The Rancho Santa Fe Post

SFID Resume Fines for Water Violations

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On August 31st, the Santa Fe Irrigation District (SFID) resumed citing and fining customers for water-use violations. Citations were halted in July so the district could update procedures and methods for citations and tracking.

Following Governor Jerry Brown's executive order to institute state-wide mandatory cuts of water-use by 36 percent last February, the SFID adopted new restrictions to comply with the mandate. For example, there is a twice-per-week limit on landscape watering.

In response, SFID customers managed to cut water usage by 48 percent in July and 37 percent in June, according to the district. 

Water restrictions include the following:

  • Assigned Irrigation Schedule: ODD number addresses can water on Sunday and Thursday; EVEN number addresses can water on Saturday and Wednesday. Apartments, Condominiums, and Businesses are allowed to water on Monday and Friday.
  • Irrigation Times: Irrigate landscape, no longer than 10 minutes per station, before 8am or after 6pm on your assigned day.
  • Stop Inefficient Irrigation: Eliminate irrigation overspray; irrigate with buckets or with hoses that have that have automatic shut-off valves; no irrigating within 48 hours of a measurable rain event.
  • Minimize outdoor water waste: Avoid washing paved surfaces except for health and safety reasons.
  • Wash cars only at car wash facilities that recycle or use high pressure/low volume systems.

Typical water-use violations are irrigation runoff from leaks or watering on restricted days. First-time violators will receive a warning, after additional violations within a one-year period fines will be $250, $500, and $1,000.

If a customer wishes to request a variance from the water-use restrictions, that customer will pay a $50 administrative fee. The SFID board discussed increasing the $50 fee to $100 and instituting a $250 fee for agricultural exceptions, but declined to implement increases in the end.

If customers are worried about re-instated fines the district provides mechanisms to make water use more efficient.

In a visit to San Diego in early August, Governor Brown mentioned mandatory cutbacks will be modified in February 2016 after this initial emergency order expires. 

For more information, visit www.sfidwater.org