Mar 27 2015

New Mandatory Water Use Restrictions Became Effective March 27

New water use limits on lawns, hotels and restaurants became law March 27, 2015. – 

The California State Water Resources Control Board announced continuation of 2014 water use restrictions and added new regulations on March 17, which following 10 days review by the State Office of Administrative Law became effective March 27. One new restriction will prove problematic for Piedmonters who set their watering system to water two days per week, as watering is prohibited when there is a very brief shower of a small fraction of an inch of precipitation.  Watering can resume after 48 hours have elapsed from the time of the precipitation.

New restrictions affecting urban and suburban homeowners:

– Prohibit outdoor landscape watering within 48 hours of measurable precipitation.

– Require cities, counties, water districts and private companies to limit lawn watering to two days a week if they aren’t already limiting lawn and landscape watering to a certain number of days a week. The rule applies to the 411 water providers with more than 3,000 customers in California, which covers more than 95 percent of the state’s population.

Read the complete announcement.

The Water Resources Control Board focused on landscaping and outdoor cleaning in urban and suburban communities, estimating that outdoor irrigation makes up 44 percent of water use in metropolitan areas. However, if water providers are currently limiting the number of watering days in the week, up to even three, four, five or six days, those rules may remain in effect, without further restrictions. In other words, those water providers that have imposed the most generous water use limitations are rewarded with the greatest flexibility. The rule applies to all of the 411 water providers with more than 3,000 customers in California. (Water providers with fewer than 3,000 customers are not subject to the water conservation requirements.)

The East Bay Municipal Utility District (EBMUD) already limits lawn watering to two days a week by its customers in Alameda County, including Piedmont, and Contra Costa County with the strictest watering limits in the Bay Area. In contrast, the San Jose Water Company, which provides water to one million residents, limits outdoor watering to three 0r four days per week, (on odd or even dates, by street address). San Francisco, Sunnyvale, Santa Clara and people served by San Jose’s city water department do not have day-of-the-week restrictions.

Reaffirmed – 2014 State Water Resources Control Board restrictions on urban and suburban communities prohibition of:

  • Run-off from landscape watering onto adjacent property, sidewalks or streets.
  • Washing sidewalks and driveways with drinking water. (Recycled water is permitted.)
  • 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.

Power-washing of sidewalks, streets and buildings is still exempted.

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