Water District in San Marcos Launches Water Waste Patrols

The Vallecitos Water District in San Marcos will begin patrolling for drought ordinance violations on May 11

A water district in San Marcos plans to launch a patrol program next week to keep an eye out for water wasters and those in violation of drought ordinances.

The Vallecitos Water District will begin its “water waste patrols” on Monday throughout its service area in an effort to enforce water restrictions and educate residents on conservation amid California’s historic drought.

Beginning in the pre-dawn hours and continuing throughout the day, Vallecitos Water District employees will be on the lookout for drought ordinance violations including overspray and runoff into gutters, watering between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m., watering during and 48 hours after it rains and hosing down hard surfaces like driveways.

The employees will patrol in marked water district vehicles and will carry water district identification.

“The goal of these patrols is not to penalize customers, but to remind them about watering restrictions and the importance of saving water. We want to help our customers do the right thing and will provide resources and tools that can assist them,” explained Vallecitos Water District general manager Dennis O. Lamb.

The water district said it has already been responding to water waste reports from residents online, by email and by phone.

By implementing these drought patrols, the district said it will be able to better achieve water conservation targets.

The Vallecitos Water District is one of many local districts ordered to save water. Effective on June 1, the Vallecitos Water District will have to save 24 percent, according to goals set by state regulators.

The water district said first-time violators approached during these drought patrols “will receive a warning and will be prescribed corrective measures.”

“The District will work with these customers to educate them about the drought and the associated water use restrictions. Continued violations may result in fines,” the Vallecitos Water District said Thursday.

Vallecitos serves approximately 97,000 residents in a 45-square-mile area that includes San Marcos, Lake San Marcos, parts of Carlsbad, Escondido and Vista and other surrounding unincorporated areas.

For more information about the California drought and its impact on San Diego, read NBC 7’s Running Dry section.

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