Sprinkler overuse reported with parts of Kern County still in drought

Posted at 4:14 PM, Mar 13, 2017
and last updated 2017-03-13 19:14:31-04
We haven’t seen rain in over two weeks, with more sunshine in store and temperatures going into the 80’s! This is causing people to use sprinklers more than often to water their lawns and their gardens to keep everything from drying out.  Plans are made to break out the sprinklers when they get off work tonight.  A Bakersfield resident named Larry has this to say.
“Yes probably maybe this evening since we been having quite a bit of warm weather, my yard, the front yard, the back for about fifteen minutes.”
But, it could be fifteen minutes too long with recent reports of over usage of water and water waste with some spots of Kern County still in the lowest level of drought.  I talked to Art Chianello with the Bakersfield Water Resources Department see how much water is being wasted and what residents can expect if they go over the water code.
"Well, I think people are continuing to have an eye for water waste and we get reports every day about sprinklers that people are watering on the wrong day, or the sprinkler might be broken and its causing to flood.  We get those reports and we follow up by letting the people know at their residence that they should make some corrections.”
If they don’t make the corrections they can actually get cited for using sprinklers on the wrong day or using too much water.  Chianello has this to say.
"Yes they can. The Munical Code allows us to do that. What we like to do is take a pro active educational approach to let people know that they have a sprinkler watering the sidewalk or they have a broken sprinkler or they are washing down the drive way and they should not be doing that.  If they continue to ignore the advisements that we give them then we do have the authorization in place to give them a citation.”
To avoid not getting a citation, here are some tips that you can use while watering before you are watered down with an unexpected bill from the Water Department.
"That is watering only three times a week for outside irrigation and we have even and odd days depending on your location. And there is also no watering on Mondays.  Even though we have a lot of rainfall and the rivers are full, we still need to plan and conserve groundwater that is being pumped and that is a third part of our water source, a large part of our water source. So we need to continue to conserve and allow the water levels to recharge and that is going to take several wet years for them to come back to normal.”
Even though it is getting warmer, and drier, be sure you are checking with the Water Resources Department to make sure you are not going over the water code this spring.  In Bakersfield, Adam Bowles 23ABC.