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Ripon cuts water use by 28 percent

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POSTED December 19, 2014 1:28 a.m.

Ripon has more than complied with Gov. Jerry Brown’s drought emergency request calling for Californians to cut water use by 20 percent.

At Tuesday’s Ripon City Council meeting, Ted Johnston, who is the director of public works, announced that water usage was down 28 percent for November as compared to last year at this time.

Recent storms, meanwhile, have eased the drought somewhat.

“Public Works did its best to prepare for the large storm,” Johnston said. “Teams were out clearing catch basins of debris the day of the storm – Public Works had 15 employees spread out throughout the city.”

Yet the storm drains couldn’t keep up with amount of rain received in that little time. Public Works, said Johnston, passed out over 800 sandbags with the help from volunteers.

“There’s no knowledge of any serious damage,” he said.

Despite the wet conditions, state officials and weather experts both believe that there’s still a ways to go towards easing the three-year drought.

They encourage water conservation efforts to continue as planned.

Council, along those lines, did approve the water meter implementation program for homes without meters.

 City Attorney Tom Terpstra indicated that the ordinance – it officially goes into effect 30 days from being passed – doesn’t include commercial properties, which are in “other areas of the ordinance and therefore does not need to be added,” he said.

Currently, some 2,000 homes in Ripon are ‘non-metered residence.’ City Administrator Kevin Werner said that “all fees are estimated until the project goes to bid.”

In order to address some of the concerns, Mayor Leo Zuber suggested a newsletter go out to residents but with more detail.

“The initial Water Meter newsletter was basic,” he said.

For more information on the water meter program, contact Ripon City Hall at 209.599.2108 or log on to

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