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Are Mantecans adhering to watering policy?
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Dan Mercer isn’t happy.

He times his lawn sprinklers on the day he is supposed to water. He’s tried different approaches to keep what was once lush and green more green than brown.

And everywhere he looks when he’s driving across town he sees lawns like they were straight out Sunset Magazine.

“I don’t get what they’re doing that I’m not, unless they’re watering when they aren’t supposed to be,” Mercer said with a scowl. “I try to be the good neighbor. I try to ration water in my house that I can use outside on plants that can tolerate it. But nothing seems to be working and if things stay hot like this I’m afraid that we’ll just lose another day of watering.”

He doesn’t have to worry about that just yet.

Last week Councilman Richard Silverman said during a media tour of his new drought-resistant property that he has researched the difference between watering twice-a-week when compared to Manteca’s three-day policy and doesn’t see the overall savings in it. Even Silverman’s lawn had some specs of brown shining through, but one home up the street from his looked like it was either painted or perfectly cared for.

When it comes to the numbers, Manteca is head-and-above most cities in the area when it comes to savings – breaking a 34 percent reduction for the month of June. The true test will be how much of that water is soaked up by earth scorched by high temperatures that are expected to continue throughout July and into September.

Dan Mercer, hose in hand, isn’t happy.

“It’s not like none of us knew something like this wasn’t coming, but I just wish I could make it all rock and be done with it – give it the natural finish and say goodbye to lawn forever,” he said. “But they won’t let us do that either. So I guess I’m just going to go on being unhappy – I guess you can say suits me.

“I just wish that more people paid attention to the rules and didn’t let their water, which is so plentiful, run off into the street for more than an hour because they’re too busy to check the sprinklers. Maybe there’s a businesses in here for me somewhere. Sprinkler checker. We’ll have to wait and see.”