City ordinances in San Antonio regulate use of water, especially in hotter months where drought is more likely, but any San Antonio lawyer versed in the ordinances will support that the small backyard water features beloved by San Antonio residents and described in My San Antonio Online are perfectly legal. Fountains, waterfalls and ponds are appealing to many of the city dwellers who insist that the water features add a “soft element in the environment,” and testify that listening to moving water is an aesthetic and calming sound.
Many city officials and other interested parties have asked the average resident and San Antonio lawyer just how much? How much does it cost to implement a water feature, and what are the fines for water usage? Residents report that prices for the actual backyard fountain vary widely, from about $2,000 up to even $75,000. Some ponds in the Hill Country are reported to be as large as two acres. And the water usage? One resident cites that her San Antonio lawyer has looked into it, and because her systems are self-managing and don’t tax the water supply, they don’t incur water usage restriction fines. Water features can recycle water, and homeowners can capture rainwater or condensate from air-conditioning systems to replenish what the fountains use, thus avoiding any fines imposed during drought conditions, cites a San Antonio lawyer, who also points out that water features use less water than the same square footage of that of the surface area of an irrigated lawn.
Water feature maintenance does require some attention, including knowing which chemicals to use, how to control algae growth, and when to empty sludge that develops, but owners vouch that maintenance is still less than that of a grass lawn. And although water features have been banned in the past, one resident’s San Antonio lawyer can cite the statement by the San Antonio Water Systems communication manager: “We recently changed the city drought ordinance so small residential fountains are no longer prohibited.” Owners should still be careful and follow the cautionary advice of a San Antonio lawyer who reminds us that even using rainwater and gutter runoff to replenish water feature use, while resourceful, must avoid creating mosquito-friendly environments, according to other city ordinances.
Real estate agents differ in opinion as to whether water features add to or detract from the value of the house, with fifty percent of water features being abandoned in the first four years, creating a dilapidated look to a home. And cash-strapped buyers could see water features as extra work or cost in the way of maintenance services. Other agents insist that a water feature can add to a property listing beyond its effect on atmosphere and sale prices. So while it’s been verified by San Antonio residents and city ordinances examined by a San Antonio lawyer as a legal endeavor with aesthetic value, it may be worth considering whether individual homeowners will be able to receive their return on investment, both for themselves and in the sale of their homes in the future.