Residents forced to turn off sprinklers in efforts to conserve water.

On September 11, Fort Collins City Manager Darin Atteberry issued an order for all Fort Collins residents to stop watering lawns starting October 1. The ban is expected to last through November 30, though could be lifted sooner.

The city is optimistic of the outcomes for the order including "water restrictions on lawn watering and other outdoor water uses in order to avoid a water shortage due to the ongoing drought conditions, Cameron Peak fire and infrastructure repairs known as the Horsetooth Outlet Project (HOP)."

The order is due to an expected water shortage because of the Horsetooth Outlet Project, providing rehabilitation work and required maintenance. The Soldier Canyon Outlet, receiving the bulk of the maintenance, is the pipe carrying water from Horsetooth Reservoir to Fort Collins Utilities, providing about half of the needed water for utilities. The maintenance is scheduled to begin on October 15.

During the maintenance, the City of Fort Collins will rely heavily on the Poudre River as a water source. A backup pump system is also in place for short-term, hours to days, solutions. Due to the water usage fighting the Cameron Peak Fire, it is expected that the City of Fort Collins may need to rely more heavily on the backup pump system.

Lawn watering is not the only water use banned in the order. Residential car washing is not allowed, and auto dealerships can only wash vehicles when sold. Community water use such as splash parks and water features will also be turned off for the months of October and November. 

Residents are asked to contact the City of Fort Collins directly to request an exception permit. 

This water ban happens when many residents are turning off their sprinklers anyway in preparation for the fall and winter months. View tips on preparing your lawn for fall. It's unclear if nearby towns such Loveland and Windsor will follow suit and issue their own water restriction order.

When do you turn off your sprinklers for the fall and winter months? Share ideas in the comments below.