Water Conservation

Precious water resources are crucial assets. Cottage Grove residents are fortunate to have excellent water sources and we must work together to protect them. Many people don't realize the connection between conservation and fire protection. Conserving water helps ensure there will be sufficient water reserves in the reservoirs in case of a fire emergency.


Cottage Grove's water is drawn from two groundwater sources. They are the Jordan aquifer and the Prairie Du Chien-Jordan aquifer, a huge underground reservoir that many cities throughout the Midwest use for their water supply. The water is drawn by 12 wells ranging in depth from 284 to 427 feet. Studies have shown that the groundwater supplies of Washington County are distinct and, for the most part, are entirely contained within the county.

What Does This Mean for You?

It means when pollution occurs in your community and the surrounding area, it can impact your water supply. Groundwater supplies like ours are interconnected to surface water through the hydrologic cycle, as depicted to the right.

As water travels over the surface of the land or through the ground, it dissolves naturally-occurring minerals, in some cases radioactive material, and can pick up substances resulting from the presence of animals or human activity. In order to ensure that tap water is safe to drink, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) prescribes regulations which limit the amount of certain contaminants in water provided by public water systems. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulations establish limits for contaminants in bottled water which must provide the same protections for public health.

Help protect our water resources and your own drinking water supply. Don't pollute our surface water sources with yard and household waste and other items that are harmful to the environment. The Public Works Department of Cottage Grove is ready to help you with this effort. We provide waste oil drop-off and can answer other questions you may have about disposing of harmful household wastes.

How Can I Conserve Water?

At times, it may seem that Minnesota has a nearly unlimited supply of water. The truth is, however, that groundwater resources are not immune to over-depletion. It is imperative that we preserve and protect them. Use water efficiently, both inside and outside the home. Be aware of the volume of water you are using during routine tasks.

Watering Lawns & Gardens (City-Wide Sprinkling Rules)

  • The watering and sprinkling of lawns and/or gardens shall be permitted on even-numbered days for property with even-numbered addresses and on odd-numbered days for property with odd-numbered addresses. No property may be watered on the thirty-first day of any month. In addition, watering is only allowed before noon or after 4 pm each day, even on your day to water. Watering during the heat of the day wastes water.
  • The foregoing limitations shall apply only to property served by City water.
  • Violation of this subsection shall constitute a petty misdemeanor. (Ordinance 603, September 21, 1994)

Sod Watering Permit

If you have new sod or a new lawn and would like to water more frequently please call Cottage Grove Public Works at 651-458-2808.

Water Required for Household Activities

ActivityGallons of Water
Dishwashing by Hand
10 Gallons
Dishwashing using dishwasher
12 Gallons
Flushing Toilet3 Gallons
Lawn Watering for One Hour
300 Gallons
5 Gallons Per Minute
Tub Bath
35 Gallons
Washing Clothes (Small Load)
19 Gallons
Washing Clothes (Large Load)
45 Gallons