After more than a month under the county’s crisis mode of water restrictions, residents in Indian Lakes were able to breathe a sigh of relief once their water system was restored to status quo earlier this month.
On July 24, more than 500 homes in the subdivision near Chuckhansi Gold Resort & Casino were put on Stage 4 emergency water conservation rules.
That meant all outdoor watering was banned as the county scrambled to fix a burned-out pump on the area’s main well, No. 7, which when functioning produced more water than its remaining two wells combined.
Then Sept. 1, after the pump had been fixed, the well was flushed, and water was tested to meet state health standards, the watering ban was lifed and the subdivision returned to Stage 3 conservation.
“Everything is pretty much status quo,” said Philip Toler, county special districts manager. “Nothing’s changed, everything is up, normal, repaired, and replaced. It’s good news.”
Under Stage 3, enforced in Indian Lakes and nearly all special districts countywide, homes can turn on their sprinklers two days a week, with no outdoor watering allowed Monday, Thursday, or Friday.
Even-numbered addresses can water on Wednesday and Sunday, but not at any time between 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. The same time rule is applied to odd-numbered addresses, which can water Tuesdays and Saturdays.
Fines for violating the rules start at $75 on first violation, and up to $175 on the third offense. Any further violations are subject to a resident’s taps being turned off by the county.
Toler said county staff aren’t “water cops,” but after an emergency order by Gov. Jerry Brown earlier this year, staff had to assume an enforcement role.
“We’re not water cops, we’re water service providers,” Toler said. “We’re certified by the state to go maintain water systems. Unfortunately, Governor Brown wants us to be water cops too, so we’re doing our best to monitor at night, find anyone who is breaking the rules, all of that.”
For complete rules on Stage 3 water conservation, visit http://goo.gl/VQYdPh.
Details: Madera County Public Works (559) 675-7811.