Environment

Bye-bye, brown lawns: Arroyo Grande ends its drought restrictions

See a full and flowing Lake Nacimiento as it nears capacity after recent storms

This CappsConstruction.Com drone footage taken February 22, 2017, shows a full and flowing Lake Nacimiento. According to the San Luis Obispo County Public Works Department, the lake was at 96.5 percent capacity as of Thursday, February 23, 2017, f
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This CappsConstruction.Com drone footage taken February 22, 2017, shows a full and flowing Lake Nacimiento. According to the San Luis Obispo County Public Works Department, the lake was at 96.5 percent capacity as of Thursday, February 23, 2017, f

Arroyo Grande residents can once again pull out their garden hoses without fear of financial penalty, though they’re still being required to restrict some of their water usage.

The city declared an end to its water shortage emergency on Tuesday, following Gov. Jerry Brown’s announcement earlier this month that California is no longer in a drought.

The decision removes the city’s water bill penalties, which charge users if they fail to reduce their water usage by a certain amount compared with their property’s historic usage.

Though some worried about a potential “bounce back” in water use, the majority of the council said it was time to give residents a break.

“We gotta pull the Band-Aid off at some point and see where we are at,” Councilwoman Barbara Harmon said. “I really do have trust in our water customers. I have a lot of trust in them that they will continue in their current practices.”

We gotta pull the Band-Aid off at some point and see where we are at.

Barbara Harmon, Arroyo Grande City Council

Even though the penalty is gone, the city is still encouraging residents to continue some of their “best practices” and conserve water.

Several mandatory restrictions will remain in place. These prohibitions include:

▪  Using water to clean patios and driveways.

▪  Washing vehicles with an open hose.

▪  Irrigating lawns or landscaping between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.

▪  Emptying and refilling swimming pools and spas.

The rotating irrigation schedule — watering is permitted at even-numbered addresses on Mondays and Thursdays and odd-numbered addresses on Tuesdays and Fridays, and allowed everywhere on Saturdays and Sundays — will also continue to be enforced.

Kaytlyn Leslie: 805-781-7928, @kaytyleslie

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