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UPDATE: Santa Clarita to residents: Be our water police

Posted: August 18, 2014 4:38 p.m.
Updated: August 18, 2014 4:38 p.m.

The city of Santa Clarita is inviting residents to become its water police: to report when and where they spot broken city-owned sprinkler heads geysering water or other city watering systems wasting the precious liquid.

“The city is vigilant about conservation and is doing its best to monitor and reduce our water use wherever possible,” Santa Clarita Mayor Laurene Weste said in a prepared statement released Monday.

“Residents also play an important role in the city’s conservation efforts by reporting concerns when they see them. The sooner we know about potential issues, the faster we can investigate and make necessary repairs.”

Santa Clarita’s track record for fixing broken watering equipment has been within an hour of receiving a complaint, said spokeswoman Gail Morgan. City officials hope to keep up that record with this call for residents to be on the lookout for wayward sprinklers, she said.

No small task; Santa Clarita has about 27,000 sprinkler heads and 9,000 irrigation valves to maintain, Morgan said.

The offer applies only to city-maintained landscaping, medians and parks. Residents who want to report violations on county land, school campuses, private businesses or federal facilities should register their complaints with those agencies.

Potential water police can make their reports in two different ways: They can download the Santa Clarita eService application on their iPhones or Androids, snap a photo of the offending sprinkler, upload it to the system, and report concerns for review.

The mobile application also allows residents to report graffiti, abandoned vehicles, transit issues, street repairs and traffic lights that are out. The eService app is available on the city’s website,

An after-hours Landscape Maintenance District hotline at 661-286-4050 is also available for non-emergency calls about sprinkler issues in medians and public spaces.

The three-year drought prompted the state Water Resources Control Board to issue restrictions on water use July 15. Those restrictions carry potential fines.

They include watering to the extent that water runs off a yard; using water to wash down driveways and sidewalks; and using a hose without a shut-off nozzle to wash a car.

Last week the Santa Clarita Valley’s water retailers imposed restrictions on the days when residents can water their yards, limiting them to three days a week during warm months and two days a week during cooler months.




kimlistening: Posted: August 18, 2014 3:50 p.m.

First, how do we know what over watering is for the city? Where are their guidelines and rules? Oh, and also what is their fine? Are they even or odd?

I'm for conservation, but don't make rules for the homeowner, but not the city. Also, DONT make us tell on each other. Why would anyone suggest such a thing. Where is the common sense and planning in all of this?

bobforte: Posted: August 18, 2014 4:57 p.m.

Kim, the service is not to report homeowners. It is for public spaces such as the medians or the slopes of many of these communities.

kimlistening: Posted: August 18, 2014 5:18 p.m.

Yes, Bob thanks I know this. I,m just saying, why can homeowners get fined and the city cannot?

I just added my own personal comments regarding my view of the call in previous articles for us to report each other. I'm sure you have read about that?

I am glad however that someone is listening to our comments.

My username is K I'm listening.

cj64: Posted: August 18, 2014 5:43 p.m.

The city or any big business will NEVER GET FINED for using water whenever they want. The stupid government workers of the water companies realize they can STICK IT TO THE TAXPAYERS with their stupid watering plan.

cj64: Posted: August 18, 2014 5:45 p.m.

The water companies should increase the penalty for washing your car to a felony. Mandatory 2-5 year prison term.

OldReliable: Posted: August 18, 2014 6:47 p.m.

cj64, LOL !

ohhyaa: Posted: August 18, 2014 8:14 p.m.

Annual Property Tax Statements show the Landscape District # 1-866-807-6864. It proceeds the amount paid in taxes for the maintenance and WATERING of hillsides. Over the past 20 + years I have had many occasions to call; downed trees, neglect of maintenance and several times for broken sprinkler heads or poorly placed heads. Although I have always been fairly satisfied with the response time, I can promise you the 1 hour time indicated in this article is bogus. I've also used the online eservice, through the city website and thought the response time was fine, but not 1 hour.

I would caution Gail Morgan on making claims that probably aren't so. Lots of eyes on the city right now.

MariaGF: Posted: August 18, 2014 10:52 p.m.

The City can be fined, as can any other water customer, including HOAs and businesses. This is not only about homeowners. The State has assigned responsibility for this mandate and for enforcement and penalties to the water retail agencies serving the customer. So, for enforcement (which will include followups and education least for my agency) - contact the agency serving the area where you see the problem...Newhall Water, Santa Clarita Water, District 36, or Valencia Water. I'm sorry I can't see a map online right now but...whatever district serves the homes in the area also serves the non-residential accounts. Call them or email them with address, time of day, details, and pictures, if possible. Agencies will verify it and follow up. The water agencies will be getting customers more information ASAP. (not official agency communication but I am on the board of NCWD.)

lars1: Posted: August 18, 2014 11:32 p.m.

MariaGF, The stupid regulations that the water companies put out,

From the other story in the Signal:
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.
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..

Since the ruling applies to resident's only, most people think this is just another government agency sticking it to the citizens. It will be ignored.

ricketzz: Posted: August 19, 2014 9:17 a.m.

Except in the Newhall CWD area where hand watering is allowed 7 days a week if you made your -20% YOY goal. We have bar graphs and small unit numbers.

I harvested 100 gallons the last time it rained. Just finished pumping it into the Bermuda out back. Established trees don't need watering and are more likely to fail with shallow watering.

chefgirl358: Posted: August 19, 2014 10:50 a.m.

I received my $70 water bill yesterday from Valencia Water Company. There wasn't ONE single word in there, no flier, pamphlet, NOTHING, about the alleged rules of water conservation. Water here is cheap, and it should be because it's total crap. It's the worst water I've ever seen with the mineral deposits and god only knows how contaminated some of it actually is. I will continue to water when and what I choose inside my house and out because we receive water, because we pay for it. It's not an allottment based system, it's a pay for a goods and services system, and I pay for it. If they want me to use less water, they should charge 3 times as much or create an allotment. And until the city stops approving large scale building projects for 20,000 homes, plus Fort Tejon, etc., and adding water features and medians replete with trees and sprinklers, I will do whatever I please.

Bottom line is, residential water use accounts for LESS than 20% of ALL water usage, nothing we do is really going to make a darn bit of difference. Agricultural use is the vast majority, and if you want residential usage to go down...STOP BUILDING HOMES!!! We have too many people! There are not infinite resources. We grow more food because we need to feed more people and on and on and on. Stop trying to grow our cities and state.

SReilly12: Posted: August 20, 2014 12:05 a.m.

Is this a paid position? I say flood them with reports of all the over watering the city is doing!

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