The Coast News Group

Stricter water regulations in Carlsbad

CARLSBAD—The amount of time residents are allowed to water their lawns as set forth by the drought mandates has been cut in half for the fall season.

The Carlsbad Municipal Water District announced that residents can use outdoor irrigation for five minutes three times a week, instead of ten minutes, which was the limit when the first mandate was issued in August.

“Cooler fall weather is on its way, which gives us all the opportunity to save a little more water,” said Mario Remillard, the Carlsbad Municipal Water District conservation coordinator.

People can only water between 6 p.m. and 10 a.m. The five-minute restriction applies to one water station, so different spigots can be used for five minutes each.

The days of the week people can water their plants are also limited.

Residents with addresses ending in an even number are allowed to water Monday, Wednesday and Saturday.

Residents at odd numbered addresses are relegated to Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday.

Business owners and those living in condominiums and apartments can water Monday, Wednesday and Friday.

The city is also taking steps to ease the stress the drought places on the water resources.

Officials have worked to increase the availability of recycled water, which reduces the use of drinking water.

“For every drop of recycled water we can use for irrigation and other non-drinking purposes, we save a gallon of imported water, which is in extremely short supply,” said Remillard.

City Council approved an expansion of the city’s water recycling plant and distribution pipeline system Sept. 23 in the Calavera Hills area and in the Palomar Airport Business Park, north and south of Camino Vida Roble.

Another restriction of the water mandate is the use of ornamental fountains that don’t recirculate water.

Officials require that water leaks be repaired within 72 hours of discovery.

People who don’t follow the regulations will first be warned according to General Manager Wendy Chambers.

“Carlsbad residents have reduced water consumption over the past few years so we will work with folks before enforcing penalties,” Chambers said.

Customers who ignore the warnings will face fines starting at $100. Further ignoring the mandates can lead to fines of up to $500.

Other restrictions include not being able to water down hard surfaces and using a bucket and a hose equipped with a shut-off nozzle to wash cars.

Restaurants can only serve water on request.

Further drought relief will come early in 2016 when Poseidon Water’s desalination plant is set to open.

The plant will provide 7 percent of the region’s water supply and will be the largest desalination plant in the western hemisphere.