Some Huntington Beach Residents Will Have To Scale Back Their Water Usage To Comply With New City Rules That Go Into Effect Wednesday.
Orange County Register / Annie Burris
HUNTINGTON BEACH — Some Huntington Beach residents will have to scale back their water usage to comply with new city rules that go into effect Wednesday. The new restrictions limit when residents and businesses can water landscapes, prohibit excessive water flow and runoff, and require restaurants to only serve drinking water when requested. Huntington Beach will set new restrictions on water usage beginning Wednesday. Those who violate the rules could be guilty of a misdemeanor, which could include fines up to $1,000 and 6 months in the county jail, officials say. The city could also disconnect the person’s water supply.
The City Council approved the changes in November, citing California’s ongoing drought and new Metropolitan Water District of Southern California requirements. Other Orange County cities that have similar restrictions include Garden Grove, Westminster, San Clemente, and San Juan Capistrano.
“Essentially we’ve had so many years of drought that we are really required to … cut back on the water,” said Huntington Beach Mayor Cathy Green. “It is just a matter of changing your habits a little bit.”
Huntington Beach businesses and residents have generally done well conserving water, Green said.
The city’s population increased by about 30,000 residents in two decades but households reduced water consumption to 140 gallons per day from 195 gallons during that time, according to city statistics.
Last year, Surf City residents consumed the least amount of water in 20 years. Water usage was down about 20 percent from 1990, when residents used about 13 billion gallons of water – the highest water consumption year from 1988 to 2008.
City officials credited the reduced usage to aggressive conservation campaigns.
Ron McLin with Longboard Restaurant and Pub in downtown Huntington Beach said several businesses have already implemented the new water restrictions. State officials had suggested the changes several years ago and the city rules are making those changes official, he said.
“From what I saw, most of us are already doing it,” McLin said.
The new restrictions also prohibit residents from watering lawns and plants between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. Residents can water lawns and plants only one day a week from November through March and three days a week from April through October. Watering is limited to 15 minutes per day per area, according to the new regulations.
Residents cannot wash down driveways and leaks must be repaired seven days after the owner is notified.
Water fountains are required to have re-circulation systems and commercial car washes must install water saving systems.
For a complete list of restrictions visit surfcity-hb.org/hbwater or call Public Works at 714-536-5921.
Public Works is on Facebook
Huntington Beach’s Public Works department has a Facebook page devoted to water conservation. The online group has about 50 fans and updates about how to cut water usage. The page can be accessed by searching for Huntington Beach Water.
“Desalination must be included in any discussion of future water sources for Orange County."