Water conservation guidelines vary across Sacramento area

SACRAMENTO - We get a lot of tips about people violating Sacramento's Water Ordinance, but sometimes those tips lead us to places just outside the city limits. That makes a difference in terms of whether you can be fined, but most agree it shouldn't make a difference in the way you approach conservation.

No matter how you look at it, what was happening at noon Tuesday on Gerber Road and Palmer House Drive was a bad idea. In the middle of the day just as one set of sprinklers stopped, another set started.

"Every day and it's ridiculous, you know, I got to let my lawn die," Bryon Mitchell said as he made his daily walk along the sidewalk in front of the sprinklers.

It's a particularly frustrating sight for Mitchell, who would like to see the same set of rules apply to everyone.

"The water police come down the block, and they make sure your lawn's not being watered. My lawn's dead now," Mitchell said.

That's true within the city of Sacramento, where an ordinance limits watering to one day per week on either a Saturday or a Sunday. However, the block on the corner of Gerber Road and Palmer House Drive is outside city limits, so the ordinance doesn't apply. Sacramento County uses different sources of water than the city, and so far reductions in the county are not mandatory.

"I wouldn't say they're looser guidelines. We have different water supply situations. The governor recently requested 20 percent reduction statewide, so to be in line with that, we are requesting our customers to voluntarily reduce their use by 20 percent," Sacramento County Water Agency Senior Civil Engineer Forrest Williams said.

Sacramento County Water Agency is one of as many as 19 different water providers within the county. Williams says no matter who your water provider is, everyone needs to do whatever they can to stop wasting water. Williams checked and found Cal American Water District provides the water fro the sprinklers on Gerber Road. Cal American said they aren't necessarily setting hard rules for their customers right now, but they do urge everyone to do their part.

Your water bill will indicate who your water provider is, and you can often find specific guidelines on your provider's website. Those rules could change, and those who don't face fines now could face fines in the near future.


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