Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Waco watering restrictions in effect, except for car washes

Autumn Jones

Waco residents and businesses are required to adhere to the city’s water conservation plan, which only allows outdoor watering three days a week.

Summer is officially here and for Texans that usually marks the start of water restrictions across the state.

The city of Waco has a year-round water conservation plan to ensure that the city has enough water in the event of a drought. The plan is updated every five years to address the needs of the community.

Yesterday marked the beginning of the city-wide mandate on watering days, residents and businesses can only water outdoors three days a week.

Odd numbered addresses water Sunday, Tuesday and Thursday. Even numbered addresses water Monday, Wednesday and Saturday. Outdoor watering on Fridays or between 10 a.m. and 7 p.m. is not allowed.

Jessica Emmett Sellers: “The outdoor watering with the sprinklers, that's the biggest, biggest restriction for sure.”

But what if someone just has houseplants or a greenhouse, is that watering restricted? Jessica Emmett Sellers, Sr. Public Information & Communication Specialist for the city of Waco, says no.

Jessica Emmett Sellers: “It's mostly sprinkler systems. So when we talk about like, if you go out with a hose because you're watering your flowerbed, if you're standing there holding the hose with the little nozzle, that doesn't have restrictions on it. So you could do that any day. Definitely recommend not to do it in the heat of the day, because you're going to get a little less bang for your buck. So you want to make sure you're still doing that kind of, either early in the morning or in the afternoon.”

Many Wacoans have taken to social media to express concern over the restrictions, often referring to the numerous car washes across town that aren’t required to follow the city mandate.

Jessica Emmett Sellers: “Car washes use some, they recycle some of their water onsite. So that's kind of how it seems like a lot of water is being used at car washes. Right? You look at it, you go, oh, wow, that's a lot of water. But they're using their own recycling system and that helps it keep, you know, from just being a consumer completely. So they're definitely doing some things internally that maybe people aren't aware of.”

Car washes will, however, have to cut back operations if Waco sees a drought this summer.

Jessica Emmett Sellers: “The current water conservation doesn't affect car washes. If we do get into the drought stages, that's when car washes will basically not either not be allowed to operate or they'll be limited. But that gets into, you know, when the lake level drops below those trigger levels.”

You can learn more details about the water conservation plan at

For 103.3 Waco Public Radio, I’m Autumn Jones.