Kevin L. Hoover
Mad River Union
ARCATA – The Arcata City Council last night tightened restrictions on water use, introducing an emergency ordinance pursuant to a state mandate over the drought-related water shortage in California. The ordinance will likely be adopted by the council and would normally go into effect June 17, but because of the statewide emergency situation, the restrictions are in effect immediately.
While the state goal is 25 percent, since Arcata residents use fewer than 65 gallons per day of water – 47, to be exact – the city must reduce water usage by just 8 percent. That works out to something like 3 ½ gallons per resident per day. The restriction applies to both individual residents and the city. For its part, the city will reduce vehicle washing and selected landscaping-related irrigation, and will increase leak detection and greywater capturing efforts.
Restrictions for citizens include watering sidewalks and driveways with excessive runoff, outside watering during or up to 48 hours after “measurable” rainfall, watering lawns and landscaping, watering between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m., use of potable water in fountains, automatic service of water in restaurants and more.
Environmental Services Director Mark Andre encouraged citizens to implement greywater capturing techniques, like taking a bucket into the shower and using that water on plants. He said the city will provide outreach and education to help citizens achieve the water use reductions.