LUBBOCK, TX -- The City of Lubbock Codes Department says every year when temperatures start to drop below freezing, they see sprinkler water freeze on Lubbock sidewalks and streets.
"We see this every year, invariably people forget that their sprinkler systems are on," said Codes Administration Director Stuart Walker. "Its really easy to figure out first thing in the morning when you are driving down the street when there is one yard covered with ice any none of the rest of them are so that's pretty much a tell tale sign and complete evidence on our part to write a ticket," said Walker.
That ticket could cost you hundreds of dollars.
"Its a Class C Misdemeanor and fines are set by municipal court, so if we issue a ticket to anybody that runs their sprinklers during freezing weather they will have to go pay that ticket at municipal court," said Walker.
Rain Maker Irrigation's Kevin Hardegree says there are steps you can take to prevent excess run off while still making sure your lawn is hydrated.
"We recommend doing it sometime during the afternoon as opposed to the evenings in the summer we recommend evenings, but we want to switch that over to 1 or 2 o'clock in the afternoon," he said. "Your run times, it depends upon grass depends upon the system you have, but you want to adjust those down so you are not watering near as much in the winter as you are in the summer."
Hardegree says now is a good time to make sure your system is working properly.
"Just have someone take a look at your system. You can turn it on on a Sunday afternoon look at it yourself make sure heads aren't leaking, nozzles aren't knocked off. That's a big way to help when you are watering in the winter to not have a lot of water that is freezing
He also recommends getting a rain freeze sensor that can shut off your sprinkler system when temperatures drop.
"These are actually our rain freeze sensors here. This is a Doppler that communicates to this guy right here and this is then hardwired into this control box and will shut your control box off if its I think below 35 degrees or if it has rained in the last 24 hours," he said.
Hardegree says you can find rain freeze sensors at hardware stores and your sprinkler company can install them for you.
If you would like to report excess water run off call 311. You can report anonymously.