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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; an urban supplier. The conservation savings for all urban water suppliers are allocated across nine tiers. Duarte is part of Tier 7 requiring a conservation level of 28%.

These statewide regulations take effect June 1st. 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, & prominently display notice of this option
Cities have to stop watering medians
State will partner with local water agencies to remove 50 million square feet of grass and replace it with drought-tolerant landscaping
Creation of a temporary rebate program to encourage homeowners to replace appliances with high-efficiency ones
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
- Outdoor irrigation is limited to three days per week. Specifically, odd addresses may water Tuesday, Friday, and Sunday and even addresses may water Monday, Thursday, and Saturday.
- Commercial car washes must use recycled water
- Leaks must be corrected within 72 hours
- No excessive water use for dust control or earth compaction

Enforcement

Enforcement of the new State Water Board regulations will be handled by California American Water Company effective July 14, 2015. The overall intent of the California American’s enforcement program into gains 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 on 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 the 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.