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UPDATE: Santa Clarita to residents: Be our water police

Posted: August 18, 2014 4:38 p.m.
Updated: August 18, 2014 4:38 p.m.

The city of Santa Clarita is inviting residents to become its water police: to report when and where they spot broken city-owned sprinkler heads geysering water or other city watering systems wasting the precious liquid.

“The city is vigilant about conservation and is doing its best to monitor and reduce our water use wherever possible,” Santa Clarita Mayor Laurene Weste said in a prepared statement released Monday.

“Residents also play an important role in the city’s conservation efforts by reporting concerns when they see them. The sooner we know about potential issues, the faster we can investigate and make necessary repairs.”

Santa Clarita’s track record for fixing broken watering equipment has been within an hour of receiving a complaint, said spokeswoman Gail Morgan. City officials hope to keep up that record with this call for residents to be on the lookout for wayward sprinklers, she said.

No small task; Santa Clarita has about 27,000 sprinkler heads and 9,000 irrigation valves to maintain, Morgan said.

The offer applies only to city-maintained landscaping, medians and parks. Residents who want to report violations on county land, school campuses, private businesses or federal facilities should register their complaints with those agencies.

Potential water police can make their reports in two different ways: They can download the Santa Clarita eService application on their iPhones or Androids, snap a photo of the offending sprinkler, upload it to the system, and report concerns for review.

The mobile application also allows residents to report graffiti, abandoned vehicles, transit issues, street repairs and traffic lights that are out. The eService app is available on the city’s website,

An after-hours Landscape Maintenance District hotline at 661-286-4050 is also available for non-emergency calls about sprinkler issues in medians and public spaces.

The three-year drought prompted the state Water Resources Control Board to issue restrictions on water use July 15. Those restrictions carry potential fines.

They include watering to the extent that water runs off a yard; using water to wash down driveways and sidewalks; and using a hose without a shut-off nozzle to wash a car.

Last week the Santa Clarita Valley’s water retailers imposed restrictions on the days when residents can water their yards, limiting them to three days a week during warm months and two days a week during cooler months.




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