BY NICK DIAMANTIDES
Now that California is in its third year of drought, municipalities throughout the state are imposing increasingly stringent regulations on water use. Signal Hill is no exception. During its Tuesday meeting, the Signal Hill City Council gave its preliminary approval to an ordinance mandating an updated version of the city’s water conservation program.
The 11-page ordinance gives the council authority to declare three levels of water-supply shortage. Each level includes water use restrictions that are more severe than the preceding level. The council has also declared that a level-one water shortage currently exists.
Under that level, during the months of April through October, the irrigating of any lawn, landscape or other vegetated area with potable water is only permitted on Mondays, Thursdays and Saturdays from 4pm to 9am. From November through March, irrigation days are Mondays and Thursdays.
Level-one regulations also require residents and business owners to fix all leaks, breaks and malfunctions in their plumbing or water distribution system within 72 hours of notification by the city. In addition, the filling or refilling of ornamental lakes, fountains or ponds is prohibited during a level-one water shortage. Ponds or lakes necessary to sustain aquatic life that have been actively managed and cared for prior to the level-one declaration are excepted from that regulation.
Council members also asked staff to find out if allowing ornamental ponds, lakes and fountains to be filled or refilled would lead to Metropolitan Water District (MWD) sanctions against the city. The updated ordinance approved by the council was designed to comply with recently adopted MWD regulations.
The ordinance also includes 15 permanent regulations that are in effect regardless of the level of water shortage.
The next meeting of the Signal Hill City Council is scheduled for 7pm on Tuesday, May 5. in the council chambers of Signal Hill City Hall.