When and How to Report Water Waste

We’ve all witnessed water abuse: broken sprinklers flooding a sidewalk, sprinklers spraying on rainy days, hoses left running.  With the state of California in its third year of drought the City needs your help in eliminating water waste.  Water waste is defined as the following:

  • Causing or permitting excessive water to discharge, flow, or run to waste into any gutter, sanitary sewer, water course, or storm drain, or to any adjacent property, from any tap, hose faucet, pipe, sprinkler, or nozzle. In the case of irrigation, “discharge,” “flow,” or “run to waste” means that the earth intended to be irrigated has been saturated with water to the point that excess water flows over the earth to waste.
  • Allowing water fixtures or heating or cooling devices to leak or discharge excessively.
  • Backwashing so as to discharge to waste from swimming pools, decorative basins or ponds in excess of the frequency necessary to ensure the healthful condition of the water or in excess of that required by standards for professionally administered maintenance or to address structural considerations.
  • Operation of an irrigation system that applies water to an impervious surface or that is in disrepair.
  • Irrigation of landscaping during rainfall.

To report water waste, please call the Public Works Department at (916) 617-4850.

Before you call, and to make efficient use of limited staff, having the following information ready would be very helpful:

  • Address of water waste. If you do not have an exact address, provide as much location information as possible.
  • Date and time that you observed the over-watering.
  • What you actually observed. For example:
    • Was the water running into the gutter?
    • Approximately how long had it been running?
    • Was the over-watering from irrigation, an open hose, a broken sprinkler?
    • If you have observed over-watering at this location in the past, please provide that information also.

Within a few days, City staff will contact the responsible party by phone, mail or in person to issue a water waste warning, if appropriate.

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