A mandatory 10% cutback in water usage is expected to go into effect in Azusa by the summer.

The cutback is part of a three-phase water conservation program unanimously approved by the City Council on Monday. The first phase, which sets up times when residents can water their lawns and prohibits hosing sidewalks and driveways, has been in effect since last May. Phases 2 and 3 are part of the new ordinance.

During Phase 2, customers will be required to use at least 10% less water than they did in the same period last year. Lawn watering will be allowed every third day between 6 p.m. and 6 a.m. Single-family residential customers, however, will not be required to reduce consumption below 12,700 gallons a month, the average usage for the city. This phase is expected to go into effect in the summer, said Joseph Hsu, director of utilities.

Under Phase 3, customers will be required to conserve 20% and water lawns by bucket only. Failure to cut back during the latter two phases would bring surcharges of 25% of the cost of the excess water. The ordinance is up for a final vote April 15.

Deciding that a mandatory water conservation ordinance would duplicate efforts of the city's five water companies, the City Council of Temple City voted Tuesday to just continue urging residents to cut back on their water usage.

Public Services Director William Hart said the five companies serving the city already have conservation programs in place, but Councilman Thomas Breazeal objected that the firms have asked residents to cut water usage by four different amounts: 10%, 15%, 20% and 30%.

The council agreed with Breazeal's request to have city staff ask the companies to coordinate their efforts and make their water cutback percentages the same.

Freelance writers Elena Farrington and Brad Haugaard contributed to this story.

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