The city of San Marcos began Stage 3 water restrictions at noon Aug. 20 because of continued declining water levels in the Edwards Aquifer, as measured by the San Antonio Index Well.

On Aug. 16, the well stood at 637.8 feet above mean sea level with a 10-day average of 639.3 feet, according to the city.

Stage 3 restrictions are triggered when the 10-day average at the well falls below 640 feet above mean sea level.

Tom Taggart, the city's director of public services, said weather predictions offer no chance for significant rainfall.

"We do understand the hardship this imposes on our customers and ask their help in relieving the pressure on our water resources, both surface and groundwater. We ask all our residents to share this burden," Taggart said in a statement.

In Stage 3, the ordinance allows:

Lawn sprinklers and sprinkler systems may be used only once every other week on a designated weekday between 6–10 a.m. and 8 p.m.–midnight.

Hand watering is allowed any day before 10 a.m. or after 8 p.m.

Soaker hoses and drip irrigation are allowed once a week on the designated weekday before 10 a.m. or after 8 p.m.

The schedule for use of sprinklers is:

Aug. 20–24: Sprinklers allowed one day per week.

Aug. 27–31: No sprinklers.

Sept. 3–7: Sprinklers allowed one day per week.

Sept. 10–14: No sprinklers.

Sprinklers are prohibited on Saturdays and Sundays during all stages of drought restrictions. Stage 3 restrictions also prohibit at-home car washing, filling swimming pools, using decorative water features and washing paved surfaces. Waste of water is prohibited at all times.

The city has been under drought restrictions almost continuously since April 2011, with a brief break this spring. This year, the city implemented Stage 1 restrictions April 23 and Stage 2 restrictions May 7.

The city's drought response plan is available at

For more information, residents may contact Conservation Coordinator Jan Klein at 393-8310. To report violations, residents may call the Water Conservation Hotline at 393-8360.