Water use limits now law in Mountain House
by Denise Ellen Rizzo
Jul 11, 2014 | 6559 views | 6 6 comments | 36 36 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Sprinklers water a lawn on Bethel Avenue in Mountain House on Thursday  morning. The Mountain House Community Services District plans to impose new water conservation rules for the community.
Sprinklers water a lawn on Bethel Avenue in Mountain House on Thursday morning. The Mountain House Community Services District plans to impose new water conservation rules for the community.
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MOUNTAIN HOUSE — It’s official: Mountain House residents are required to cut back their water use by 20 percent and limit outdoor irrigation to three days a week to help with the statewide drought.

The Mountain House Community Services District Board of Directors voted unanimously to amend the community’s water ordinance during the regular board meeting Wednesday night at the CSD offices, 230 S. Sterling Drive.

The amendment allows residents with odd-numbered houses to water landscaping only on Sunday, Wednesday and Friday between the hours of 9 p.m. and 6 a.m., and even-numbered houses on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday.

The change is more restrictive than the previous emergency guidelines, which allowed watering daily from 6 p.m. to 11 a.m.

The amendment comes on the heels of the board declaring a Stage 3 Water Shortage Emergency on June 25.

In Stage 3, residents must use no more than 80 percent of the water they used a year earlier.

Board counsel Daniel Schroeder told the directors on Wednesday that it was important to show that the community was making efforts to conserve water, because the State Water Resources Control Board would be monitoring activity by those with pre-1914 water rights.

Mountain House is in that group because it gets water from Byron-Bethany Irrigation District, which existed before 1914 and thus has the right to pull water from state-controlled sources, such as Delta waterways, when other districts that came later do not.

Residents who ignore the new ordinance can expect fines of up to $100 per violation.

Schroeder said the state board was requiring water conservation that included no outdoor runoff, no hose use without a shutoff nozzle, and no use of water on any hard surfaces, such as hosing off driveways or sidewalks.

“We’re still at risk of (water) curtailment,” he said. “We will be watching what it is they do. If the ordinance doesn’t meet (the state’s requirements), we will change the ordinance.”

Director Jim Lamb said he watched the hearings by the water board, and he said it was disclosed that the board was getting only 30 percent compliance from post-1914 water users. He said that was the reason the board had decided to leave pre-1914 users alone.

“Water is still flowing,” Lamb said. “There is still potential that the water will run out, so in essence, they (the water board) are running out the clock.”

Director Celeste Farron recommended that the board authorize the new interim general manager, Gabriel Karam, who was appointed at the start of the meeting, to hire someone to monitor and enforce the 20 percent water-use conservation. Karam will take his new position Monday.

Residents looking for ways to conserve water can go on the district website, MHCSD.com, for tips, Farron said. Residents who have have changes in their household can petition the General Manager for an increase in their water allowance.

Schroeder said the process at the state level was confusing.

“It’s like being on an ice flow,” he said. “Things seem to be changing with the passing of every day.”

• Contact Denise Ellen Rizzo at drizzo@tracypress.com or 830-4225.

 
Comments
(6)
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Sneaky
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July 12, 2014
...odd-numbered houses to water landscaping only on Sunday, Wednesday and Friday between the hours of 9 p.m. and 6 a.m., and...

That is a rather screwy approach to attempt to force homeowners to reduce water usage. I don't think they have thought their cunning plan all the way through. I imagine the vast majority of folks just increasing the watering duration so that their grass ultimately gets the same amount of total weekly watering time that it got before.

mthouseman
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July 11, 2014
mo ho and their water problems...

$160-$220 per month for water, sewer, garbage, and "fees" to pay for the plant, and now they have to cut back on watering the streets. They will fine you if you use too much water, and they will fine you if you don't keep your yard green and lush. Sounds like a recipe for disaster.

Couple of years ago they were known as the most underwater subdivision in America. If this drought keeps up, underwater mortgages will be the least of their worries
IMHO
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July 16, 2014
I'm confused. If you hate MH so much, why not just move?
mthouseman
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July 16, 2014
you may not realize it, but not everybody that lives in Mo Ho, lives inside the compound
ohbrian
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July 11, 2014
This is borderline funny. A few weeks ago I had to pick someone up in mountain house for a few days to commute. The streets on the way in were completely drenched from the the city's own sprinklers! Get the city sprinklers in check before you hammer the residents.
tracyresdnt
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July 11, 2014
Maybe the city will pay the residents each time they have some runoff.


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