Landscape irrigation zones that exclusively use very low flow drip type irrigation systems when no emitter produces more than two (2) gallons of water per hour.
  • Watering or irrigating by use of a hand-held bucket or similar container, a hand-held hose equipped with a positive self-closing water shut-off nozzle or device, or for very short periods of time for the express purpose of adjusting or repairing an irrigation system.
  • Landscape irrigation zones that are controlled by an activated weather-based irrigation controller.
  • Watering or irrigating a newly installed or significantly rehabilitated landscape for the first sixty days after the first plant is placed in the ground. (a significantly rehabilitated landscape is a landscape in which 25% or more of a property’s landscape is replaced). 
2. Limits on Watering Hours: Watering or irrigating of lawn, landscape or other vegetated area with potable water is prohibited between the hours of 9 a.m. and 7 p.m. on any day, except by use of a hand-held bucket or similar container, a hand-held hose equipped with a positive self-closing water shut-off nozzle or device, or for very short periods of time for the express purpose of adjusting or repairing an irrigation system. Watering or irrigating within 48 hours after one quarter inch or more of precipitation is received is prohibited.
3. Limit on Watering Duration: Watering or irrigating of lawn, landscape or other vegetated area with potable water using a landscape irrigation system or a watering device that is not continuously attended is limited to no more than 15 minutes watering per day per station/valve/zone. This subsection does not apply to landscape irrigation stations/valves/zones that exclusively use drip type irrigation systems, soaker hoses, bubblers or high efficiency sprinkler nozzles that have a precipitation rate of less than one (1) inch per hour. However, at no time can any irrigation system be operated long enough to cause runoff.
4. No Excessive Water Flow or Runoff: Watering or irrigating of any lawn, landscape or other vegetated area in a manner that causes or allows excessive water flow or runoff onto an adjoining sidewalk, driveway, street, alley, gutter or ditch is prohibited.
5. No Washing Down Hard or Paved Surfaces: Washing down hard or paved surfaces is prohibited except when necessary to alleviate safety or sanitary hazards. Washing down structures, fences, and hard surfaces expressly for the purposes of preparing a surface for the application of a surface coating is not prohibited provided it does not occur more than one time in any twelve (12) month period.
6. Obligation to Fix Leaks, Breaks or Malfunctions: Excessive use, loss or escape of water through breaks, leaks or other malfunctions in the water user’s plumbing or distribution system for any period of time after such escape of water should have reasonably been discovered and corrected and in no event more than ten (10) days of receiving written notice from the city, is prohibited.
7. Limits on Washing Vehicles: Using water to wash or clean a vehicle, including but not limited to any automobile, truck, van, bus, boat or trailer, whether motorized or not is prohibited, except by use of a hand-held bucket or similar container or a hand-held hose equipped with a positive self-closing water shut-off nozzle or device. This subsection does not apply to any commercial car washing facility. 
8. Commercial Lodging Establishments Must Provide Guests Option to Decline Daily Linen Services: Hotels, motels and other commercial lodging establishments must provide customers the option of not having towels and linen laundered daily. Commercial lodging establishments must prominently display notice of this option in each bathroom using clear and easily understood language.
9. Drinking Water Served Upon Request Only: Eating or drinking establishments, including but not limited to a restaurant, hotel, cafe, cafeteria, bar, or other public place where food or drinks are sold, served, or offered for sale, are prohibited from providing drinking water to any person unless expressly requested.
10. Recirculating Water Required for Water Fountains and Decorative Water Features: Operating a water fountain or other decorative water feature that does not use recirculated water is prohibited.
11. Pool Covers: Constructing a pool without the inclusion of a pool cover is prohibited. All contracts for the construction of a new pool entered into after September 2, 2015 shall include the provision of a pool cover.

Violations of this ordinance are against the law and may be 
reported online, or you may call the Water Waste Hotline at 408-310-4195.