State to city: Arcata must conserve more water (revised)


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Media Contact: Mark André, Director September 25, 2015 Environmental Services Department (707) 822-8184 or 845-5804

State to City: Arcata must conserve more water

The State Water Resources Control Board began requiring Arcata to cut water usage by 4 percent and to begin following water conservation requirements in June. As of September, Arcatans’ water use has neither increased nor decreased.

The State required Arcata to report the amount of water used beginning on June 1. Between June 1 and August 31 Arcata’s average water use registering a zero percent reduction compared to the same period in 2013, the State’s baseline year.

The average Arcata resident uses 47 gallons of water a day. Cutting usage by 4 percent translates to using 2 gallons less per day. The easiest methods to make this reduction goal include installing low-flow showerheads and aerators for kitchen and bathroom sinks, running washing machines or dishwashers only when they are full, watering plants and lawns less frequently or taking shorter showers. Cutting showering time by five minutes can save up to 12.5 gallons of water.

Residents can purchase low flow showerheads and aerators for reasonable prices at local hardware stores or get a set for free by being one of the first 25 visitors to the City’s water conservation table at the Saturday, September 26 Arcata Farmers Market.

Following the “if it’s yellow, let it mellow” approach to toilet flushing also quickly cuts down on water use. The California Department of Water Resources is providing a $100 rebate to consumers who replace inefficient toilets with ultra low flow toilets. Visit for details.

In Arcata, people are now required to refrain from: 1) allowing runoff onto neighboring property or sidewalks and roads when watering landscaping; 2) watering when it’s raining or for 48 hours after it’s rained; 3) watering more than four days per week (commercial nurseries are exempt from this rule); 4) watering between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m.; 5) watering with a hose that isn’t fitted with a shut-off nozzle; 6) watering turf on street medians except where needed to protect trees; 7) watering landscaping outside of newly built homes in a way that doesn’t meet California Building Standards Commission or Department of Housing and Community Development requirements; 8) washing a vehicle with a hose that is not fitted with a shut-off nozzle; 9) washing driveways, sidewalks, patios or parking lots unless necessary to protect public health and safety; 10) using a decorative water feature that does not recirculate water; and 11) serving water in an eating or drinking establishment unless it is requested. Also, hotels and motels must let guests know they have the option to not wash their sheets and towels every day. Exceptions to this mandate will be made for public health and safety reasons.

The City of Arcata has lowered its water usage by watering its sports fields more precisely, installing low flow toilets, not washing City vehicles, not watering landscaping around pump stations and other utility facilities, and seeking out and repairing leaks. Arcata residents and visitors will see some browned lawns and shrubs around City facilities as a result.

“The State has issued mandatory restrictions on water use,” says Arcata Environmental Services Director Mark André. “We need all Arcata residents and businesses to help conserve water so that Arcata is in compliance with the regulations.”

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