CARLSBAD — City lawns have already been getting an extra day of water.
The Carlsbad Municipal Water District increased its water schedule to two-days per week on Sunday. Customers may run sprinklers for no more than eight minutes per station on assigned days.
Addresses ending in an odd number may water on Tuesdays and Fridays, while even numbers, plus all apartments, condos and businesses, may water on Mondays and Thursdays.
“We want to recognize the conservation efforts made by our community over the past year, and thank them for helping us reduce our overall use by 20 percent over 2013,” said Mario Remillard, water conservation coordinator for the Carlsbad Municipal Water District. “Even though we are meeting our state-mandated water conservation targets, we will need to closely monitor usage as we enter the hotter summer months when more water is typically used.”
Remillard said property owners who want to protect trees during the warmer months could do a slow, deep watering using a hose, which is not subject to the eight-minute limit.
“Allowing water to seep in slowly around the edges of the tree line helps encourage strong, deep roots, which protect trees and property during high winds,” he said.
Remillard also recommends a sprinkler check on the weekend to make sure water isn’t running off into the street or other paved surfaces, which wastes water and could carry contaminants into the storm drain system, which feeds directly into lagoons and the ocean.
“When sprinklers run early in the morning or overnight, it can be hard to spot misaligned sprinklers, leaks and overspray,” he added.
On April 1, 2015, Gov. Jerry Brown ordered an overall 25 percent reduction of drinkable urban water use compared to 2013. These restrictions will be in effect until at least October 2016.
Each city and water district in the state was assigned a specific conservation target to reach the statewide average of 25 percent. Carlsbad’s target originally was 28 percent. However, since Carlsbad has made significant investments in developing drought proof water supplies, such as reclaimed and desalinated water, the state recently reduced its goal to 20 percent.
To coincide with new statewide mandatory water cutbacks last year, the city launched a water conservation campaign called Carlsbad Conserves to raise awareness of new water use rules and encourage greater conservation.
As part of the campaign, the city has made yard signs available for residents and business owners who want to show their support for water conservation.
Signs are available at the senior center, 799 Pine Ave., and Faraday Administration Center,
1635 Faraday Ave.
The water district is also promoting awareness of tools and resources, including rebates, free home water use checkups, water wise landscaping seminars and discounts on low water use plants.
Current water use restrictions include:
• Set sprinklers to run no more than eight minutes per station (Tip: split this time to four minutes in the morning and four in the evening to avoid run off).
• Stop water waste from inefficient landscape irrigation, such as runoff, overspray and misdirected sprinklers.
• Use a bucket or a hose with a shutoff nozzle when watering landscaped areas with no irrigation system.
• Turn off irrigation during and 48 hours after rain.
• Watering is permitted any time with a hand-held hose equipped with a positive shut-off nozzle, a bucket, or when a drip/micro-irrigation system/equipped is used.
• Don’t wash down hard surfaces such as driveways, patios, sidewalks and parking lots with a hose, unless necessary for safety or sanitation.
• If washing a vehicle at home, use a bucket and hose equipped with a shutoff nozzle.
• Use recycled or non-drinking water for construction purposes.
• Single pass-through cooling systems as part of new water service connections will be prohibited. Non-recirculating systems in all new conveyer car wash and commercial laundry systems are prohibited.
• Stop operating decorative fountains unless they use recirculated water.
• Repair all water leaks within 72 hours of notification from the water district.
Restaurants and Hotels
• Serve water in restaurants only on request.
• Offer hotel guests the option of not laundering towels and linens daily.
The rules don’t apply to users of recycled water, which is highly treated wastewater used for landscaping and other non-drinking purposes. Low water use irrigation systems are also exempt from these rules.
The water district has the power to impose fines, but awareness and education are the first steps. Members of the public who spot possible water waste can call the district at (760) 438-2722 or by email at email@example.com. Include as much detail as possible, including addresses and photos, if possible.
The Carlsbad Municipal Water District, a subsidiary of the city, serves about 85 percent of the residents. South and southeastern portions of the city are served by the Vallecitos Water District and the Olivenhain Municipal Water District, which have their own water conversation rules.
Steve Puterski covers Carlsbad and Vista. For tips or story ideas, contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter @StevePuterski.