Odd/Even watering system still in effect in OKC



Oklahoma City’s Utilities Department says it has not eliminated the odd/even watering schedule as hot summer weather returns in the next several days.

The odd/even schedule is “permanent,” according to an announcement made Monday by the department. And it is to be followed yearlong.

Customers whose property address ends in an odd number (1,3,5,7,9) are allowed to use outdoor sprinklers on odd-numbered calendar days. Customers with a property address that ends in an even number (0, 2, 4, 6, 8) are allowed to use outdoor sprinklers on even-numbered calendar days.

The odd/even watering schedule does not apply to hand watering for gardens or flower beds.

In response to significant droughts in 2010 and 2013, Oklahoma City Council passed the odd/even ordinance to help with overall water demand and consumption.

The odd/even watering schedule serves two purposes: it helps alleviate overall demand on the water treatment and distribution system during peak-use periods and helps cut back on over-irrigation. Most common turfgrasses used in Oklahoma do not need more than one inch of water per week, or two deep waterings of one half of an inch each.

“We know customers love to see nice green lawns, but we urge them to be mindful of how much they are watering,” Utilities Director Chris Browning said. “While we have ample long-term supply, thinking in terms of short-term availability is important as we move through the two hottest months of the year.”

The City’s water conservation team recommends checking sprinkler systems regularly to identify any issues and to ensure programming is still configured using the most efficient settings for that time of year. From identifying overly-long runtimes to hidden programs, performing a simple sprinkler system checkup can help save water and save money.

In addition to making fixes and necessary adjustments to sprinkler systems, water conservation staff also recommend customers get a soil test, such as those conducted through Oklahoma State University Extension. Healthy soil provides the right amount of nutrients for grasses to thrive and helps hold in needed moisture that decreases the need for more watering.

Other water conservation tips include the following:

  • Check all sprinkler heads to ensure they are watering the grass, not the street or sidewalk.
  • Repair broken sprinkler heads.
  • Install pressure regulating heads to ensure even water distribution.
  • Water in the early-morning hours when it’s still dark to reduce the amount of water lost to evaporation.
  • Raise the blade on your mower to at least one inch high for Bermuda grass and three inches for fescue.
  • Add a weather sensor or remote app to your irrigation system for better ongoing control.
  • Plant drought- and heat-tolerant plants that can weather Oklahoma’s extreme temperatures.
  • Install a drip irrigation system and add mulch to your flower beds and vegetable gardens to reduce evaporation.
  • If hand watering, use a nozzle with a shut-off lever to save water while not in use.