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Yard-watering restrictions in effect throughout SCV

Posted: August 15, 2014 7:18 p.m.
Updated: August 15, 2014 7:18 p.m.
 

A month after a state water control agency imposed curbs on residential water use, all of the Santa Clarita Valley’s water providers now have adopted mandatory restrictions limiting when residents can water their lawns.

In separate actions taken this week, boards of directors for the Santa Clarita Valley Water Division, Valencia Water Co. and Newhall County Water District, as well as the Los Angeles County Waterworks District that serves Via Verde, all adopted the same mandatory restrictions on watering yards.

Between now and October, residents with odd-numbered addresses can water lawns on Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Residents with even-numbered addresses can water on Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday.

During the cooler-weather months — November through March — residents will be able to water their yards just two days a week. They will be Monday and Thursday for odd-numbered addresses and Tuesday and Friday for even-numbered addresses.

The restrictions take effect immediately.

At its meeting Friday, Valencia Water Co.’s board became the last local water agency to approve the schedule for its 31,000 customers, meaning that every water retailer in the SCV now has yard-watering rules.

It marks the first time that a mandatory schedule for yard watering has been imposed valleywide.

The schedule is part of the Water Action Plan approved Tuesday by the Santa Clarita Valley Water Committee, an umbrella group of the SCV’s water purveyors.

“All of the local water purveyors now are on the same page,” said Keith Abercrombie, Valencia Water Co.’s general manager.

Local water boards, however, have approved differing exemptions for their customers. For instance, directors of the Newhall County Water District approved three exemptions at their meeting Thursday.

Along with exempting residents who use potable water for “trees and gardens grown for personal food consumption,” Newhall’s irrigation rules also exclude from the yard-watering schedule people who hand-water their yards.

Board members also put a limit of $5,000 on fines for violators, and added a time limit to their regulations, which now will expire in May 2015.

Most of the local water retailers also provided an exemption for those who can prove they’ve reduced their water consumption by 20 percent this year compared to last. Exemptions also are made for resident who recently installed new lawns or vegetation.

Residents need to apply for the exemptions directly to their water company.

The schedule for yard watering goes hand in hand with state regulations handed down July 15 by the California Water Resources Control Board. They are:

— Watering landscapes to the point that it causes runoff to adjacent property, sidewalks, streets and other areas.

— Using drinking water to wash sidewalks and driveways.

— Using a hose to wash a vehicle unless the hose has a shut-off nozzle.

— Using drinking water in an ornamental fountain unless the water is recirculated.

State conservation measures come with fines up to $500 a day for repeat offenders.

The California Water Resources Control Board charged local water agencies with enforcing the new regulations. Abercrombie said SCV water agencies are also on the same page when it comes to enforcement.

Rather than hiring people to patrol neighborhoods for water-wasters, local water officials hope customers will police themselves and report instances of violations.

“No one wants to be in that position,” Abercrombie said, of having to hire “water cops” to enforce the regulations.

“None of us are staffed to have people waking around and checking,” Abercrombie said. “When people report seeing something broken, like a broken sprinkler head, that’s helpful.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

hector@signalscv.com

 

 

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