With the arrival of hot summer weather, you may be thinking about putting some water on the lawn. But there are rules in Evanston about just when you can do that.

The city bans outdoor watering from May 15 through Sept. 15 between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. on weekdays, except holidays..

The rationale for the time restriction is that watering is more effective — because less of the water evaporates — if it’s done during the cooler hours of the day.

There’s a ten-day exception to the watering ban for watering of newly laid sod or freshly sown seeds for new lawns.

The fine for watering violations ranges from $25 to $500 per day.

In the event of an emergency water shortage, the city manager can temporarily ban all nonessential water use for as long as the emergency lasts.

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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  1. Cut the rules out!

    Evanston has WAY too many rules.   If someone wants to water their grass and wants to pay the water bill to boot – let them.   The city is now making a finable offense because something is less efficient during certain hours.   How much will it cost to enforce this rule?   Why?

    My favorte exapmple of rules gone wild is at the dog beach – 28 RULES!   One favorite is – dogs may not dig holes in the sand!

    How about just saying common sense and courtesy requested.     Leave it at that.

    And then they can add some disclaimer – like "enjoy at your own risk" – so that they are off the hook.

    1. Water restrictions

      The water restriction rule has been around for many years. I think that almost everybody has noticed that the water pressure to their home is lower in the daytime. I was told many years ago that the city considers low water pressure to be a safty issue and lawn watering is the least offensive of the possible restrictions. They would have a lot of problems trying to stop people from getting a drink or from flushing the toilet.

      There are a lot of ways of getting around the rules that include: newly laid or seeded lawn, new tree or bushes, or if you work nights and not home during the day.

      You can also sprinkle if you are not using city water, such as a rainbarrel. Of course, you need rain to fill the barrel.

    2. Rules

      Interesting – who came up with the rule to stop dogs from digging, seems to me to be a typical behavior, how deep a hole is a dog going to dig? 


  2. Water Restrictions

    There are rules about water – but so what if it is violated?

    A complaint about blantant violations of the water restrictions cannot be made anonymously.  For example if you are walking down the sidewalk on a weekday in the bright sun and 89 degrees at noon and periodically get hit by 5 different sprinklers in the span of 2 blocks on ridge – in FRONT OF THE CIVIC CENTER – you cannot complain unless you wish to give your full name and information to go with the report.

    Perhaps this is why apartment manager BJBevanston.com is running 4 sprinklers (two directly across from our town's governmental hub) in flagarent violation, and – ironically – the Chicago Zen Center is running another. 

    Evanston does have too many rules and I regret being here.  But does a rule matter if is not enforced?

    1. NU and water restrictions

      NU waters all day long and all over the campus.  Have they got a pass from the city ?

      1. Lack of City response

        The mayor said she'd look into it but never got back. Grover never even responded—but then she never responds to complaints.

        Little surprise—they were probably too busy dreaming up ways to spend taxpayer money.

        NU still waters its property all day long while homowners have these lmits.

        1. Wally took care of it

           While they mayor said she'd check up on it and Ald. Grover never responded, the City Manager contacted NU immeidately and when told NU was still doing what they denied, followed-up again and finally NU complied.

  3. City saying one thing and doing another

    Any one  notice your water bills keep going up and up?  Beyond the fact the city is using 3 million of the fees for other non-water related items, in the general fund. 

    Why not lower the rates to encourage water use, how many parkway trees will die this year, since they are not watered?  The city most likely would actually make money.

    One of the reason the city keeps raising the rates is there is a drop in water use, due to conservation, and better water fixutes.   Ofcourse Wally thinks he has a gold mine, in selling water.

    As Wally and Friends keep raising the rates, the use continues to go down and the trees and other plants die.

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