Starting a month from now, residences and businesses in Cayucos, Shandon, Santa Margarita and Avila Valley must limit their outdoor watering to Mondays and Thursdays.
Supervisors adopted an ordinance setting the limits on Tuesday, in response to drought emergency water conservation regulations recently adopted by the State Water Resources Control Board. The ordinance affects the four communities where the county provides water service and specifies that ornamental landscapes or turf can only be irrigated with potable water on those two days of the week in those communities.
Supervisors passed the ordinance unanimously, but Supervisor Frank Mecham said he was reluctant because other areas of the county may not face the same restrictions.
“I think it’s an unfair burden, but I see the need for it,” he said.
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The county will get the word out in those communities by sending out mailers and putting up billboards, said Andrea Montes, county utilities program manager. The ordinance does not go into detail how the restrictions will be policed, but the emphasis will be on outreach, Montes said.
If county authorities see a violation, a warning will be issued by putting a door hanger on the home’s front door. The county will issue up to three warnings before levying a $60 surcharge on the customer’s bill.
The ordinance will stay in effect as long as the state’s emergency conservation regulations are in place.
It is unclear how much water the new ordinance will conserve. The county service areas already use less water than state and regional averages, said Mark Hutchinson, deputy Public Works director.
The cost of getting the word out about the new rules is expected to cost $17,500 per service area. The ordinance will take effect Sept. 19.