News Feature | October 3, 2014

Water Wasters May Face Jail Time

Sara Jerome

By Sara Jerome
@sarmje

sprinkler

When California water regulators authorized $500 fines for water wasting, the public marveled at how far the state was willing to go to face down the drought.

But one city is going beyond that. In Shasta Lake, water wasters can now be punished with jail time, according to a report. 

Water use violations "are considered a misdemeanor, punishable by a fine of up to $1,000, imprisonment for a period of up to 30 days, or a combination of both.  The city may also install a flow restrictor on the customer's service or shut off water service," KRCR News reported

Restrictions include that "use of landscape irrigation systems is limited to three nights per week only between the hours of 9:00 PM to 6:00 AM" and that "water from landscape irrigation shall not run off to adjoining property or to a roadside ditch or gutter," among other rules, according to the city. 

The city is trying to offer some assistance with conservation.

"The city has indoor and outdoor water conservation kits available to all city customers. The indoor kit includes a low-flow shower head, faucet aerators, pipe tape, a toilet tank bank and leak detection dye tablets.  The outdoor kits include a 7-spray hose nozzle, hose timer, moisture meter, ran and sprinkler gauge and garden hose repair kit," the news report said. 

The crackdown on water wasters is a statewide affair. A measure approved by the State Water Resources Control Board in July imposed "new restrictions on outdoor water use starting Aug. 1 that could result in fines of up to $500 per violation," the San Jose Mercury News reported

For more on policy and politics, check out Water Online's Regulations & Legislation Solution Center

Image credit: "Sprinkler," Chill Mimi © 2012, used under an Attribution 2.0 Generic license: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

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