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Water Restrictions

Mandatory outdoor water restrictions on lawn watering and other outdoor water uses will go into effect Thursday, Oct. 1.

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Water Restriction Exception Permits and Raw/Well Water Registration

Permits are available to allow for exceptions to assigned watering days and frequencies only, as described in Section 2.2 of the Water Shortage Action Plan (WSAP). Raw and well water are exempt from water restrictions but are required to register and display signage.

Overview of Permits

Permits may be issued for individuals or businesses unable to comply with watering restrictions for the following conditions:

 

 

ACTION LEVELS

 

PERMIT TYPE

 I - LOW

II - MEDIUM

III - HIGH

***CURRENT RESTRICTION LEVEL***

IV - ALTERNATIVE

New lawn installation (sod and seed)

Water any time of day and any day of the week for a period of time, as defined by the approved permit. Multifamily and Commercial can request a temporary certificate of occupancy, when applicable

September-April installation, water any time of day and any day of the week for a period of time, as defined by approved permit. Multifamily and Commercial can request a temporary certificate of occupancy. (No installation May-August)

No exceptions. Multi-Family and Commercial – temporary certificate of occupancy will be allowed, as applicable.

Select permit requirements, listed in Action Levels I-III, to address unique scenarios

(NOW ACCEPTING PERMIT APPLICATIONS, RESTRICTIONS BASED ON ACTION LEVEL I)

Medical Hardship

Water on two selected days per week. No watering on Monday and between the hours of 10 a.m. and 6 p.m.

Water on one selected day per week. No watering on Monday thru Thursday and between the hours of 10 a.m. and 6 p.m.

No exceptions

Select permit requirements, listed in Action Levels I-III, to address unique scenarios

(NOT ACCEPTING PERMIT APPLICATIONS UNDER CURRENT RESTRICTIONS)

Religious Objection

Water on two selected days per week. No watering on Monday and between the hours of 10 a.m. and 6 p.m.

Water on one selected day per week. No watering Monday thru Thursday and between the hours of 10 a.m. and 6 p.m.

No exceptions

Select permit requirements, listed in Action Levels I-III, to address unique scenarios

(NOT ACCEPTING PERMIT APPLICATIONS UNDER CURRENT RESTRICTIONS)

Inactive Areas with Turf Areas of Four Acres or More and City Parks of Any Size

Max of 1.00" or 0.62 gallons per sq. ft per week. Water 3 days/week. No watering between the hours of 10 a.m. and 6 p.m.

Max of 0.75" or 0.47 gallons per sq. ft. per week. Water 3 days/week. No watering between the hours of 10 a.m. and 6 p.m.

No exceptions

Select permit requirements, listed in Action Levels I-III, to address unique scenarios

(NOT ACCEPTING PERMIT APPLICATIONS UNDER CURRENT RESTRICTIONS)

Active Areas – City and Other Public/Privately-Owned Active Athletic/Playing Fields

Max of 1.25" or 0.78 gallons per sq. ft. per week. May water any day, according to permit; no watering between the hours of 10 a.m. and 6 p.m.

Max of 1.0" or 0.47 gallons per sq. ft. per week. May water any day, according to permit; no watering between the hours of 10 a.m. and 6 p.m.

No exceptions

Select permit requirements, listed in Action Levels I-III, to address unique scenarios

(NOW ACCEPTING PERMIT APPLICATIONS, RESTRICTIONS BASED ON ACTION LEVEL I)

 

Permit Application Process

Customers can submit the application form online with the links found below or by requesting one by mail or email. Complete applications must be submitted to Utilities.

Utilities staff must use reasonable discretion when reviewing permit applications for approval or applying terms and conditions to approve permits. Utilities staff must consider the impacts of the permitted activity on Utilities’ water supply or water system operations. Utilities staff may conduct investigations in the review of the permit application.

When a permit application meets the eligibility requirements, a permit will be granted and issued by Utilities’ executive director. Decisions on permit applications will be determined within five business days of receipt unless the permit is incomplete or requires additional investigation. A determination of a permit will be provided in writing to the applicant with an explanation of the basis of approval or denial. Permits may contain terms and conditions, as determined by Utilities staff, to allow the minimum watering necessary to carry out the intent of the permit.

Properties with approved permits remain subject to enforcement of restrictions outside of the terms of the permit. 

Signage

Upon permit approval, Utilities will provide a sign to be posted in a location that is visible from the street for the duration of the exemption. Signs should be returned to Utilities for reuse following the term of the permit or the conclusion of the water shortage.

Appeals

Final permit determinations may be appealed pursuant to City Code Section 26-53.

