The City Council on Monday unanimously approved a water conservation ordinance with penalties up to $200 for wasteful usage.
The urgency ordinance, which took effect immediately and will remain on the books until a permanent ordinance is passed, prohibits washing sidewalks, walkways, driveways and parking lots, as well as watering grass and lawns so heavily that water runs into sidewalks or gutters.
Under the ordinance, restaurants may not serve water unless it is requested by a customer. Nurseries, public and private recreation facilities, and agricultural water users must do their watering between 6 p.m. and 8 a.m. May through October. Watering is allowed at any time if a hand-held hose or drip-irrigation system is used. The ordinance does not affect the timing or method of residential watering.
It requires all new structures to be equipped with water-saving toilets and low-flow showers and faucets.
The penalties set by the ordinance are: written notice for the first violation; $50 fine for the second; $100 fine for the third; $200 fine for the fourth, and termination of water services for the fifth. The charge for water service termination and restoration will be $100.