Is this a lawn-watering day? In Seal Beach, you'll have to know

In response to the statewide drought, Seal Beach City Council members Monday voted unanimously to implement increased restrictions on outdoor water use in the city.

Residents will be restricted to watering their lawns three days a week. Homes with even-numbered addresses are designated for Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays; odd-numbered address are assigned Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays. The city mandates no watering on Sundays, according to Public Works Director Sean Crumby.

This is the first phase of an emergency element of a water conservation plan established by the city in 2009. The council decided Monday to relax parts of it, including changing the hours of outdoor use to 5 p.m. to 9 a.m., mirroring Long Beach's restrictions. The hours in the plan had been 6 p.m. to 6 a.m.

Council members also removed a restriction on washing vehicles, allowing residents to clean their cars any day of the week. A restriction on ornamental water fountains was pulled as well.

Those changes make the plan more relaxed than in most other cities in Orange County.

However, several new rules for outdoor water use include barring people from washing sidewalks and driveways, restricting refilling of swimming pools to the allowed days and having agricultural water users curtail nonessential use.

Crumby said the city will embark on a 90-day campaign to educate residents about the changes.

Residents will be given a warning for a first offense and a 15% surcharge on their water bill for a second offense. Those who habitually violate the conservation plan will have water-restricting devices installed, Crumby said.

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