A proposal to adopt a "gray water" ordinance, allowing residents to irrigate their yards with drain water, has been voted down by the City Council.
The proposal, intended to encourage water conservation, would have set rules for plumbing to carry waste water from bathtubs, showers, sinks and washing machines to outdoor watering systems.
Council members stressed the lack of urgency, the difficulty of installing systems and high permit fees as reasons for opposing the proposal at Monday's meeting. The ordinance would have been parallel to one already in place in Los Angeles County.
"This is going to come back to haunt us if we don't get any rain this year," said Councilman Chris Valente, the lone supporter of the proposal. "When the rain does come, we could have erosion of the soil on the hillsides, which might bring floods and destruction. We have to be concerned."