City to Enforce Outdoor Watering Rule After Tuesday Night Rainfall

Violations may result in a fine.

Residents looking to water their lawns after Tuesday night’s rainfall will have to refrain from doing so.

That’s because city workers will be out enforcing a rule that went into effect in March, banning residents from watering their lawns and landscapes 48 hours after “measurable rainfall.”

Gov. Jerry Brown put in place a statewide mandate last month prohibiting residents from watering their outdoor landscapes and lawns during and 48 hours after measurable rainfall.

For the storm expected Tuesday night, city officials said they do plan to enforce the rule in the coming days.

“To be safe, a good rule of thumb is: if it rained enough to replace an irrigation cycle for your landscape, then skip an irrigation cycle and turn it off for at least 2 days,” the city said in a statement.

The city will be issuing a warning explaining the violation at first, they said, and violations in the future may result in a fine.

Additionally, the city said if it rained enough at your house to replace an irrigation cycle, residents should consider that amount of rain to be measurable and should turn off irrigation for the next 48 hours to avoid a violation.

The rule is raising questions for some residents, many of which said they did not know about the water rule, but others said they already follow the approved rule. Residents are seeing the month-old rule in a new light as a rainstorm rolls in to San Diego County. 

"I wait until it rains,” said Rancho Penasquitos resident Patrick Flaherty. “If it rains, I turn it off, yes." 

The mandatory regulation is part of a larger set of drought regulations approved in March by the city, including switching out hose nozzles, washing cars and other rules.

In those regulations, irrigation is not allowed during a rain event, the regulations state. Irrigation can be used at any time, however, if it is required by a landscape permit, for erosion control, for the establishment, repair or renovation of public use fields for schools and parks and for landscape establishment following a disaster.

"I think it makes sense,” said Rancho Penasquitos resident Marie Bradford. “It's just common sense."

Ten members of the city’s Public Utilities Department are tasked with enforcement of the regulations.

For more on the rules approved in March, click HERE.

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