An emergency change was made to the Restricted Water Use during Peak Periods Ordinance, the action coming in late September. This change is in response to the State of California’s declaration of a drought emergency, city officials said, and the need to meet a 32 percent reduction in water usage.
“The city has not been able to achieve the 32 percent reduction mandated by the state,” stated Public Works Superintendent Michael Riddell. “We had a 20 percent reduction in July, it was 21 percent in August and it increased by 17 percent over the same month in 2013.
“To this point you can see we have not reduced our water use to the mandated levels.”
Because the city has been unable to achieve the 32 percent reduction to date, the following changes were approved in the water use ordinance:
1) No outdoor water use will be allowed between 9 a.m. and 9 p.m.
2) Dwellings or establishments with odd-numbered street addresses shall water only on Mondays and Fridays.
3) Dwellings or establishments with even-numbered street addresses shall water only on Tuesdays and Saturdays.
4) No outdoor watering on Sundays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays shall be allowed.
“The water conservation coordinator has been working within the city since June 2015,” said Riddell. “We have issued 700 warnings or violation notices to the residents to date.”
To help residents and businesses, the city also put out a newsletter which included the following tips for water conservation:
Don’t use the toilet as a wastebasket;
Check your sprinkler system frequently and adjust settings so only your lawn is watered and not the sidewalk or street;
Use a broom instead of a hose to clean patios, sidewalks and driveways;
Adjust your lawn mower to the height of 1.5 to 2 inches. Taller grass shades roots and holds moisture better;
Aerate your lawn periodically. Holes every six inches will allow water to reach the roots;
Use drip irrigation for shrubs and trees to apply water directly to the roots;
Don’t water your lawn on windy days when most of the water blows away;
Wash your car on the lawn using a positive shut off nozzle;
When washing dishes by hand, don’t let the water run. Fill one basin with wash water and the other with rinse water;
Soak pots and pans instead of letting the water run while you scrape them clean;
Wash your fruits and vegetables in a pan of water instead of running water from the tap. Water house plants with the water that’s left;
Select the proper pan size for cooking. Larger pans may require more water than necessary;
Shorten your showers;
Monitor your water bill; and
Be a leak detective. Check all hoses, connectors and faucets regularly for leaks.
For city residents found to be in violation of the new, more restrictive regulations, the first offense will be a warning, the second a $20 fine, third $50, fourth $100, and the fifth incident and beyond will be a $200 fine.
“The restrictions will stay in place until February 2016 or until the state ends the mandate,” added Riddell.