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Water Conservation in Duarte

How do the new Statewide water conservation regulations affect Duarte residents?

Water in Duarte is supplied by California American Water Company’s Los Angeles Service District; a regulated water utility.

These statewide regulations took effect on June 1, 2016. The new prohibitions apply to all Californians and include:

-No watering lawns or landscapes with potable water 48-hours following rain.

-No washing down sidewalks and driveways

-No irrigation overspray onto sidewalks and driveways

-No washing a vehicle with a hose that DOES NOT contain a positive pressure shut-off nozzle

-No use of fountains and decorative water features that DO NOT recirculate water 

-Water agencies will be required to notify customers when they are aware of leaks that are within the customer's control

-Restaurants and other food service establishments can only serve water to customers on request   

-Operators of hotels and motels must provide guests with the option of choosing not to have towels or linens laundered daily and prominently display notice of this option

-Cities have to stop watering medians

-Golf courses, campuses and cemeteries must cut their water use

-New developments will have to install drip or microspray systems if they irrigate with drinking water

Water agencies will discourage water waste with higher rates and fees.  To avoid evaporation, please water outdoors before 9:00 a.m. or after 5:00 p.m.

-Fire hydrant water can only be used for fire suppression

-Commercial car washes must use recycled water

-Leaks must be corrected within 72 hours

-No excessive water use for dust control or earth compaction

Winter Watering Schedule

On November 1, 2016 California American Water implemented a winter watering schedule in its Los Angeles County District. Watering between November 2016 and March 2017 will be limited to two days a week.

As the colder season approaches, California American Water is encouraging their customers to cut down or eliminate outdoor irrigation this winter. Customers turned their clocks back November 6th which is also a great time to remember to adjust their irrigation system to avoid water waste and make conservation a way of life.

Using the watering schedule below, customer may select TWO DAYS PER WEEK to run their irrigation systems.

Odd-numbered addresses      Even-numbered addresses 

Tuesday, Friday or Sunday         Monday, Thursday or Saturday 

No watering on Wednesday. Watering is limited to two days a week. 

-To avoid evaporation, please water outdoors before 9:00 a.m. or after 5:00 p.m.

-Watering is limited to a total of 15 minutes per station per allowed day 

-Low-flow irrigation systems (including drip irrigation and micro spray) that emits less than two gallons per hour are exempt from day of week and time limitations. 

Conservation Resources

California American Water encourages all consumers to voluntarily end non-essential or unauthorized uses of water. Los Angeles customers are encouraged to call the Conservation Hotline for more information about our free programs and services and to report water waste.  Los Angeles County Conservation Hotline: (626) 614-2536. 

Enforcement 

Enforcement of the State Water Board regulations will be handled by California American Water. The overall intent of the California American's Water enforcement program is to gain voluntary compliance. Since gaining approval for the program from the CPUC on June 9, 2015, the Utility has notified its customers with a summary of the new provisions via direct mail, email, information of the company website and direct phone calls.

There maybe some cases however where a property owner does not voluntarily comply. This is a summary of how those cases will be handled:

  • Enforcement is complaint driven or based on field observations by City or Cal American staff.  Residents will be   directed to contact California American Water with these observations.
  • First time violators will receive a written warning.
  • Second offense of same restriction within 1 year will result in another written warning and a $100 penalty.
  • Third offense of the same restriction within 1 year will result in another written warning and a fine of $250.
  • Fourth offense within 1 year of the same restriction will result in another written warning and a $500 fine
  • Fifth offense within 1 year of the same restriction will result in another written warning, service termination and a $500 fine.
  • Sixth offense within 1 year of the same restriction will result in the installation of a flow restricting device on the customer’s water meter for a the duration of the Water Contingency Plan.

Additional offenses for separate water use restrictions will start at the beginning step. Violation fines are in addition to the customer’s regular water bill. All enforcement related monies generated by Cal American during this period must be held in a separate account as directed by the CPUC.

Private Property Landscaping

The City of Duarte through its Code Compliance Division enforces City laws relating to maintenance of landscaping throughout the City.  However, in light of the ongoing drought and the City’s initiation of significant water conservation measures in order to meet its 28% reduction goal, landscape enforcement must be looked at in a corresponding light.  As previously discussed, under Stage 2 measures, landscape irrigation will be limited to two days per week.  Depending on weather, this amount of watering may not be enough to maintain many types of live landscaping, particularly lawns.

Under existing Municipal Codes, dried or dead landscaping including brown lawns are considered a public nuisance and could be pursued as a violation upon a complaint being filed with the City’s Code Compliance Division.  As deteriorating landscape conditions become more of a common occurrence under the water conservation measures, staff believes a stay on enforcement of certain landscape related violations should be implemented.

Based on staff’s evaluation, regarding the impacts that the proposed water conservation measures will have on existing landscape, the following enforcement practices will be followed during the water shortage:

Code Compliance will discontinue enforcement for the following:

  • Dead or brown vegetation that is otherwise well maintained, even if shown on an approved landscape plan;

Code Compliance will continue regular enforcement of the following:

  • Dead, overgrown or neglected landscape that creates a public safety hazard (excessive weeds, excessive dead/unmaintained plantings, etc.)
  • Landscaping installed as part of an approved landscape plan that is needed to support stability of a manufactured slope area.

At such time, the enhanced Statewide Water Conservation measures are lessened or eliminated, Code Compliance staff will resume enforcement of the regulations as originally adopted and intended in the Municipal Code.

Further information about mandatory conservation measures and conservation rebates, services and devices may be obtained from California American Water by visiting their office at 8657 Grand Avenue, Rosemead, CA 91770; or by visiting their website at www.californiaamwater.com or calling the local conservation hotline at (626) 614-2536.