OCEANSIDE — Oceanside is enforcing mandatory level 2 drought measures, which means homes and businesses must restrict watering, limit fountains to recycled water and repair water leaks promptly.
City Council voted on Aug. 6 to implement level 2 measures as a first step to ensure an adequate local and state water supply after low rainfall, and prior to expected El Nino weather this fall.
“We knew it was coming we just didn’t know when,” Councilwoman Esther Sanchez said.
Residents are restricted to 10 minutes of early morning or late evening watering on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays, and are required to repair water leaks within 72 hours.
Businesses will only be allowed to water on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, and must also fix leaks within three days.
Specific watering days help code enforcement officers monitor compliance.
Water Utilities Director Cari Dale said initial enforcement actions would be reminders.
“We’re trying to take a friendly approach in asking people to comply with the cutbacks,” Dale said. “We’re implementing more education and outreach. We want people to comply.”
Further follow up for noncompliance can include fines starting at $100 and increasing for successive violations.
Flyers will be mailed out over the next three weeks to alert water customers to the required cutbacks. Billing envelopes will also carry the mandatory cutback message.
The local and state target is to cut water use by 20 percent.
Oceanside is also looking at cutting back city governmentwater use.
Grass at the Civic Center will be removed and replaced with Astroturf.
On a larger scale, Oceanside is developing local water sources and that will move the city toward its goal of becoming 50 percent water independent by 2030.
The city will be investing $30 million in its recycled water project over the next 10 years.
“There’s no one silver bullet,” Dale said. “Recycled and reused water make the system robust. Combined they are a good fit for Oceanside.”
Water saving practices that residents and businesses should always follow are sweep rather than water paved surfaces, adjust sprinklers to avoid runoff, use a hand-held hose with a positive shut-off nozzle to water landscape and wash vehicles and repair water leaks promptly.
Water saver tips can be found at greenoceanside.org/water or ci.oceanside.ca.us/gov/water/services_programs/save/save_our_water/default.asp.