San Simeon faces strict water rules

ktanner@thetribunenews.comOctober 9, 2013 

As Cambrians wrestle with limited water supplies, their San Simeon neighbors have been dealing with the same scenario since July, and during many previous years, too.

Because of a shortage of drinkable water, San Simeon residents and businesses soon could be under a Stage 3 water alert, the most stringent restrictions for a town that’s also been in a water-shortage-triggered moratorium on new water connections since 1988.

Members of the San Simeon Community Services District Board of Directors are to consider on Wednesday strengthening restrictions in their water-alert stages, especially in Stage 3. The meeting is to begin at 6 p.m. at the Cavalier Banquet Room, 250 San Simeon Ave. That’s a week later in the month than usual.

District directors also are to award the first Dee Dee Ricci San Simeon Beautification Award to Brooks Gallery.

According to a notice sent by the district to residents Sept. 25, levels in district wells were “at 14.3 feet below ground level, low enough to initiate Stage 3 water-conservation measures. The probability of saltwater from the ocean impacting our aquifer is significantly greater at this level, especially when combined with seasonal high ocean tides normal for this time of year.”

Restrictions in stages 1 and 2, currently in force, include: No outdoor irrigation of any kind; no washing/rinsing of vehicles, mobile or nonmobile equipment; no complete refilling of pools, fountains and spas (only enough water added to keep equipment operative); no automatic serving of water to restaurant patrons; and no washing down sidewalks, driveways, parking areas, buildings or structures (except to alleviate immediate fire or sanitation hazards).

The community is in the conflicted situation of having had for about 10 months a way to help residents irrigate their landscaping without diminishing the amount of available drinkable water but not having the state permit to distribute that water.

District general manager Charles Grace said Monday, Oct. 7, that he expects the hearing on that permit for the small-scale recycled water plant to be held in December.

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