Sacramento is cracking down on water wasters.
The Sacramento City Council voted to immediately put into effect a mandatory 20 percent reduction in water use. The water use cutbacks affect the city and residents.
Only two days into the restrictions, city workers are already on the hunt for violators. Violators will get a warning for their first offense, but after that they face fines.
So, on Thursday afternoon, News10 photographer Dave Novick and I decided to drive through the city and warn people about their water use before they got in trouble with the city. As we drove through Sacramento's residential neighborhoods, we didn't have to look far for water offenders.
A home in Land Park had sprinklers blasting in the middle of the day in the middle of the week. No one answered the door to offer an explanation, nor were we able to warn the homeowner that outdoor water use has been restricted since the water use cutbacks. Residents are only allowed to water their lawns and other outdoor greenery on the weekend and at night, according to the city's restrictions.
The outdoor water use cutbacks also apply to businesses. A News10 viewer emailed and wrote they often saw Methodist Hospital of Sacramento watering their grounds; so we drove by to check it out. The sprinklers weren't running when we got there around 11 a.m., but the ground and even the surrounding sidewalk were still wet.
A spokesperson for the hospital told us they have their sprinklers set for late nights and early mornings, but they are in the process of scaling back because of the city's vote this week. Clearly, our viewers will be watching the hospital.
People driving along Fruitridge Road could see water flowing down from the city's Belle Cooledge Community Center campus. Shortly after we got to the center and found the watering sprinkler, workers showed up. There was a small crack in the sprinkler, which caused the leak and extra water use. Workers fixed the problem in about 10 minutes.
City leaders are calling on everyone to not only conserve water themselves, but report anyone you see wasting water. You can remain anonymous. All you have to do is call the city's 311 line and let them know where to find the offenders.