West Kern Water District Board approves restrictions on watering lawns, washing cars
Starting Aug. 1, it will be a no-no to water your lawn during the daytime, hose off the driveway or sidewalk at any time day or night or wash your car, truck or trailer unless you use a bucket or a hose with an automatic shut-off nozzle.
Wasting water is out during the drought.
For people with lawns, garden and landscaping, there' a new catch phrase: “Brown is the new green.” The West Kern Water District Board went along with state guidelines and imposed mandatory water conservation measures Tuesday night, moving to level 2 of its Water Shortage Response Plan.
The new rules go into effect on August 1 and will remain in effect for 9 months.
It's a first for the district, and its going to exercise caution enforcing the mandate.
“We're moving into a world that I don't think we've ever been in,” District Manager Harry Starkey told the board.
Starkey said water service technicians will contact customers if they see a violation and the enforcement in the early stages will be “very customer focussed.”
He said before the meeting that commercial and residential use is down 10 percent already this year under voluntary water conservation and is confident customers will be in compliance.
“”There are no other citizens that can do it like those in these Westside cities.”
The new rules carry penalties. For a first offense, there will be a photographic and written warning of the waste of water and a warning will be issued.
Second offenses carry an “administrative fee” of $300 and a warning that subsequent violations carry heftier fees.
For a third offense, there is a $600 fee, plus a stern warning that further waste or misuse could carry a $600 fine and termination of water service. A fourth violation includes turning off the customers water, and restoring it only when there is “satisfactory evidence” that the waste will no longer occur.
The plan includes the following requirements:
• Hoses musty be equipped with a shutoff nozzle. Hosing down driveways, streets or parking lots, sidewalks or buildings unless necessary for public health or safety.
• Avoid excessive watering that runs off onto sidewalks, streets or gutters.
• No watering of residential or commercial landscape between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m.
• Motor vehicles, boats trailers and other equipment can only be done using a bucket, hose with an automatic shutoff nozzle, high-pressure, low-volume was system or commercial site that recirculates water onsite.
• Restaurants will only serve water on customer request.
• Guests at motels will be offered the option of not washing towels or linens that day.
• All pools, spas and ornamental fountains or ponds should be leak proof and recirculate water. Draining and refilling is allowed only for health, maintenance of structural reasons.
• Halt use of drinkable water for sewer system maintenance or fire protection training without prior approval of general manager.
• All leaks must be repaired within 24 hours.
• No new water service will be provided unless there is a valid building permit, the project is necessary for the public health and safety. That doesn't include restoring water service that has been interrupted.