U.S. Water News Online
PERRIS, Calif. — The reliability of water supplies in western Riverside County was enhanced recently, when Eastern Municipal Water District’s board of directors revised its water use efficiency ordinance.
The latest revisions incorporate the district’s water budget-based tiered rates structure as a method to enforce greater water efficiency and discourage water waste. Some of these requirements include repairing water leaks in a timely manner, and avoiding hosing down driveways and irrigating during daytime.
Ordinance 72.24 is effective March 1, 2009, when tiered rates also become effective. The ordinance also revised penalties against customers who allow water to run off their property and into streets. Single-family customers who allow water to run-off their property and into streets will receive two written notices before paying penalties. These penalties start at $25 with the third violation notice within a year, down from $100 currently.
Subsequent violations against the same customers would result in surcharges of $50 and $100, down from $200 and $300.
The reduced surcharge on single family residents is because of the new tiered-rate structure incorporates higher charges for excessive and wasteful practices by single-family residents.
Penalties of $100, $200 and $300 remain unchanged for water runoff by multi-family, commercial, institutional, industrial, agricultural, and landscape accounts. Under the new rate schedule, large landscaping accounts with more than 3,000 square feet of irrigation and dedicated landscape meters are required to adhere to their water allocations on a monthly basis, rather than an annual basis. In 2008, some large landscape accounts exceeded their water budgets and are subject to about $600,000 collectively for their excessive and wasteful irrigation practices.
It was also noted during board discussions that the elected officials of cities, park and school districts, and other large landscape accounts should be notified when invoices with excessive or wasteful tiers are sent out. Currently, only the customers on record receive the notices.
In the future, mandatory conservation measures may be necessary to comply with state or regional requirements.
As a reminder, information, services and other help is freely available for EMWD customers, the district said.
The water use efficiency ordinance was established in 1991 in response to several years of drought and Metropolitan Water District’s implementation of a service interruption and conservation plan.
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