The City of La Palma is on a Stage Two Water Alert and will be enforcing the State Emergency regulations. The action was approved at the council’s recent meeting.
There are new restrictions as to when residents can water their yards, wash their cars, and fines will be levied if residents do not comply with the rules. Following Governor Jerry Brown’s mandate to reduce water usage 25% from 2013 levels, the Metropolitan Water District activated allocation plan level three, which calls for a 15% reduction of imported water.
Based on water usage in 2013, the residential per capita use was 88 gallons a day. The proposed reduction requires each resident to reduce their water use by 22% or 66 gallons a day. According to city records, a single family residence with an average household of 3.06 people uses between 225 to 255 gallons a day.
Among the new regulations residents will be required to cover their pools when not in use. Covering pools will save 110 gallons a day. Residents are limited to two days a week for outdoor watering, which will be allowed from 6 p.m. to 9 a.m. the following morning.
Residents who fail to follow the restrictions can be fined up to $500 for the fourth violation and after the fifth have their water shut off. To restore service, a resident will need to pay the penalties and the usual charges associated with renewing service.
The city’s objective is to conserve water and educate residents on the importance of conserving water and the resources available to reduce usage. The city has launched a public awareness campaign including water bill inserts, direct mail, and other efforts.
Council members expressed concern how the city will enforce the new rules especially the requirement that residents purchase covers for their pools and the limitation to outdoor watering to two days. While the council approved the action, city staff were instructed to bring back the ordinance for review and possible changes at their next council meeting on June 1.
Specifically, the council members want to ensure that there are adequate measures in place to effectively enforce the regulations and explore the possibility of providing some type of incentive to offset the costs of purchasing pool covers. At this time there are no rebates in place that offer this type of assistance.
The city attorney stated that if the ordinance was to be changed, it would require two readings (one at each council meeting) and if passed would not be effective until 30 days. The council cautioned that due to the severity of the drought and if reduction goals are not met, it may be necessary to declare a third stage water alert, which would carry more stringent measures.
If you would like more information on how you can conserve water and rebates, please visit www.bewaterwise.com or contact the Community Services Water Division at (714) 690-3310.
Outdoor watering of landscape is restricted to 2 days per week according to the following schedule:
• Even numbered houses and businesses (address ending in even numbers) may water on TUESDAYS and SATURDAYS.
• Odd numbered houses and businesses (address ending in odd numbers) may water on WEDNESDAYS and SUNDAYS.
• City owned facilities, parks, and medians will be watered on Mondays and Fridays.
• All landscape watering must be completed, overnight between 6 PM to 9 AM the following day.
• All landscape watering is limited to no more than 15 minutes per day, per station.
Washing of vehicles and fill or refilling of swimming pools, spas or ponds shall be on designated water days (per above) between the hours of 6:00 p.m. and 9:00 a.m. the following morning. Water hoses must be equipped with an automatic shut off device.
All swimming pools and spas, when not in use, shall be covered with an appropriate cover designed to minimize evaporation losses in order to be entitled to fill or refill under this article.
All leaks, breaks, or other malfunctions shall be repaired promptly upon discovery or within two days of notification.
Additional permanent restrictions include:
•No washing down of hard surfaces, like driveways and sidewalks.
•Watering which causes excessive runoff into the street is prohibited.
•Use of potable water in fountains or other decorative water features is prohibited unless the water is recirculated.