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Water Restrictions Eased, Conservation Still Advised
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It was a good rainfall year and though California isn’t out of its drought yet, Escalon City Council members have approved some changes in the water restrictions previously set.

By a 4-1 vote on Monday night, with councilman Robert Swift dissenting, the council approved a resolution setting certain regulations and restrictions regarding water conservation.

Earlier this summer, the council passed an ordinance allowing them to make changes to the restrictions by resolution, so they can take effect more quickly. The new regulations go into effect today, Wednesday, Aug. 17.

Monday will remain a ‘no water’ day but city residents can now water three days of the week as opposed to two. Previously those residents with even addresses could water Sunday Wednesday or Frida, choosing two of those days. Now they can use all three, though officials recommended a shorter amount of time spent watering each day. Odd numbered addresses can water Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday.

“Staff will monitor for the next 30 to 90 days,” City Manager Tammy Alcantor told the council, noting they will see if the extra day of use causes a major increase in water usage.

Those without automatic systems can’t water between 10 a.m. and 7 p.m. and the use of water to wash down sidewalks, patios, driveways and the like is prohibited except if necessary for public health and safety, sanitation or fire protection purposes.

“The city’s goal of allowing the three days of watering is to potentially reduce the current amount of water being used based on the two watering days,” said Alcantor. “Residents are encouraged to water the extra day but need to reduce the amount of watering time.”

She also noted that in June, the per capita usage was 216 gallons per person per day, which is an increase from 2015 but still lower than levels for June in the past couple of years prior to that.

Council members noted that drip systems are exempt to watering hours and days but, according to the resolution “shall have no excessive water leaving the property or area being watered.”