Water Waste Ordinance

Tucson Code 27-15

It is declared that, because safe, high quality potable water and reclaimed water are a precious resource, the general welfare requires that the water resources available to the city be put to maximum beneficial use, and that the waste or unreasonable use, or unreasonable method of use, of water be prevented. For the purposes of this section, the person, corporation, or association in whose name the water utility of the city is or was last billed or who is receiving the benefit of the water supply on the premises, as defined under section 27-10, is presumed to have knowingly made, caused, used, or permitted the use of water received from the city for in a manner contrary to any provision of this section, if the water has been used in a manner contrary to any provision of this section.

(a) The following uses are a waste or unreasonable use or method of use of water and are prohibited:

(1) Allowing water to escape from any premises onto public property, such as alleys or streets, or upon any other person's property.

(2) Allowing water to pond in any street or parking lot to a depth greater than one-quarter (1/4) inch or to permit water to pond over a cumulative surface area greater than one hundred fifty (150) square feet on any street or parking lot.

(3) Washing driveways, sidewalks, parking areas, or other impervious surface areas with an open hose, or with a spray nozzle attached to an open hose, or under regular or system pressure, except when required to eliminate conditions that threaten the public health, safety, or welfare. This restriction does not apply to residential customers.

(4) Operating a misting system in unoccupied non-residential areas.

(5) Operating a permanently installed irrigation system with a broken head or emitter, or with a head that is spraying more than ten (10) percent of the spray on a street, parking lot, or sidewalk; this prohibition does not apply unless the head or emitter was designed to deliver more than one (1) gallon of water per hour during normal use.

(6) Failing to repair a controllable leak, including a broken sprinkler head, a leaking valve, or a leaking faucet.

(7) Failure to meet the fifty (50) percent rainwater harvesting requirement for landscape irrigation set forth in Chapter 6, Article VIII of the Tucson Code.

(b) Any person who violates any portion of this section is guilty of a civil infraction, and shall be fined upon the first offense, a minimum of two hundred fifty dollars ($250.00); and upon the second offense within a period of three (3) years and upon each subsequent conviction within such period, a minimum of five hundred dollars ($500.00). The imposition of civil liability shall not preclude the city from taking any other enforcement actions permitted under section 27-14 or section 27-97 of this chapter.

(1953 Code, ch. 25, § 16; Ord. No. 6096, § 1, 10-1-84; Ord. No. 7547, § 2, 1-7-91; Ord. No. 9407, § 1, 6-19-00; Ord. No. 10597, § 2, 10-14-08)

View and/or print the Water Waste Ordinance as a one-page pdf

To report incidents of water waste, call Tucson Water at 520-791-2514 or e-mail WaterWaste@tucsonaz.gov.

Ordinance 8.70 of the Pima County Code also addresses water waste.

For more information on Tucson Water resources for customers, call 520-791-4331 or e-mail pico@tucsonaz.gov.

Return to web page for Water Waste.