Gustine City residents will now have to reduce their outdoor watering to just two days every week. This follows conservation measures which were adopted by the city council last week.
The mandatory measures will now replace the city’s voluntary program while also ensuring that it reflects the program that has already been enacted by the California Water Resources Control Board in response to the biting drought that has hit hard most parts of California.
“These are mandatory state requirements which we must follow, failure to could make the city surcharged,” said Mayor Pro tem Joe Oliveira. We are doing whatever it takes to save water while we still have it.”
Under the rules prescribed, people who have odd numbered residential addresses will be allowed to water their landscapes on Tuesdays and Saturdays while people, whose residences are even numbered can, do so on Wednesdays and Sundays.
This is indeed the easiest way for us to monitor water usage while also ensuring that people continue to water their landscapes while also cutting down on their overall water usage, commented Kathryn Reyes, who is the public works director.
“We cannot allow everyone to water on everyday basis and still manage to fit within our regulations”.
The rules also require that people should use shut off nozzles when washing their vehicles. This helps to reduce the amount of excessive run off on walkways and also in driveways.
The regulations also ban the use of portable water in decorative fountains unless when there is a recirculating system.
“There will be no restrictions about day time watering provided that it is within the days that have been stipulated for,” said a city official”
Gustine’s new water regulations have established fines which can amount to $500 daily for violations. However, some city officials and residents have termed it excessive.
But according to police chief, Doug Dunford, more emphasis must be placed on education. He said that they aren’t out to arrest people for every little mistake which they make, said the police chief.
However, residents who violate these regulations will be provided with written warnings before fines are levied, the officials emphasized.
Fines will start at $50 for first citation, $100 for second and $200 for the third one.
Greg Greeson, the city manage said that the city will also put in place the right measures to educate the public about the ordinance before the adoption of these regulations. Enforcement will only commence after the public have been educated about the new mandate.
“City employees will get the necessary training on matters of enforcement,” said Greeson.
He further added that any complaint reported by people about water wastage in the city will be investigated.
“Residents who receive citations will be free to appeal with the planning commission or before the city manager,” said Joshua Nelson, who is the city lawyer.
The city staff felt that because the city commission doesn’t meet on regular basis, there was need to come up with a way of expediting appeals which may come up.