NEWMAN - The winter was wet, and the memories of California’s record-setting drought years are receding.
But as the weather warms and irrigation systems are once again operating, city officials remind local residents that Newman’s water conservation rules remain in effect.
The odd-even watering day schedule gives residents three days a week for outside irrigation, noted Director of Public Works Kathryn Reyes, including one weekend day when jobs and careers are less likely to intervene.
Those who ignore the city’s conservation measures run the risk of fine and citation, she emphasized, though most often a reminder and warning are sufficient to gain compliance.
“We do have to give gentle reminders this time of year, when everybody is ramping back up with their watering,” Reyes told Mattos Newspapers.
But for the most part, she added, the water-wise habits adopted by most residents during the depths of the drought years have proven lasting.
“I am proud of the residents of Newman. We don’t have a lot of violations,” Reyes remarked.
The need for using water wisely is ongoing, she emphasized, regardless of whether the state is in the midst of a drought.
“The climate in California goes through cycles of rain and drought. We can assume pretty accurately that the drought will come again,” Reyes pointed out. “If we encourage conservation all the time, when we get to another drought year we can be more confident that we have enough water that we don’t have to implement stricter conservation measures.”
The basics of Newman’s water conservation rules are as follows:
• Residents of even-numbered addresses may water on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays.
• Watering days for those with odd-numbered addresses are Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays.
• No outdoor watering is allowed on Mondays.
• Outdoor watering is never allowed between the hours of 1 p.m. and 6 p.m.
• Residents are not allowed to hose down sidewalks, structures or exterior surfaces, and if using a hose to wash a vehicle must have a fast-acting automatic shut-off nozzle.
• Gutter-flooding is absolutely prohibited. Not only does gutter-flooding waste water, Reyes emphasized, it also washes contaminants into the storm drain system.....which leads to the San Joaquin River. “We’re governed by the state for whatever ends up in our storm drain,” Reyes stated. “We can and will cite people for that, because our water drains directly to the river.”
Reyes said conservation enforcement is handled by the city’s code enforcement officers, but that violations are noted and reported by public works personnel and other city staff.
With warm weather arriving, Reyes encourages residents to check their irrigation systems to make sure it is in good working order and that timers are set in accordance with water regulations.
“Most people are pretty good about it,” she said of compliance with the city’s water conservation requirements, which are year-round. “We can count on them.”