Castle Rock residents have proven their commitment to water conservation. Together, over the last several years, our water use has been reduced by 20%. The Water Use Management Plan (PDF), a comprehensive set of guidelines, was created to promote the efficient use of water and help meet conservation goals. Advancing our vision to be a national leader, Castle Rock Water was featured in the Colorado Water Plan, promoting its conservation measures in the community.
Watering restrictions are in place May 1 through Sept. 30.
Water used for outdoor landscaping accounts for the largest demand on Castle Rock’s water system. Water conservation is critical to ensure adequate supply during peak summer demand. Schedules provide a means to manage system pressure and fire flow capacities and apply to residential and commercial buildings as well as public-use areas. In order to manage the demand on the Town’s water system during the irrigation season, watering is limited to every third day during designated months. Learn more about Castle Rock’s watering schedule.
Water 8 p.m. to 8 a.m.
During the restriction period, outdoor irrigation is permitted before 8 a.m. and / or after 8 p.m. for residential customers. More than 20% of water from sprinklers can be lost due to watering during the hotter and windier parts of the day. (Non-residential customers' schedule is 12 a.m. - 8 a.m.)
Watering while holding a hose in your hand is allowed at any time and on any day, as long as water waste is not occurring. Hand watering does not include irrigation with a hose and sprinkler nor manual operation of an automated irrigation system.
Pressure washing is allowed only with high-efficiency and low-water-use equipment and with no excessive water runoff.
Washing your car
Using a commercial car wash is suggested. Commercial car washes recycle the water. However, homeowner car washing is allowed with automatic shut-off nozzles, recommended use of a wash bucket and sponge, and no water waste.
Fountains are allowed and should be recirculating and designed to minimize evaporation.
Playing in the sprinklers
Water used for entertainment is allowed as long as a person is present and water waste is not occurring (such as water running down the street.)
On Aug. 10, 2016, it became legal to capture rainwater in Colorado. According to Colorado Law, homeowners can have two 55-gallon rain barrels to be used for outdoor purposes (DOCX).
Preferred xeric plants
The Landscape and Irrigation Performance Standards and Criteria Manual identifies plants that perform well in our semi-arid, high desert climate and is used by professional landscapers in Castle Rock. A condensed version to assist in landscape design can be found on our Plant Finder.
Installing a new lawn
When planning to irrigate a new landscape, customers may want to obtain a temporary irrigation permit, regardless of the time of year. This permit allows residents to conduct daily watering up to 21 consecutive days for new turf, and up to 30 consecutive days for seed or other plant material. This permit does not affect the volume of water allowed, only the days in which to apply it. Watering time restrictions, if in place, still apply. Customers will be charged for the water used based on individual water budgets, so watering wisely is advised! This temporary irrigation permit is not applicable during July. This means that exemptions issued in June will not carry over into July. To get the full 21-day exemption for sod installation, exemption applications should be received by June 9. To get the full 30-day exemption for seed, exemption applications should be received by June 1.
Nonresidential and public areas
Permissible hours of irrigation for regular nonresidential, common and public areas shall be between the hours of 12 a.m. through 8 a.m. on their designated watering day. Customers west of Interstate 25 irrigate on Monday, Wednesday and Friday, and customers east of I-25 irrigate on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday. Nonresidential customers include all properties that are not single-family residences. Town properties, including Town-owned parks, can irrigate 9 p.m. through 5 a.m. on their designated watering day.
Beginning January 2023, all new residential development is prohibited from installing any lawn turf in the front yard and is limited to 500 square feet in the back. Commerical spaces are prohibited turf in non-essential areas. Instead a ColoradoScape landscape will be required incorporating low-water plants and materials. ColoradoScape aims to add color and versaility to outdoor landscapes, keeping a specific Castle Rock aesthetic, so typically 75% plant coverage (at maturity) is required.
Kentucky Bluegrass ban
In 2018, new development (residential and commercial) were no longer allowed to install the high-water use Kentucky Bluegrass. Other alternatives, such as Texas Hybrid and native grasses that take less water, are recommended.
The purpose of enforcement is to maintain the integrity of the water system during peak periods, to ensure positive pressure exists and fire flow demands are met. This code enforcement is conducted to protect the interests of the public and protect public health and safety. The focus of the program is encouragement of compliance, as well as education; therefore, first violations are issued as warnings, with no surcharges applied. Subsequent violations are on a graduating scale. Water monitors, and all other Town of Castle Rock staff, are authorized to issue violations with appropriate documentation.