Water Conservation & Restrictions Home

The City of Plano is committed to conserving and protecting our water supply in a cooperative effort with our citizens and other North Texas Municipal Water District member cities through education and enforcement that contributes to the overall quality of life.
Water Smart Plano
Water Hydrant Flushing
At times, the City of Plano undergoes hydrant flushing efforts. While citizens often find flushing a confusing sight, it is a very common and necessary practice to ensure safe and healthy water for customers, especially during hot summer months. Flushing hydrants is effective in that it allows the City of Plano to address specific areas of the system where problems are occurring.

The North Texas Municipal Water District adds chloramines, a combination of chlorine and ammonia to the water supply at its treatment plant in Wylie. Chloramines are designed to prevent the growth of bacteria. But during hot summer months, those chloramines break down, leaving the water unprotected. In hot weather, chloramines break down faster. Cities like Plano flush hydrants to keep water circulating. It’s the best prevention to make sure water flows free of bacteria and is safe to use.

Is hydrant flushing the only way to accomplish water flushing?

Fire hydrants are used to flush water to maintain water quality standards. The challenge we face is that our citizens are doing a great job conserving water, which creates the unintended consequence of water sitting in the distribution lines. When water sits too long during the extremely hot months, the chemistry (chlorination level) changes and the water needs to be moved through the lines. Use of the fire hydrants allows the city to respond to issues in targeted locations where water chemistry has become a concern and we are able to closely track the number of gallons we must flush in order to maintain our water quality.

The City tested a water restriction holiday to try to alleviate the need to flush water and allow citizens extra time to water their lawns. The result was not what the city hoped for. As mentioned previously, flushing allows the City to quickly move water in a targeted location. The water restriction holiday did not move enough water in the targeted areas to eliminate the need to continue flushing. City staff is focused on potential solutions to assist in maintaining water quality, since we know that from now on we will always be under some form of water restrictions in order to conserve as much of our water resources as possible. 

We realize this is not an ideal solution, but maintaining water quality standards for safety is critically important. We are trying to balance encouraging conservation and maintaining water quality at the same time and, unfortunately, sometimes flushing lines is necessary.

We encourage you to watch this video to learn more about the necessity of flushing.
Twice a Week Watering Effective May 1, 2015
Water restrictions are being adjusted in light of recent rains and increases in lake levels. Conservation is still needed. Beginning May 1, customers may water up to two times per week, if watering is needed. Watering with sprinklers from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. is still prohibited. Watering on Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday is not allowed. Subscribe to weekly watering recommendations by visiting the Water My Yard website. The best practice is simply to not water when rain has just occurred or is expected.

ODD Addresses: Tuesday and Friday
EVEN Addresses: Monday and  Thursday
*As HOA watering involves watering of their common areas and in many cases the City of Plano right of way (which has no address), it was decided that all HOA watering would follow an EVEN address watering schedule.

Newly installed landscapes may be granted a 30-day water variance upon approval. Variances are not required for filling pools.  Request a Variance

For a printable watering calendar, please click on the image below.
City of Plano & Large Water Consumers 
Plano’s water conservation plan allows the City of Plano Parks and Recreation Department and Plano Independent School District to operate with a variance. The City and School District will exceed the current NTMWD reduction goal by managing all sites and campuses as a whole. Some irrigated areas will be reduced well beyond the current goal to offset watering at high use sites that have safety implications. The scale of operation for over 4,000 acres of parkland and 1,200 irrigated acres of park land, athletic fields, and other public property, requires alternative conservation methods. Large site irrigation systems cannot water all stations in the system within the same water window as a residential lawn, but they can still be programmed to apply less water than when in non-drought conditions. One athletic site has over 500 stations, which cannot all be run in one or two nights. The need to water play surfaces and high use areas must also be balanced with scheduled activities and public use patterns. 

Parks and outdoor sports venues are typically used in the early morning or after school/work hours up to 11 p.m., so watering schedules must be adjusted accordingly. Irrigation in scheduled or high use areas is necessary for the safety of the users. Cracks in the ground or injuries caused by falling on a very hard surface are thereby reduced.

Helpful Resources