Drought Busters out in force

Department of Utilities vehicle

Following a week of spikes in water usage on Thursday and Friday (no watering days in the City of Sacramento) the  Department of Utilities launched an increased enforcement of its watering rules. These efforts, which shifted enforcement officer working hours to earlier start times or later end times, resulted in more than 350 first notices of violation and one second notice of violation.

The first notice of violation issued by the City is a written warning with an explanation of the City’s watering rules and water conservation codes. The second notice of violation is a $50 fine. Further violations result in fines for $200 and $1000 and $1000 for each subsequent fine.

As a reminder, the City’s watering rules are:

  • Properties with addresses ending in ODD numbers (1,3,5,7,9) may water on Tuesdays and Saturdays.
  • Properties with addresses ending in EVEN numbers (0,2,4,6,8) may water on Wednesdays and Sundays.
  • Watering must take place before 10 a.m. or after 7 p.m. on scheduled watering days.
  • No watering is allowed on Mondays, Thursdays or Fridays.
  • No over-watering is permitted.

“We did not make this effort simply to boost our numbers of notices of violation,” said Dave Brent, Director of the Department of Utilities. “We made this effort to help educate customers that because of the drought, their watering days have been reduced to 2 days per week and Thursdays and Fridays are no longer watering days. Our customers were notified of this change in their utility bills and in the media.

While many people have gotten the drought conservation message, it’s pretty obvious there are still many customers who are not aware of the new watering limitations that have been put in place to address the drought.”

The Department plans to continue its increased enforcement efforts of Thursdays and Fridays, targeting the areas with the highest number of water misuse calls. These are calls reported to 311 by customers stating that they see watering on the wrong days and times or overwatering.

More information on the City’s water conservation program can be found at www.SpareSacWater.org.