After discussing some fine points, the city council last week adopted its new, stringent water code, lining up with state regulations for water conservation.
The ordinance change tightens local water regulations and was adopted as an emergency measure. This means the new requirements go into effect immediately, skirting the usual 30-day waiting period.
The city has entered a stage two phase of the water conservation effort, or a “water emergency.” Under the new guidelines, outdoor watering will be limited to specific hours, two days per week.
The city is in the process of hiring a new part-time code enforcement officer (the job will be split between building inspection and code enforcement), expected to add some bite to the new restrictions. Although the city plans to notify residents before fines for water waste are implemented, those who run afoul of the new regulations could be slapped with fees ranging from $100 to $500.
Kevin Tromborg, the city community development director, said notifications will be going out to all residents as soon as
the end of this week. Additionally, once enforcement begins in earnest, those who break the rules will be notified prior to any fines coming into play.
“We think we will have a couple of months when people are attempting to make adjustments. We want to work with them to meet the new standards,” noted Tromborg.
The water restrictions do not mean that lawns have to be sacrificed; instead, said Tromborg, residents just need to be aware of when and what days they can water.
Watering will be prohibited between 8 a.m. and 7 p.m. on any day. Following is the expected two-day per week outdoor watering schedule:
–Residential addresses ending in an even number: Wednesday and Sunday;
–Residential addresses ending in an odd number: Tuesday and Saturday;
–Businesses with address ending in an even number: Wednesday and Sunday;
–Businesses with address ending in an odd number: Tuesday and Saturday;
–Schools: Thursday and Sunday;
–Parks: Monday and Friday;
–Churches: Monday and Friday; and
–Apartment complexes: Tuesday and Saturday.
Potential exceptions discussed by the council last week included watering by drip irrigation, local nurseries being able to water plants they have for sale and the potential for use of the local car wash, depending on whether or not water used at a commercial car wash is recycled.