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Manteca may reduce watering days, ramp up fines to $250
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Manteca is moving to reduce outside watering days from four to three, impose water conservation rules year round and slap repeat offenders with $250 fines per occurrence.

If the City Council concurs, Manteca residents will be given until Jan. 1, 2015 to grasp the new rules. After that, the fining will begin.

The proposed changes to the city’s water conservation ordinance is the first step of a number of measures Manteca is preparing to take as California heads for what is expected  be a fourth consecutive  drought year.

The council when they meet Tuesday at 7 p.m. at the Civic Center, 1001 W. Center St., will consider:

• Banning all outdoor watering on Mondays.

• Odd-numbered businesses and residences will be allowed to water Wednesday, Friday and Sunday but not between noon and 6 p.m.

• Even numbered businesses and residences will be allowed to water Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday but not between noon and 6 p.m.

• Water conservation measures instead of just taking place during Daylight Savings will be implemented year round. That includes no washing of non-landscaped exterior ground areas without a permit, not allowing water to flow into the gutter or a drainage area for a period exceeding five minutes, and making it unlawful to wash automobiles or boats without a positive shut-off muzzle or a bucket and sponge.

• First time violators will receive a written notice with no penalty imposed.

• Second violations will trigger a written notice and a $50 fine. The fine, though, may be waived if a violator attends a brief water conservation seminar offered by the Public Works Department. The seminar will allow violators the opportunity to gain a greater knowledge of the city’s water system as well as the importance of water conservation to the community.

• All subsequent violations will carry a penalty of $250 per occurrence.