Santa Clara County

Gilroy city council passes emergency drought ordinance

Ordinance aimed at complying with state water conservation regulations

GILROY, Calif. - The Gilroy City Council this week passed a new emergency drought ordinance in order to comply with new state water conservation regulations.

The Water Supply Shortage Regulations ordinance establishes both voluntary water saving measures and three tiered levels of mandatory water conservation requirements that can be imposed as temporary drought response measures.

The ordinance meets the requirements imposed by the California Water Board on July 15.

The city council says the city is currently in a Level 1 water supply condition, which means the following measures must be implemented:

  • Watering or irrigation of lawn, landscape or other vegetated area with potable water between the hours of 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. is prohibited.
  • Watering duration is limited to be no more than 15 minutes per day per station.
  • Limits on watering days to 3 days per week from April through October. The watering days are designated by house address. (odd house address — Monday, Wednesday, Friday, even house address — Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday). November through March, watering is limited to one day per week (odd addresses– Monday, even addresses – Tuesday).
  • Irrigation water that runs off onto adjoining sidewalks, streets, driveways, ditches, or alley ways is prohibited.
  • Washing down hard or paved surfaces is prohibited except for the use of hand-held bucket and certain specialized low flow, high pressure equipment.
  • Fix water leaks or breaks within 72 hours of notification by the city.
  • Operating water fountains and decorative water features that do not use recirculated water is prohibited.
  • Using water to wash a vehicle is only permitted with a bucket and hand-held hose equipped with a positive shut-off nozzle.
  • Restaurants shall serve drinking water only upon request of patrons.
  • In commercial lodging establishments, guests must be provided the option to decline daily linen services.
  • The installation of single pass cooling systems is prohibited in buildings requesting new water service.
  • The installation of non-recirculating water systems in commercial car wash and laundry systems is prohibited.
  • Water conserving dish washer spray valves in food preparation establishments, such as restaurants shall be used.
  • All commercial conveyor car wash systems shall install operational recirculating water systems by August 3, 2015, or must secure a waiver of this requirement from the city.
  • When directed by the Public Works Director, recycled water fill stations shall be made available for construction water purposes, including dust control.
  • Refilling of private pools, except to maintain water levels is prohibited. The use of solar blankets or pools covers is recommended to reduce evaporation losses.
  • Mandatory metering of water use at all city hydrants for uses other than fire suppression.

The entire emergency ordinance can be read here. More information is also available from the city of Gilroy.

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