Permanent water restrictions in Bozeman set to begin in June

2022-05-21 16:54:54 By : Ms. Jojo Wu

BOZEMAN — (Updated 4:33 p.m. MDT, 05/19/2022)

CORRECTION: An earlier version of this story stated sprinkler systems would not be allowed even during permitted watering times. While sprinklers may not be used during restricted water use times, residents can use them during their permitted time each week.

Here's the complete ordinance the commission passed:

According to the city, outdoor watering of lawns and landscapes with the use of overhead spray irrigation is prohibited 7 days a week, between 10 am and 8 pm. Overhead spray irrigation is not allowed, because watering during these hours is inefficient.

Odd number addresses water on Wednesday, Friday and Sunday. Even number addresses water on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday. There are some exemptions for using low-volume drip irrigation and hand-watering of trees, ornamental perennials, flowers, shrubs and food gardens.

Tuesday night the Bozeman City Commission passed a new ordinance that will mean new watering restrictions in Bozeman beginning this summer and moving forward.

Even with recent rainfall in the past couple of weeks, the City’s new ordinance for permanent water restrictions was passed in hopes of continuing to save water across the city.

“Anyone that is using city water for irrigation will be required to adhere to those and they will be in effect on a go-forward basis regardless of drought conditions,” said Jessica Ahlstrom, Water Conservation Program Manager for the City of Bozeman.

The new ordinance looks to limit watering to three days a week moving forward. It could also be more restrictive if drought conditions exist or worsen.

“So sometimes if we do end up in a drought they may become more restrictive,” Ahlstrom said.

Those who live at odd-numbered addresses can water their lawns on Wednesdays, Fridays, and Sundays. Those at even-numbered addresses can water Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday.

“Really, the ordinance really allows for residents to water three days a week and only during the most efficient times of day,” said Ahlstrom.

Residents will not be allowed to water between 10 a.m. and 8 p.m.

Even with moisture in recent weeks, the city hopes that by having these restrictions it will help residents be prepared for when a dry spell does occur.

“We’re still very cautious and anticipate that we may have to declare a drought late this summer but we have definitely benefited and don't need to do it yet,” said Ahlstrom.

As the city continues to grow and the demand for water increases, the city aims to reduce wasteful usage.

“Bozeman is a growing community and we have to make sure that we are instilling the behaviors that will allow us to accommodate growth while still providing the water that folks need,” said Terry Cunningham, Deputy Mayor of Bozeman.

As the city continues to grow, city officials say they want residents to know the importance of water in a dry area.

“We want to reinforce the message that water is valuable, water is scarce and water should not be wasted,” Cunningham said.

The ordinance is set to take effect on June 16.