SAWS Cracking Down on Water Wasters as Stage One Continues

Now that we've been in Stage One water restrictions for the last couple of months, SAWS is ready to unleash the water police on violators, News Radio 1200 WOAI reports.

"The contracted police officers who are out there monitoring are not going to find it necessary to give them a warning before wirting a citation for wrong day watering," Karen Guz, the SAWS Conservation Director, told News Radio 1200 WOAI.

Stage One restrictions limit the use of a sprinkler or in ground watering system to one day a week, on a day designated by the last number of the street address.  They also limit excessive watering, and watering during the heat of the afternoon, when much of the water is lost to evaporation.

And Guz says the fine will probably be more than your monthly water bill.

"It is up to the judge what it costs, but the tickets have been averaging about $130.

She says the restrictions are not only for homeowners.  She says businesses have to follow the same restrictions, and even government agencies like school districts have to comply.  She says this time of year, schools can get special waivers to water football fields to keep them safe for the players.

If you're not following the rules, it will be obvious. Guz says many of the reports that go to the water police come from neighbors who notice excessive or improper watering as they drive through their neighborhoods.

"We're getting a lot of reports in," she said.  "We view them as a helpful way to remind people who may not have caught on that we are in water restrictions."

And she says, with rains missing the metro area, we could be seeing Stage Two water restrictions before we know it.


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