Citizens Water customers are required to follow mandatory water restrictions, which go into effect at noon on Friday in Marion County.
Customers have been asked to cut back using water for things like irrigating lawns.
"Every customer out there, every gallon that we can conserve, could be a gallon that could be used for firefighting or other life saving purposes. We do see this as a very important issue,” said Lindsay Lindgren, Citizens Water Vice President of Water Operations.
The mandatory water restrictions could help cut back using 25 million gallons of water per day, which is equivalent to filling up 25 Olympic pools each day.
"From the computerized data screens, we can in real time monitor pressures, flows and storage levels. We have 19 pressure districts and we can actually see how much flow is going in or out of a pressure district,” Lindgren said.
Areas which have higher water usages include the northeast and southwest sides of town.
While Citizens Water will continue monitoring water pressure, flow, and reservoir levels, they are working with the Department of Code Enforcement. They will have a team of environmental inspectors who will be assigned investigations and a team of property inspectors.
The team of property inspectors assigned will add this as part of their daily inspections, Department of Code Enforcement Public Information Officer Kate Johnson said. Johnson said the priority is to make sure industrial customers are complying, then commercial customers, and finally residential customers.
"A lot of these larger establishments have grounds that are quite large that they work very hard to maintain and irrigate and they do have some of these irrigation systems that are operating several hours out of the day every day. So, we're just following to make sure that type of activity isn't taking place,” Johnson said.
Once the ban goes into effect, the following actions are unlawful:
- Sprinkling, watering or irrigating grass
- Washing cars, trucks, trailers, mobile homes, etc., except as required by applicable laws for health or safety reasons
- Using water to clean sidewalks, driveways, paved areas, structures, buildings or other outdoor surfaces
- Filling empty swimming pools
- Installing new landscaping or new lawn by using sod until return to normal conditions are declared by the mayor
- Using hydrants except for fire prevention or as otherwise directed by Citizens Energy Group
- Operating water fountains that are nonrecycling
- Vegetable gardens and flowers may be watered every other day by container or handheld hose with a shutoff nozzle; trees can be watered once a week.
- Nurseries, provided water use is limited to the amount essential to preserve inventories
- Automatic commercial car washes, provided a majority of the water used is recycled
- Manual commercial car washes, provided only a handheld hose equipped with a shutoff nozzle is utilized
- Golf courses, provided tee boxes and greens are watered only on an every other day schedule that begins on Monday of each week and fairways are watered only once per week on Thursday
- Parks, any watering of property owned or controlled by the department of parks and recreation as directed by the mayor or mayor's designee where such watering is necessary or appropriate for asset preservation
Each customer shall be responsible for compliance with the ordinance with respect to the premises where the customer receives water service. If the identity of the water user cannot be ascertained, the customer with service at that address shall be liable for violations that occur on such premises.
- First violation in 12 month period $100
- Second violation in 12 month period $250
- Third violation in 12 month period not less than $500
- Fourth violation in 12 month period up to $2500 per day per violation
Under a City ordinance, The Department of Code Enforcement is charged with making sure the ban is followed. People who believe others are not complying can call the Mayor's Action Center.