Irrigation Odd-Even Watering Schedule

The Town of Clayton purchases water from Johnston County and our residents who have irrigation systems must follow Johnston County’s lawn watering schedule in order to help make our community a more sustainable place to live. These watering requirements are consistent with irrigation schedules in most of our neighboring communities.

Landscape irrigation makes up a large portion of our consumption, particularly during the warmer months of the year. In fact, irrigation during summer months can increase demand on the treatment plants between 20% - 40%. By improving the efficiency of our irrigation practices, we can reduce consumption, save money, and preserve this precious resource.


The mandatory outdoor irrigation schedule applies to all spray irrigation systems and allows customers to irrigate according to the following schedule:

  • Odd-numbered addresses may water once on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays
  • Even-numbered addresses may water once on Sundays, Wednesdays, and Fridays
  • No customers are permitted to water on Mondays

Watering Schedule

For additional information please review the Town of Clayton's Water Conservation Ordinances.

Operations and Maintenance

Whether installing a new irrigation system or retrofitting an old one, there are many options to improve water efficiency:

  • Most importantly, the person(s) responsible for the irrigation system should have proper training in system installation, maintenance, and management.
  • It is important to consider the irrigation schedule, which dictates the amount and timing of the water applied. Water changes with the seasons, as should your irrigation schedule.
  • Many landscapes are watered at the same level all year, adding unnecessary water for months at a time.
  • Over watering can cause more damage to plant materials than under watering and can damage streets, curbs, other paving, and building foundations.
  • Change your schedule based on changing weather conditions and as part of periodic maintenance. Require your maintenance vendor or auditor, or both, to deliver options for automating schedule changes based on changing weather conditions.
  • Generally, it is better to water deeply and less frequently than to water lightly and often. A deep, less frequent schedule encourages deep roots and healthy plants. Set your irrigation schedule to take this into consideration.
  • Certain soil types or steep slopes may increase the chance of surface runoff. For these landscape types, irrigation events may need to be divided into multiple applications (commonly known as a cycle and soak schedule)
  • To reduce evaporation, set your schedule for early morning when wind is less likely, and the temperature is cooler.
  • In addition to a full system audit every three years, periodically monitor the irrigation system for misaligned or broken heads throughout the irrigation season. Ask vendors to produce and implement a program that makes sure certain sprinkler components are placed and adjusted so they will water the cultivated plants and not the pavement.

Watering Efficiency

Water efficiency must be considered from the initial irrigation system design phase through installation to ensure optimal performance. Consistent management and maintenance are also essential. Failure to do so can result in significant losses in system efficiency from poor management, improper system design, installation, or maintenance. Below are a few helpful tips:

  1. Replace a timer-based irrigation controller with an advanced control system that waters plants only when needed based on weather or soil conditions. Many available technologies use weather or soil moisture information to schedule irrigation according to plant needs. A few options to discuss with your service provider, auditor, consultant, or designer include weather-based irrigation control system, soil-moisture-based irrigation control system, and micro-irrigation or drip irrigation (Landscape beds).
  2. Install sensors that provide real-time data to adjust irrigation scheduling based on conditions.
  3. Require a full audit of your irrigation system every three years by a qualified auditor, such as a WaterSense Irrigation Partner, that meets the Irrigation Association’s Certified Landscape Irrigation Audit Program requirements or equivalent.