Icy sidewalks and streets pose a serious danger to the safety of those who use them.  Water Authority customers are subject to fines when water causes ice formation on adjacent property, or the public right-of-way, including sidewalks or other impervious surfaces.


Ice violations issued by the Water Authority can range from $20 for a first violation and up to $2,000 for multiple violations. These violations generally occur as a result of irrigation overflow, overspray, and/or malfunctions. If you choose to use your automatic irrigation system during the winter months, please check for the following to avoid ice formation:


  • Low head drainage

This generally happens on sloped areas and can be fixed by installing a sprinkler head with a built-in check valve. Many major brands of heads can be retrofitted with a check valve.

  • Misaligned sprinkler

A misaligned sprinkler may cause water to flow into the public right of way. Turn on your irrigation system to check each sprinkler head’s angle and the distance it sprays. Make sure your water use is beneficial to your landscape and not wasted.

  • Overflow

Cut back your watering time. If your landscape needs more water than what is applied before overflow occurs, practice the cycle and soak method. Break up the total watering time in order to allow water to soak in better. For example, instead of running your system one time for 10 minutes in the winter, try running it two times for 5 minutes each with an hour or more between cycles. This allows time in between for the grass to soak up the water.

  • Unrepaired malfunctions

Visually inspect all the components of your irrigation system and repair any issues that may be causing a problem.

  • Watering time

Watering too early or too late can both cause the formation of ice. Mid-day is the best time to apply landscape irrigation in the winter so that water will have time to evaporate before freezing.


Ultimately, winterizing your irrigation system for the winter is the best way to avoid ice violations. Click here to learn how to winterize your system. We are happy to assist you with your landscape water needs or to answer your scheduling questions. Call 505.289.3003 to schedule an Outdoor Irrigation Efficiency Consultation today!


For further information, view our current Water Waste Ordinance.