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April 14, 2009
Contact: Jeff Hood, communications specialist, (209) 333-6801

City of Lodi reminds residents to conserve water

Since 1977, the City of Lodi’s water conservation ordinance has encouraged year-round water conservation by enacting measures to help slow Lodi’s groundwater depletion.  Since the start of the program, Lodi has significantly reduced per capita water usage. 

This year, Gov. Schwarzenegger has asked residents to reduce their water use by 20 percent in response to less-than-normal winter rainfall.

All City of Lodi water is pumped from underground aquifers, which is recharged by the Mokelumne River, foothill aquifers and local rainfall. Despite our local conservation efforts, we have been using groundwater faster than it is being recharged. With your help, Lodi can reduce groundwater overdraft and preserve this precious resource. A 20-percent reduction in water use should include landscaping and indoor use changes. According to H2OUSE.org, a water conservation website, the five most-effective ways to save water around your home are:

  1. Stop those leaks! Studies have shown that homes can waste up to 10 percent of their water use to leaks.  Another large waste of water can be leaks in your irrigation system.  Check for water in the gutters or mud puddles.  Inspect your sprinkler system regularly.  If you have an older system, up to 75 percent of your water use can be lost to leaks.
  2. Replace your old toilet, the largest water user inside your home.  If your home was built before 1992, and you haven’t replaced your toilet, you probably don’t have a water-efficient 1.6-gallons-per-flush toilet. The City of Lodi offers rebates of $44 per toilet. See below for details on how to qualify for a rebate.
  3. Replace your clothes washer. Energy Star rated washers have a water factor at or lower than 9.5, use 35 percent to 50 percent less water and 50 percent less energy per load. 
  4. Plant the right plants with proper landscaping design and irrigation. Having a 100 percent lawn turf area in a dry climate uses significant amounts of water.  Consider the trend towards xeriscaping and a more natural landscape or wildscape. Plant more trees, which produce shade and a cooler, less-thirsty landscape. Trees also shade our buildings, which reduces our need for energy for cooling.
  5. Water only what your plants need, and mulch! Most water is wasted in your garden by watering plants which do not need watering, by evaporation from exposed soil or by not maintaining your irrigation system. Be attentive!  Watch your system while it is running and check for leaks, runoff, adjust timing, garden slope issues, or clogged backyard french drains, etc.  Consider installing a weather adjusting irrigation controller that automatically saves water when the plants don’t need watering. And simplest of all, mulch your landscaped beds with 4 inches of wood chips or gravel, or opaque plastic sheeting.

Learn more online at: www.h2ouse.org, or by talking with your San Joaquin County Master Gardeners at the UC Cooperative Extension, local nurseries or merchants.

Summary of Lodi Water Conservation Ordinance

For more information on the City of Lodi water conservation ordinance, visit the City’s website at www.lodi.gov. The following are the commonsense year-round provisions of Lodi’s water conservation ordinance:

Wasting of water includes, but is not limited to:

  • Allowing a controllable leak of water to go unrepaired.
  • Watering lawns, flowerbeds, landscaping, ornamental plants or gardens except on watering days as follows: odd number addresses on Wednesday, Friday and Sunday. Even numbered addresses on Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturdays. (Watering is not allowed on Mondays.)
  •  Watering lawns, flower beds, landscaping, ornamental plants and gardens between the hours of 10 a.m. and 6 p.m. From May 1 through September 30. (Watering between those hours is not allowed.)
  •  Washing down sidewalks, driveways, parking areas, tennis courts, patios and other paved areas or buildings.
  • Washing any motor vehicle, trailer, boat, or moveable equipment, except with a bucket. A hose shall be used for rinsing only and for not more than three minutes.
  • Use of a hose without a positive shutoff nozzle. (No open hoses).
  • Allowing excess water to flow into a gutter or any drainage area for longer than three minutes.
  • Overwatering lawns/landscapes, especially from November 1 through
    February 28, or during and immediately after a rain.

Education and cooperation is the primary goal. Local enforcement provisions, however, include:

  • First offense: City will leave an information sheet describing the waste so that it may be corrected.
  • Second offense (within 12 months): City will give written notice requiring a corrective action.
  • Third offense (within 12 months of second offense): City will give written notice, and a $35 charge will be added to the next utility bill.
  • Fourth offense (within 12 months of third offense): City will give written notice, and a $75 charge will be added to the next utility bill.
  • Fifth and subsequent offenses: City will give a written notice, and a $150 charge will be added to the next utility bill AND the City may require a water meter and/or flow restrictor to be installed at the water user’s expense.

The City’s water conservation rebate program is also in effect. The following are water conserving-eligible devices:      

Rebates of up to $44.00 on ultra low flow toilets rated at 1.6 gallons per flush or less when replacing units using a higher volume of water per flush. 

Rebates of 50 percent are available for low flow showerheads, insulated hot water heater blankets, and hose bib manual timers for outside water hoses.

Instant rebates are currently available at Orchard Super Hardware, 360 South Cherokee Lane, Lodi.

To apply for these rebates you must fill out an application/voucher at the local business.  If you have any questions, or would like further information concerning Water Conservation, please call Water Conservation, (209) 333-6829.

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