City implements water conservation measures
by Nick Rappley | Patterson Irrigator
Feb 13, 2014 | 828 views | 0 0 comments | 0 0 recommendations | email to a friend | print
In response to drought concerns, the city of Patterson is now enforcing water use rules and will be educating the public about more efficient ways to use water after Gov. Jerry Brown declared a drought emergency Jan. 17.

The city of Patterson moved into immediate action to implement the 20 percent water reduction standards set by Brown’s proposal. They showcased their efforts as part of a presentation during a City Council meeting Tuesday, Feb. 4.

Patterson is a unique city in the Central Valley solely based on the fact that the community relies on underground wells for water use, Deputy Public Works Director Robert Andrade said Monday, Feb. 10. Consequently, the city will not face the same problems other municipalities who rely on surface water do.

That said, Patterson is still watching its groundwater usage very closely, which hasn’t varied much historically since 2005, Andrade noted.

The city is currently seeking ways to draw down the amount of water being used during the drought year, he said.

Compared to other cities in the Central Valley, Patterson is a rather efficient water user, Maria Encinas, Patterson’s water resource coordinator said, but state laws requiring residents to comply with stricter water use standards mean everyone needs to reduce their water usage further.

Currently, Patterson has already implemented several measures for compliance with water reduction measures.

Those actions include:

- Not watering lawns and landscaping between 10 a.m. and 7 p.m. any day of the week.

- Even numbered houses can water landscaping on Tuesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays and Sundays only.

- Odd number houses can water landscaping Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays, and Sundays only.

- Quick acting shut off nozzles are to be used with hoses for such outdoor activities as washing vehicles or washing off driveways and sidewalks.

- Watering landscape or lawns during rainstorms will not be allowed.

Anyone found in violation of those rules can be assessed a $25 fine after a first time written warning. Subsequent violations will receive $50 and $100 fines. The city also has the right to shut off water service after the third violation.

Encinas said city public works staff will be vigilant about water use violators and will post first-time warnings on doors with a reminder of the water rules throughout the city. If a worker sees a violation, he or she has the right to warn the citizen and educate them on the rules.

Citizens can take other measures to reduce water usage by installing toilets that only flush 1.6 gallons rather than older toilets that flush 3.5 to five gallons of water. Replacing showerheads with low flow showerheads that use only 2.5 gallons per minute will help as well. Residents are encouraged to take shorter showers, turn off their water while shaving and brushing their teeth, rinse dishes in a full sink rather than just running water, and wash clothes with full loads.

To find more information on ways to conserve water use, check out www.saveourH2O.org.

Nick Rappley can be reached at 209-568-9975 or nick@pattersonirrigator.com.
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