State sets hefty fine for homes wasting water

By Gary Meyer

The State Water Resources Control Board voted on Tuesday, July 15 to impose up to $500 per day in fines for residents who waste water outdoors.

Prohibited water uses are: washing cars without a shutoff nozzle, washing down driveways and sidewalks with running water, watering outdoor landscapes with excess runoff and using potable water in a fountain or decorative water feature, unless the water is recirculated.

Water agencies are expected to enforce the new emergency regulation, although a $10,000 per day fine for failure to comply with the regulation would apply only to water agencies with 3,000 or more connections. No local mountain water agency has this number of connections, though one is close.

The emergency regulation is expected to go into effect August 1, following submittal to the Office of Administrative Law.

The regulation will remain in effect for 270 days, unless extended by the State Water Board due to ongoing drought conditions, according to the board’s July 15 press release.

This is part of the July 18, 2014 online edition of The Mountain Enterprise.

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