By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
Watering reduced to 3 days
Manteca slashes water use by 14% in September
Placeholder Image

Manteca is bracing for what could be a brutal fourth consecutive severe drought year by tightening water use rules and putting punitive fines in place for those who repeatedly violate conservation edicts.

The new rules adopted Tuesday will legally go into effect by mid-December.

“The whole state, the whole city, and the whole county are in a state of denial about this drought,” Councilman John Harris said.

Harris, who said he’d prefer people exercise more self control instead of the city being forced to resort to punitive measures, made it clear he’s not thrilled about the examples the City of Manteca and Manteca Unified School District are setting.

“I’d like to see our city parks a little less green, our schools yards a little less green, and our yards a little less green,” Harris said.

Usually the city has no legal standing in what happens on school property. But since Manteca Unified is a municipal water costumer and do not operate their own wells within the city limits they will be required to comply with the tighter conservation rules along with all residents and businesses.

“I view this like a bitter pill,” noted Councilwoman Debby Moorhead. “You know it is going to taste bad but you have to do it.”

Mayor Willie Weatherford noted like many others he is watering less  and stressing his yard and plants. While he doesn’t like what he sees in his yard, he understands it is imperative to reduce water consumption.

“Mark my word,” Weatherford said, “we are going into a (fourth) drought year.”

That outlook is shared by the San Joaquin County Office of Emergency Services. They are preparing for serious drought conditions in 2015 and 2016. State emergency planners are planning for a seventh year of drought expecting the dire water situation to continue until at least the end of 2017.

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

The 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 new rules are as follows:

uBanning all outdoor watering on Mondays.

uOdd-numbered businesses and residential street addresses will be allowed to water Wednesday, Friday and Sunday but nit between noon and 6 p.m.

uEven numbered businesses and residential addresses will be allowed to water Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday but not between noon and 6 p.m.

uWater 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 or wash automobiles or boats without a positive shut-off muzzle or a bucket and sponge.

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

uSecond 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.

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