Permit Renewal

At Utilities’ discretion, some permits may be renewed during subsequent water shortages. A request to renew a previously approved permit must be made to and approved by Utilities on a renewal form provided by Utilities. The applicant must confirm that the previously approved conditions and permit terms will be adhered to. Renewals are subject to staff review and approval and may include additional requirements or amendments to the previously approved permit so that the renewed permit conforms to this WSAP and the water shortage declaration at that time.

Not all permits can be renewed. New sod and seed permits shall not be available for renewal. Other permits shall not be renewed if there have been changes to properties’ landscape, irrigation, or other circumstances. Other permits shall not be renewed if they are inconsistent with the current WSAP. Where a permit cannot be renewed, customers can still submit applications for new permits under the current WSAP.

New Lawn Installation Permit

Overview

This permit allows watering for new seed and sod installations, during times and at frequencies greater than allowed by water restrictions. Permits are not required if you are watering your new lawn with a drip system or by hand or if you are watering with untreated raw water or well water (though you will need to register raw/well water use, see below).

A complete permit application is required, along with:

  • an invoice, estimate or receipt for seed or sod
  • seed or sod species type
  • proof of soil amendment and amount in cubic yards, if required

With an approved permit, Kentucky Blue Grass and fescue can be watered for three weeks for sod and four weeks for seed, following the date of installation. Regionally adaptive species may allow for longer or different watering exceptions compared to Kentucky Blue Grass. For best practices for warm-season grasses, click here.

Multifamily and commercial developments can request a temporary certificate of occupancy from Planning and Development at em9uaW5nQGZjZ292LmNvbQ== and 970-416-2745 to allow occupancy while delaying the installation of a landscape. (NOTE: Planning and Development does not issue the exception permits. For questions on permits, contact Fort Collins Utilities at aG9wQGZjZ292LmNvbQ==, 970-416-8040 or V/TDD 711.)

The entire landscape cannot be watered unrestricted with this permit, only irrigation zones that contain areas with new seed or sod. Other areas must be watered according to the water restrictions specified by the action level in effect. Permit holders will be encouraged to water during the cooler times of day after the first week.

Apply for a New Lawn Exception Permit

  ACTION LEVEL

PERMIT TYPE

 IV - ALTERNATIVE (Based on action level I)

New lawn installation (sod and seed)

Water any time of day and any day of the week for a period of time, as defined by the approved permit. Multifamily and Commercial developments can request a temporary certificate of occupancy

Permit Approval Process

  1. All permit applications are submitted to Utilities for an initial review to determine if the application is complete. If additional information is required, staff will contact the applicant to obtain missing information.
  2. Staff reviews application and presents a recommendation to Utilities’ executive director or their designee(s).
  3. If a permit is granted by the executive director or their designee(s), a permit number is assigned. If a permit is denied, an explanation of the basis will be provided to the applicant.
Inactive and Active Lawn Permit

Overview

A complete permit application is required. Utilities reserves the right to inspect the controller(s) and schedules associated with the permit to verify that the setting matches the submitted application. Averaging the amount of water applied throughout the active or inactive area is allowed.

City and Community Active Lawn Areas Permit

This permit is to establish a custom watering schedule for City parks and areas owned by other entities that consist of playing and athletic fields that use treated water. Documentation that the existing sprinkler system cannot water the area within the designated watering days and watering limits are necessary to be eligible for this permit. These areas are subject to less restriction in order to protect more actively used landscapes and maintain safety for those using the areas.

Apply for an Active Lawn Exception Permit

Water Shortage Action Levels and permit allowances, as described in Section 2.2 of the Water Shortage Action Plan:

 

ACTION LEVEL

PERMIT TYPE

IV - ALTERNATIVE

Inactive Areas - Areas of Four or More and City Parks (any size)

Max of 1.00" or 0.62 gallons per sq. ft per week. Water 3 days/week. No watering between the hours of 10 a.m. and 6 p.m.

Active Areas - City and Community Athletic/Playing Fields

Max of 1.25" or 0.78 gallons per sq. ft. per week. May water any day, according to permit; no watering between the hours of 10 a.m. and 6 p.m.

Permit Approval Process

  1. All permit applications are submitted to Utilities for an initial review to determine if the application is complete. If additional information is required, staff will contact the applicant to obtain missing information.
  2. Staff reviews application and presents a recommendation to Utilities’ executive director or their designee(s).
  3. If a permit is granted by the executive director or their designee(s), a permit number is assigned. If a permit is denied, an explanation of the basis will be provided to the applicant.
Medical Hardship/Religious Objection Permit
Well or Raw Water Registration

Raw or well water is exempt from WSAP regulations because this type of water is not provided by Utilities and therefore cannot be subject to restrictions. Registration for raw and well water and the display of free signage provided by Fort Collins Utilities is required.

Register Raw or Well Water Use