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City violates water use rules; why garbage trucks are washed daily
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There’s a drought on.

And everyone is under time restrictions as to when they can water lawns except, apparently, the City of Manteca.

A reader called with a complaint Monday saying the city was watering the northeast corner of Woodward Park although it was 12:15 p.m. A quick drive-by 15 minutes later verified it.

The conservation rules governing yard watering on the City of Manteca website state emphatically you can “NOT (water) between noon and 6 p.m.” on any day.

And even if the city is using shallow wells and drafting non-potable water, two residents along Mylnar and Raylow avenues that were annexed into Manteca during the 1960s and still have irrigation wells for outside use have been warned in the past they had to comply with the city’s even and odd system for landscaping water and comply to time restrictions.

There was a torrent of complaints received by the Bulletin about city water use last week when the solid waste division took the ice bucket challenge and had a container of 100 gallons of water dumped on them. Those that appreciated the effort added a caveat saying they should have at least dumped the water over grass

It was not unlike other such challenges to raise money on behalf of the Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis Association except given the number involved they probably used a little more water per person.

The city workers did it on their own lunch hours. It was pointed out that the 100 gallons came from the hundreds of gallons the crews go through each day to wash the garbage trucks. The city simply passed on washing the garbage trucks that day acutely aware of the drought situation.

While others zeroed in on the “waste” of water for a good deed, more than a few voiced concerns about the city washing garbage trucks every day in the middle of a severe drought.

City Manager Karen McLaughlin said that while the city has no set policy about washing municipal vehicles, there is a solid reason why garbage trucks are hosed down every day.

More often than not, in the dumping of Toters some garbage will splatter the top of the truck and once in awhile the sides of the trucks. Usually it happens when food waste is just tossed into a Toter. 

That splattering of garbage will cause an odor problem and it also attracts flies and such.

If they weren’t cleaned after they are used on collection days, trucks would have a bigger smell and they would be driving through neighborhoods as a Pied Piper of sorts for flies.

As for police cars, they are cleaned periodically at Prime Shine Car Wash. The city has a contract with the Lathrop Road car wash just east of Union Road. Prime Shine, like most modern car washes, recycles more than 95 percent of the water they use to wash vehicles.

The Manteca Fire Department does clean its engines on almost a daily basis but they don’t use water. Instead they use chemical microfiber cloths to “dust” the engines.