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Mandatory Water Restrictions for the City of Indianapolis

The restrictions ban lawn sprinklers and washing cars. Please see the announcement below for more details.


July 11, 2012

Citizens Requests Declaration of Water Shortage Warning – Mandatory Water Ban to be Implemented this Week

INDIANAPOLIS– Citizens Water today asked Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard to issue an executive order and declare a Water Shortage Warning in Marion County in order to implement mandatory water use restrictions, including a ban on lawn watering. These restrictions, to be implemented on Friday, July 13, 2012 under the Indianapolis Water Conservation Ordinance, apply to residents in all Marion County communities except Lawrence and Speedway, which operate their own water systems.

“Last Friday, Citizens asked customers to stop watering their lawns for one week, on a voluntary basis,” said Carey Lykins President and CEO of Citizens Water. “While we’ve seen positive results from that request, water usage still remains much higher than average and reservoir levels continue to drop. Mandatory water restrictions are now necessary to maintain proper water pressure and to ensure adequate water supplies for all Central Indiana customers throughout the summer.”

Customers should be aware during a water shortage warning, the following actions are unlawful under the Marion County Water Conservation Ordinance (Chapter 706).

  • Sprinkling, watering, or irrigating of grass;
  • Washing cars, trucks, trailers, and mobile homes except at commercial car washes (see exemptions below)
  • Washing  railroad cars or any other type of mobile equipment, except as required by applicable local, state, or federal law for health or safety reasons;
  • Using water to clean sidewalks, driveways, paved areas, structures, buildings, or other outdoor surfaces;
  • Filling empty swimming pools;
  • Installing new landscaping or new lawn by using sod until return to normal conditions are declared by the mayor;
  • Using hydrants except for fire suppression or as otherwise directed by Citizen’s Energy Group; and
  • Operating water fountains that are non-recycling.


  • Vegetable gardens and flowers may be watered by container or hand-held hose equipped with a shutoff nozzle. It is also permissible to water trees less than five years old.


The following water users and water uses shall be exempt from the prohibitions noted above:

  • Nurseries
  • Automatic commercial car washes
  • Manual commercial car washes
  • Golf courses
  • Parks
  • Customers with wells


  • Water Conservation Penalties are as follows:
  • First violation in twelve-month period  = $100
  • Second violation in twelve-month period = $250
  • Third violation in twelve-month period = not less than $500
  • Fourth violation in twelve-month period = up to $2500 per day per violation

“We realize that mandatory water use restrictions will create concern among some customers,” said Lykins. “The water use restrictions, however, are absolutely necessary for public safety and to maintain adequate water supply for our customers. Citizens thanks customers for their cooperation in protecting this valuable natural resource.”

Additional information is available online at www.CitizensEnergyGroup.com – Facebook – Twitter – YouTube

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