Restrictions for Water Use in Fort Collins to Begin Thursday, October 1

Reduce your use yard sign. Photo courtesy of City of Fort Collins.

City Manager Darin Atteberry has signed a declaration and order for mandatory action level IV water restrictions for lawn watering and other outdoor water uses going in effect Thursday, October 1 to avoid water shortage due to ongoing drought conditions, Cameron Peak fire and infrastructure repairs related to the Horsetooth Outlet Project.

The water restrictions are pursuant to Fort Collins City Code Section 26-167 (a) and the Water Shortage Action Plan (WSAP). Additionally, action level IV alternative water restrictions are reserved for unique water shortages that are not addressed by other action levels within the WSAP.

The city manager will proclaim the end of the water shortage, lifting restrictions when they are no longer required which is expected to be Monday, November 30. The mandatory water restrictions will be for all Fort Collins Utilities water customers.

Lawn watering is not allowed and sprinkler test times must run minimally to maintain a sprinkler system, but sprinkler blowouts are allowed. Trees can be watered by hand, drip system of deep root fork or needle only at any time.

Non-Landscape Water Use are as follow:

  • Residential Vehicle Washing At Home – Not allowed
  • City of Fort Collins Fleet Vehicle Washing – Not allowed unless approved by the City Manager for health or safety reasons.
  • Dealership Vehicle Washing – Once per week, provided that washing shall be less frequent and only “Upon Sale” if the City Manager determines, in his sole discretion, that it would be appropriate and notifies the affected dealerships.
  • Spraying Impervious Surfaces – Not allowed, except for essential power washing. Whenever possible, dry methods must be deployed first.
  • Dust Control Measures for Dust Generating Activities – Not allowed, except if no alternative (non-water) dust control measures exist, as defined by the City’s Dust Prevention and Control Manual.
  • Street Sweeping – Arterial and Collector Street Sweeping will be reduced to 1x a month and all other sweeping restricted to essential street sweeping. Whenever possible, dry methods must be deployed first.
  • Hydrant Flushing and Testing – Limited to critical situations as approved by Utilities’ Executive Director.
  • Water Features – Not allowed
  • Splash Parks – Not allowed
  • Community Outdoor Swimming Pools – Unrestricted, if filled before date restrictions were implemented. No filling of empty pools.
  • Individual Outdoor Swimming Pools and Recreational Water Toys  – Toys not allowed. Pools are unrestricted if filled before date restrictions were implemented. No filling of empty pools.
  • Misting Devices – Not allowed


  • New Lawn Installation (sod and seed) – Water any time of day and any day of the week for a period of time, as defined by the approved permit. Multifamily and Commercial can request a temporary certificate of occupancy
  • Active Area City and Community Athletic/Playing Fields – Recommend following Level I: Max of 1.25″ or 0.78 gallons per sq. ft. per week. May water any day, according to permit; no watering between the hours of 10 a.m. and 6 p.m.
  • Well or Raw Water – Registration and sign provided by Utilities required

Exceptions will be made for athletic/active fields for health and safety purposes and new lawn installations. Enforcements for not abiding by the new water restrictions include $50 to $1,000 for residential fines per violation and $250 to $1,000 for business fines per violation.

For information regarding water quality and the Cameron Peak Fire, visit:

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