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$500 fines possible for water abuse
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Stricter water rules are now in place for Manteca residents and businesses.
And failure to comply could cost you as much as $500.
uNo water will be allowed on any day at any time for washing off sidewalks, driveways, patios, parking lots or other exterior non-landscaped areas without a permit obtained from the Manteca Public Works Department office at the Civic Center.
uNo water will be allowed to flow into a gutter or other drainage area for longer than 5 minutes. All water leaks or malfunctions in plumbing or irrigation systems must be fixed within 24 hours.
uNo irrigation is allowed during or within 48 hours following measurable rainfall as defined by storms that generate run-off or puddles.
New penalties that went into effect April 14 include a written notice on the first violation, a $100 fine with applicable fees on the second violation that may be waived by attending a water conservation workshop, a $200 fine and applicable fees on the third violation; and $500 fines for each and every subsequent violation plus applicable fees.
No watering is allowed on Monday or any day between noon and 6 p.m. Watering for even addresses is on Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday while odd addresses can water on Wednesday, Friday, and Sunday.
Manteca is now being required to reduce water use by 27 percent over 2013 levels compared to the 32 percent target that they had to meet up until last month.
The state eased but did not drop drought targets. That’s because the near normal snowpack for most of the Sierra as of April 1 wasn’t enough to break the drought that is heading into its fifth year. Four years of substantially below precipitation has significantly drawn down reservoirs. While some reservoirs such as Shasta and Oroville have bounced back to over 70 percent of normal for this time of year others like New Melones are only at levels under 30 percent of normal.
There are also other pressures on the water supplies besides the drought.
Over drafting of valley aquifers prompted the state to put in place requirements that groundwater basins be managed to the point that no more water is taken from the ground than is put back into it. Given Manteca relies on ground water as well as surface water from the Stanislaus River watershed the new directive will impact the city.
There are also ongoing efforts to commandeer water on the Stanislaus River and nearby rivers for use for increased fish flows.
City officals have warned “water conservation is going to be a way of life from here on out.”.
Manteca’s savings in 2015 came to 1.47 billion gallons. That reflects a 28.7 percent reduction over 2013 levels despite the city adding 2,200 residents to grow the population base by more than 3 percent during the last two years.