Required Annual Irrigation Checkups Can Contribute to Water Savings

In an effort to maximize year-round water conservation efforts, the San Antonio City Council passed a water conservation ordinance addressing a variety of water conservation opportunities.

One of the provisions included in the ordinance requires that properties 5 acres or larger and properties defined as Large Use (properties that used over 1 million gallons of water for irrigation in the prior calendar year) with in-ground irrigation systems submit an annual irrigation checkup to the San Antonio Water System Conservation department by May 1 each year.

Annual backflow testing is a separate requirement from the Annual Irrigation Checkup.  For information on backflow testing and compliance, please contact the SAWS backflow department:

Sign Up for Webinar

Register for one of the following webinars in March.  We will review the compliance process step-by-step and the new updates to the process this year, which we will cover in detail. We will also answer any questions from the audience as we go through the process, so take this opportunity to ensure you know the steps!

Complete your checkup

  1. Inspect and repair your irrigation system. A TCEQ licensed irrigator is required to inspect the system and submit the online report if the property had irrigation consumption over one million gallons in the previous calendar year.
  2. Irrigator must complete the Irrigation System Analysis (ISA) forms for all irrigation systems and controllers on the property.
  3. Your irrigator must submit the online Annual Irrigation Checkup report by May 1. Irrigation System Analysis (ISA) forms must be uploaded for meters with 4 or more controllers. Failure to comply charges apply after the deadline.

Updates to the online Annual Irrigation Checkup report

Review “How to Submit an online Annual Irrigation Checkup” to learn what information your irrigator will need include in your report.

Find the answers to frequently asked questions, an example ISA form and more resources below.


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Submit Annual Irrigation Checkup by May 1 Annually

1) Failure to Comply Charges

  • Beginning in 2016, failure to comply with the annual irrigation checkup requirement by May 1 will result in the assessment of the following additional charges on the account associated with the irrigation system:
  • (a) Annual enforcement fee in the amount of $155 (new fee amount effective January 1, 2024). This fee shall be assessed on an annual basis until the requirements of the checkup have been met.
  • (b) Additional volumetric rate of $.8463 per 1,000 gallons (new rate effective January 1, 2024) on all irrigation consumption on a monthly basis beginning after the May 1 deadline. This additional rate shall continue to be assessed until the requirements of the checkup have been met.

These charges will be assessed on all accounts associated with the irrigation system. Any accounts associated with irrigation not documented on the submittal of the Online Irrigation Checkup Form will be assessed the additional charges.

3) Approved Compliance Actions for Critical Maintenance Issues

  • All critical maintenance issues identified during the checkup inspection must be addressed by one of the following approved compliance actions for the property to meet compliance (Turning off an individual zone(s) or entire system is not an approved compliance action).
    • (a) Repairs Made
    • (b) Individual Zone(s) Permanently Disabled
    • (c) Entire System Permanently Disabled

Note: SAWS Conservation offers a rebate for the permanent disabling of individual zone(s) or the entire irrigation system. The irrigation system must be inspected prior to removal to qualify for the rebate.

2) Must Complete Irrigation System Analysis Forms

  • Properties  must submit copies of the Irrigation System Analysis Form before May 1 in addition to submittal of the Online Irrigation Checkup Form to complete the compliance process for meters with 4 or more controllers.
  • The Irrigation System Analysis form requires documentation of the irrigation schedule, identification and action taken for maintenance issues, and calculation of the peak season estimated monthly total consumption based on representative zone GPMs and total run times provided by the irrigator.
  • Compliance with the Annual Irrigation Checkup requires Acknowledgement that an Irrigation System Analysis Form was completed for every irrigation system and controller on the property.
  • The watering schedule provided on the Irrigation System Analysis Form should represent the 100% peak/maximum run times for the hottest driest conditions, not the current conditions.
  • The watering schedule provided on the Irrigation System Analysis Form must comply with the SAWS drought stage watering rules currently in effect at the time of completing the system checkup.

4) Annual Checkup Exemption

  • Properties must be verified to have a permanently disabled irrigation system to be cleared from the irrigation checkup requirement. A site inspection will be required to complete the compliance process. The deadline for compliance and avoiding the rate and fee will not be extended if the site inspection is not completed by May 1. You must allow at least three weeks to schedule your inspection with SAWS Conservation in order to avoid the failure to comply rate and fee.

Properties must submit the Online Irrigation Checkup Form to meet compliance with the annual irrigation checkup requirement.

Submit Inspections Online

Learn “How to Submit the online Annual Irrigation Checkup” before you submit your online report. See each step of the process and make sure you have all the required information before you click “Get Started” to submit your report.

You will need to enter your SAWS irrigation meter number and checkup key to begin the submission process for each property.

SAWS staff will review submitted reports and upon approval a confirmation email will be sent to the responsible party and licensed irrigator (if applicable) of compliance process completion.

You may be contacted if additional information is required.

For all inquiries regarding the SAWS Annual Irrigation Checkup program, and the submittal process for the Online Irrigation Checkup Form, please contact SAWS Conservation at 210-233-3443 or send an email to:

Get Started