Water Conservation

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Watering Schedule

Watering is allowed three days per week according to the schedule. The watering hours are before 9 a.m. and after 9 p.m.

Watering Schedule

  • Hear the latest water conservation radio spot
  • Haga clic aquí para escuchar el comercial de radio de conservación del agua

Examples of Drought Tolerant Landscape Replacement

Top Left: Before drought tolerant landscape, lots of lawn to water.
Top Right: after removal of lawn and drought tolerant plants added.
Bottom: One year later, big beautiful drought tolerant native plants have bloomed and make this yard a California Beauty.

Julie's House, beforeJulie's House, afterJulie's House, 1 year later

Eye On Water

Sign up for Eye on Water

How to sign up for Eye On Water

Water Math

  • Drip Irrigation saves 15 gallons each time you water1 Cubic Foot =7.48 Gallons
  • 100 Cubic Feet = (7.48 gallons * 100) = 748 Gallons
  • 100 Cubic Feet = Hundred Cubic Feet = HCF = CCF
  • 748 Gallons = 1 HCF = Basic Unit in Billing
  • 20 HCF = 748 * 20 = 14,960 Gallons
  • 20 HCF = Included in 3/4” and 1” metered accounts
  • Use over the base amount in a month is charged,
  • $0.74 per HCF
  • 748 Gallons = 74 Cents

Turf Replacement

State of California: Turf Replacement Initiative
** Now accepting applications!**

Water Savings Checklist

Check off all these positive water use habits to help save our water:

  • Thaw food in the refrigerator, don’t use water
  • Update showerheads and faucets with low flow devices
  • Take shorter showers
  • Reduce lawn watering timers by 5 minutes per station
  • Water plants and lawn in the early morning to reduce evaporation
  • Use a pool cover to avoid having to refill so much
  • Wash your car only once a week, use a duster to keep it sharp the rest of the week
  • Wash cars at a car wash facility or use a bucket and hose with an automatic shut off nozzle
  • Run dishwasher and laundry machines with full loads
  • Use compost or mulch around plants and trees to keep moisture in the soil
  • Use a broom, not the hose, to sweep sidewalks and driveways
  • Check & repair leaks in sprinkler lines and in the house
  • Create a www.eyeonwater.com account to monitor household water use

Call the City of Merced water division for help with Eye On Water or to review water use, 385-6800

Water Wise Rules Still the Norm

  • Water early in the morning before 9 a.m. or after 9 p.m.
  • Do not wash off your driveways or sidewalks with water, use a broom.
  • Do not allow runoff when watering your yard.
  • Adjust timers to water for shorter periods, but maybe multiple times during your correct days/times.
  • If you wash your car at home, you need to use a hose with a shut-off nozzle.
  • If you have a decorative water feature, it must re-circulate the water.
  • Remember not to water in the rain or for 48 hours after a measurable rainfall.

For more information, call the City of Merced at 385-6800 or to report water being wasted call 388-SAVE.

Additional Resources

Save Our Water logoAhorre Nuestra Agua logo

To report water waste call 388-SAVE


What to do if you have a water leak?

“Help! Water is geysering up, what do I do?” This is a typical plea for help that comes into the Public Works office on a regular basis. Sometimes that water is coming from the city’s pipelines and sometimes your own. The City of Merced maintains the water mains that travel under the streets in a network called the water distribution system, those lines travel from our well sites to your property line ending at your water meter. If you don’t have a meter, your lateral water line connects right to our main with usually some type of shut off valve on your property.

As a homeowner you are responsible for the water lines on your property, some of those water lines run into your house and some are in the irrigation system in your yard. From the meter to your house, are lines that must all be maintained and repaired by you. There are usually a couple of places on private homes where water can be shut off. There should be a red wheel valve on the customer’s side of the meter so that you can easily turn the water off to the whole property. Also many houses have separate shut off valves under the garden hose bib that can shut off all or some of the water to the property. Kitchen sinks will also have shut off valves under the faucets. Toilets usually have a shut off valve behind or to the side of the bowl.

If you ever see water gurgling up from the asphalt in the street, that’s a sign of a water main break, give us a call at 385-6800 and we will be right out to assess the situation and plan for repair. If you see water gurgling up in your yard or home, first attempt to shut off the water yourself at your meter’s wheel valve or valve into the house, if you can’t find it, give us a call for assistance. If it’s during business hours, we can come out and turn off your water for free so that you can get the repair done. You can also call a plumber right away if it’s on a weekend or night. You may still need to call a plumber if the repair is beyond your abilities. For more information call 385-6800.

What do you do if your water bill is rising?

If you have an unusually high water bill, there are several things to look at.

  • Is your water meter moving?
  • Are there any dripping faucets? Thirty drips per minute adds up to approximately 15 gallons per day.
  • Do you have a leaking toilet?
  • Is there a leaking irrigation valve?
  • Do you have a sprinkler system? If so, is it on a timer? Is the timer operating correctly? Are you watering more than 5-10 minutes per station?
  • Were you gone for any number of days during the month in question? If so, did somebody take care of your plants or animals for you?
  • Do you have a water softener? Is it operating correctly?
  • Do you have an under-the-sink filter system? Is it operating correctly?
  • Does the handle on your toilet have to be jiggled to make the water stop running?
  • Do you have a hot tub or pool? If so, have you adjusted the float arm lately?
  • Did you have your fire sprinkler system maintained?
  • Have you repaired any leaking faucets, water heaters, etc., lately?
  • Is there a recycling hot water unit? Is it operating correctly?
  • Are there any wet spots on the lawn or inside the home on walls, ceilings, etc.?
  • If you are a commercial customer (restaurant, convenience store, etc.), do you have a purifying water machine, "serve yourself" machine, or soft drink machine that might need repair or have experience unusually high usage?

If you answered "yes" to any of these questions, then you may have found the source of your unusual water usage. Investigate further and make your own adjustments to decrease the water usage. You may need to call a local plumber to assist with a leak. You can call Public Works at 385-6800 to have your water turned off or on so that the leak can be prepared, this is a free service during business hours.

Be sure to sign up for EyeOnWater to monitor for leaks and usage spikes.

Helpful Water Conservation Suggestions

  • When the well is dry, we learn the worth of waterWater your lawn only when needed, three times a week on your watering days late at night or early in the morning to keep evaporation to a minimum.
  • Check your sprinkler timers and reduce watering times to less than 10 minutes per station.
  • Apply a layer of organic mulch around plants to reduce moisture loss and prevent excessive weed growth
  • Use a broom to sweep outdoors.
  • Ask your local nursery for suggestions on drought tolerant plants. They do not need to be watered as much and can survive a dry period without any watering.
  • Check your sprinkler heads, valves and drip emitters monthly for leaks and make sure the sprinkler heads are aimed properly.
  • Check for other household leaks. Leaks allow water and your money to go down the drain. To help detect hidden leaks, turn off anything that uses water and see if your water meter is still moving. If it is, there could be a leak somewhere on your property.
  • Install low-flow shower heads, kitchen & bath faucet aerators.
  • Adjust your watering schedule for each season. In fall, you can reduce your watering by half. By November, you can turn off your irrigation system completely.
  • If you notice someone wasting water, call 388-SAVE to report it or click on this e-mail link to send us a note, publicwks@cityofmerced.org. In your e-mail include time of day, date, and address of location of water wasting.

Water Conservation helps save resources and your money!