SoCal Cities Consider Tough New Water Waste Rules | NBC Southern California

Coverage of one of California's most severe dry spells on record and its dramatic turnaround

SoCal Cities Consider Tough New Water Waste Rules

Cities are seeking to impose fines on water wasters during California's historic drought.



    (Published Tuesday, July 22, 2014)

    The cities of Pasadena and Arcadia are considering emergency water restrictions in response to the historic state drought.

    The plans come as the state last week imposed tight restrictions on residents with the threat of $500 a day fines for water wasters.

    Pasadena's considering limiting outdoor watering to three days a week on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays during summer months. Officials would also require water leaks to be fixed within 72 hours.

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    Long Beach and Los Angeles had already adopted bans on outdoor water waste prior to the California water board taken action Tuesday to make it statewide. However, during the past year, neither city has used its authority to impose fines on water wasters, preferring to rely on warnings and peer pressure. At the same time, after previous cutbacks of nearly 20 percent and warmer than usual weather, agencies are finding it more difficult to achieve further savings. Patrick Healy reports for NBC4 News at 6 p.m. from Long Beach Wednesday, July 16, 2014.
    (Published Wednesday, July 16, 2014)

    The city of Arcadia has a similar plan being considered.

    "The city believes it’s important for everyone conserve water," said Eric Klinkner, the Pasadena Water and Power chief deputy general manager. "These new regulations will ensure that everyone in the state will join Pasadena residents in this important effort."

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    As California officials urge residents to cut down on their water usage, one Southern California couple found itself stuck between being fined for saving water and being fined for using it. Kate Larsen reports for NBC4 News at Noon on Thursday, July 17, 2014.
    (Published Thursday, July 17, 2014)

    Pasadena is considering:

    • No watering outdoors between 9 a.m. and 6 p.m., except with a hand-held container or hose with a shut-off nozzle.
    • No watering during periods of rain.
    • No excessive water flow or runoff onto pavement, gutters or ditches from watering or irrigating landscapes or vegetation of any kind.
    • No washing down paved surfaces unless for safety or sanitation, in which case a bucket, a hose with a shut-off nozzle, a cleaning machine that recycles water or a low-volume/high-pressure water broom must be used.
    • No washing vehicles except by using a hand-held bucket or similar container or hose equipped with a water shut-off nozzle.

    Some Pasadena residents are already doing there part to conserve water.

    "We try to cut back on long showers in the house, baths as well," Pasadena homeowner Dana Crisp said. "Not fill the tub all the way up, which we used to prior to this water situation."

    A complete list of Pasadena’s water waste restrictions is available at

    Fines for repeat offenders can be up to $500 per violation for residential customers, and up to $1,000 per violation for all non-residential accounts.

    Pasadena city officials will consider their proposal on July 28. If approved, it will go into effect August 1. 

    Arcadia's water proposal includes:

    • No hose watering of lawns and sidewalks.
    • Recycled water only used to clean or fill decorative fountains.
    • Drinking water served only by request in restaurants and cafes. 

    Arcadia's plan can be seen here.

    Arcadia city officials will consider the proposal August 5.

    Beverly White and Samia Khan contributed to this report.

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