In order to tackle inefficient irrigation practices that result in wasted water, and help customers identify malfunctions in their irrigation systems, The Water Authority (WA) recently updated the Water Waste Reduction Ordinance and will be implementing it during the 2019 irrigation season.

The goal of the Ordinance is to eliminate water waste in our service area by providing education and incentives to our customers. Of course, this goal is much like the goal of eliminating all speeding cars from local roads, so the ordinance cannot ensure total elimination of water waste. Instead, water use compliance activities serve as an effective educational tool to change customer behavior by reducing water waste.

Over the course of the 20-year history of the Ordinance, the Water Authority has identified that 90% of water waste violations issued came as a result of runoff due to overspray, leaks, malfunctions and inefficient timer scheduling practices.

In order to address these the WA is offering Free Efficient Irrigation Consultations to customers who receive a water waste notice. The WA will come to the customers property, evaluate their irrigation system and teach them how to avoid future water waste. Customers have 15 days to schedule a free consultation after receiving the notice

The amended Water Waste Reduction Ordinance provides the following benefits:

  • Less emphasis on enforcement and more on education
  • Create opportunities for more positive interaction with the public
  • Increase participation in Efficient Irrigation Consultations
  • Increase staff response effectiveness

The changes to the Water Waste Reduction Ordinance include the following:

  1. All customer classes will utilize the following system:
  • Reported Warning Notice for first complaint
    • Observed Warning Notice for documented water waste
    • Certified Notice of Violation with an opportunity for an Irrigation Efficiency Consultation
    • Fee assessed if consultation is not scheduled or the problem is not fixed
  • The fee schedule was also modified. The previous fee schedule had eight sequential violations issued over a period of five years. The proposed new fee schedule will have three escalating fines for each consecutive violation issued within one calendar year. The schedule has also been modified to base the fee on meter size (representative of water usage).
Meter size 1st Fee 2nd Fee 3rd Fee
< 1.5” $20 $50 $100
< 4” $100 $250 $500
< 8” $250 $500 $1,000

Effective April 1, 2019, Water Conservation Specialists from the Water Authority will be identifying properties that may benefit from the free services that the WA offers. Property owners will be notified of any potential water waste issues that have been reported by the community or staff. As a result, the customer will receive a warning notice and an opportunity to request a Free Efficient Irrigation Consultation. Failure to correct any issues may result in a violation. If a customer receives a violation, they have 15 days to schedule a FREE Consultation.