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Council Adopts Urgency Ordinance to Regulate Outdoor Water Use

Regulations Includes Fines of Up to $1,000 per Violation

In response to the ongoing severe drought, the City Council on August 11 adopted an urgency ordinance regulating outdoor water use to conform with emergency drought regulations recently adopted by the State Water Resources Control Board. The Board’s regulations call upon urban water suppliers, such as Daly City, to impose mandatory restrictions on outdoor water use and irrigation consistent with the agency’s water shortage contingency plan.

Daly City’s urgency ordinance prohibits residents from:

  • Washing down driveways and sidewalks
  • Watering outdoor landscapes that cause visible runoff
  • Using a hose to wash an automobile, unless the hose is fitted with a shut-off nozzle, and
  • Using potable water in non-recirculated ornamental fountains.

In addition, outdoor irrigation is prohibited from the hours of 11:00 am to 6:00 pm and limited to no more than two days per week (Sunday through Saturday).

City Manager Patricia E. Martel said, “The current drought is real and expected to continue. I urge Daly City residents to do all that they can to conserve water.”

The Department of Water & Wastewater Resources is responsible for enforcing the new regulations. Initial reports or observations of nonessential water use will result in the posting of a door hanger or courtesy notification. Violations of the ordinance will result in a documented issuance of a written warning notice. If violations continue, then fines starting at $250 with a maximum of $1,000 may be issued per violation.

Patrick Sweetland, Director of Water & Wastewater Resources, stated, “The City prefers to educate and inform residents about their nonessential water use. We prefer changing behavior rather than having to use enforcement and fines.”

The City Council remains committed to preserving the region’s drinking water. It is worth noting that since 2004, the North San Mateo County Sanitation District, a subsidiary of the City of Daly City, has operated a Tertiary Recycled Water Facility and delivers recycled irrigation water to the Olympic Club, Lake Merced Golf Club, San Francisco Golf Club and Harding Park golf course, along with Westlake Park and Marchbank Park Athletic Fields and landscaped medians along John Daly and Junipero Serra Boulevards.

If residents observe water leaks or have concerns about nonessential water use, please contact the City 24-hours a day at (650) 991-8200. Click here for a copy of the Urgency Ordinance of Outdoor Water Use.