Santa Maria Sun / News
The following articles were printed from Santa Maria Sun [santamariasun.com] - Volume 15, Issue 25
Santa Maria passes a water waste ordinance
BY CAMILLIA LANHAM
The Santa Maria City Council unanimously passed an outdoor water use ordinance on Aug. 19, bringing the city into line with emergency drought regulations passed by the California Water Resources Control Board in July.
The new ordinance adds to existing municipal code regarding water waste. Here’s what’s no longer allowed: irrigation run-off that flows onto adjacent properties, walkways, roadways, and non-irrigated areas; using a hose without a shut-off nozzle to wash vehicles; and hosing off driveways or walkways.
Fines for violating the ordinance are $100 for the first infraction, $200 for the second in a year, and $500 for every one after that in the same year. A resident’s water can also be shut off and sealed by the Santa Maria Utilities Department, which requires a fee to turn the water back on.
During the Aug. 19 meeting, Utilities Director Rick Sweet told the City Council that his department is trying to use education as an enforcement tool. Basically, if someone calls in to complain about a neighbor violating the new ordinance, Sweet said they’d send a water conservation specialist to the property.
The specialist would be able to help Santa Maria residents figure out ways to abide by the ordinance as well as find other ways to conserve water.