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Texas Enters Extreme Irrigation Restrictions

Water and landscape irrigation are topping the news in the drought-parched state of Texas. Increasingly strict landscape irrigation rules, irrigation system breakdowns, and new rules effecting Texas irrigation installers, are making life interesting for Texas landscape contractors. But, as always, there's a silver lining: Business opportunities.

McKinney, Texas announced that Stage 3 drought measures took effect starting November 1, 2011. Residents and businesses can only use irrigation systems to water landscapes once per week, (only on the scheduled trash pick-up day.)

  • The city is accelerating efforts to reduce water use by 10 percent.
  • 60 percent of water use in the average home is from landscape irrigation.
  • The city also recommends waiting to install new landscape.

The implementation of Stage 3 comes at the recommendation of the North Texas Municipal Water District (NTMWD), the city's water supplier. Restrictions of watering not during the hours of 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. continue with Stage 3 plan implementation. Under the Stage 3 plan, watering of paved surfaces and washing cars with a hose unless a flow-control device is used are prohibited.

For a full list of water restrictions in place during Stage 3, visit

Violating the Stage 3 water restrictions could result in a fine of $50, $100, or $150.

Fines will be delivered through the regular water bill, and failure to pay fines can result in water being shut off to the home or business.

Irrigation Repair A Boom For Texas Contractors

During the last few years, landscape contractors across the nation have relied more heavily on the maintenance side of business. But Texas-based contractors have had not only to cope with less installation work, they have been struck with the hottest, driest summer on record, combined with increasingly-severe watering restrictions. Despite this, an opportunity has arisen for contractors. Irrigation system repair and upgrades.

''Our sprinkler repair business has been inundated; we haven't been able to keep up,'' said Bert Blair of Yellow Rose Landscape Services. ''Everybody has been having irrigation system problems this summer, and there aren't enough licensed contractors to do the work.''

Austin-based Clean Scapes have been busy responding to irrigation emergencies all summer long. The extreme heat has caused the ground to shift-and that has resulted in numerous broken irrigation lines.

''Wildlife has also been a factor, specifically with drip irrigation,'' adds Clean Scapes president, Ivan Giraldo. ''Animals such as squirrels and rats are turning to these drip lines as a water source, and are chewing through many of the hoses.''

Be Aware However . . .

Texas passed HB2507 into law; this legislation that makes it a Class C misdemeanor for an individual to install an irrigation system without a license.

As a Class C misdemeanor, practicing irrigation without a license becomes a crime -- a ticketable, trackable, legally binding offense in the eyes of the law.

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December 7, 2019, 4:12 am PDT

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