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By Kate Breece
HWD Public Affairs

Editor’s Note: Due to a family emergency I was unable to cover this important hearing. Thanks to Kate Breece at Helix Water District for providing this summary of the Board’s decision.

La Mesa, CA – Thursday, June 18, 2009 – Due to water the allocation cutback of 8% from the San Diego County Water Authority, and the continuing regional water shortage, Helix Water District Board of Directors approved raising the Water Shortage to Level 2 and implementing mandatory watering restrictions as of July 1, 2009.

The District requires customers to “Pick Three Days and Water Ten Minutes.”

• The “ Pick 3 – Water 10” program allows customers to determine the three best days to water on their property and requires that they only water 10 minutes per irrigation station. These restrictions apply June through October, with two days of watering per week from November to May.

• This provision does not apply to landscape irrigation systems using water efficient devices, including, but not limited to: weather-based controllers, drip/micro-irrigation systems, and stream rotor sprinklers.

• Watering of landscaped areas not irrigated by a landscape irrigation system (bucket, hand-held hose with positive shut-off nozzle, or low-volume non-spray irrigation) will be done on the same schedule.

• Leaks must be repaired within seventy-two hours of notification by the District, unless other arrangements are made with the General Manager.

• In addition all provisions of Water Shortage Level 1 become mandatory:

1) Stop washing down paved surfaces, including but not limited to sidewalks, driveways, parking lots, tennis courts, or patios, except when it is necessary to alleviate safety or sanitation hazards.

(2) Stop water waste resulting from inefficient landscape irrigation, such as runoff, low head drainage, overspray, etc. Similarly, stop water flows onto nontargeted areas, such as adjacent property, non-irrigated areas, hardscapes, roadways or structures.

(3) Irrigate residential and commercial landscape before 10 a.m. and after 6 p.m. only. Irrigation run time should be adjusted to avoid runoff.

(4) Use a hand-held hose equipped with a positive shut-off nozzle or bucket to water landscaped areas, including trees and shrubs located on residential and commercial properties that are not irrigated by a landscape irrigation system.

(5) Irrigate nursery and commercial growers' products before 10 a.m. and after 6 p.m. only. Irrigation of nursery propagation beds is permitted at any time. Watering of livestock is permitted at any time.

(6) Use re-circulated water to operate ornamental fountains.

(7) Wash vehicles using a bucket and a hand-held hose with positive shut-off nozzle, mobile high-pressure/low volume wash system, or at a commercial site that reclaims water on-site. Avoid washing during hot conditions when additional water is required due to evaporation.

(8) Serve and refill water in restaurants and other food service establishments only upon request.

(9) Offer guests in hotels, motels, and other commercial lodging establishments the option of not laundering towels and linens daily.

In the past, Helix customers have risen to the challenge of specific water conservation goals. It is anticipated that the proposed rate increases taken in conjunction with mandatory watering restrictions will produce desirable water conservation efforts. Water waste can be reported to: 619.667.6244 or conserve@helixwater.org.

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