10.08.010    Purpose

10.08.020    Definitions

10.08.030    Enforcement

10.08.040    Mandatory Restrictions On Water Waste

10.08.050    Plan For Industrial Users

10.08.060    Exemptions

10.08.070    Revenue Received From Enforcement

10.08.080    Warnings; Notice Of Violation

10.08.090    Declaration Of Nuisance

10.08.100    Penalty

10.08.010 PURPOSE:

The purpose of this chapter is to increase public awareness of the need for water conservation and to provide regulations and restrictions on the delivery of water and the consumption within the city limits of water supplied for public use as will: a) conserve the water supply for the greatest public benefit with particular regard to domestic use, sanitation and fire protection; and b) ensure compliance with water regulations of other governmental agencies of appropriate jurisdiction. (1972 Code § 13.09.010)

10.08.020 DEFINITIONS:

As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings ascribed to them in this section:


A water release mechanism securely affixed to the end of a water hose that requires the person using the hose to apply and maintain the flow of water and that shuts off immediately when pressure is released.


A transfer of a present interest in the property and a transfer of the right to beneficial use thereof, regardless of whether such transfer is voluntary, involuntary or by operation of law, court order, grant, gift, devise, inheritance, trust, contract of sale, addition or deletion of an owner, property settlement or by any other means.


A change from one use of a structure and/or parcel to another use that is identified as a different use under the zoning ordinance, title 12, of the city code of the city of Gonzales.


A system of pipes with a motor driven pump that recirculates water between the hot water heater and hot water faucets, so that substantially all the cold water standing in the pipes will be returned to the water heater and reheated before the faucet is turned on. The pump may be turned on and off by a manually operated switch, by a timer operated switch, or otherwise, or may be left permanently on.


Those industries which are charged under the industrial water rate as identified by resolution.


A completely new structure, a new addition to a previously existing structure, or the portion of a previously existing structure that is newly remodeled or renovated.


The condition of a ground water basin where the amount of water withdrawn by pumping exceeds the amount of water replenishing the basin over an extended period of time, or where the amount of water withdrawn by pumping results in an unacceptable degradation of ground water quality within the basin.


Any individual person and any firm, partnership, corporation, business entity, association, district, agency, city, county and any other entity or organization.


A water release mechanism ("nozzle") securely affixed to the end of a water hose which enables the user of the hose to control the flow of water in the hose, including stopping the flow of water completely and securely, by a lever or mechanical device in the nozzle.


A combination of landscape features and techniques that in the aggregate reduce the demand for, and consumption of, water, including appropriate low water using plants, nonliving ground cover, a low percentage of turf coverage, permeable paving and water conserving irrigation techniques and systems. (1972 Code § 13.09.020)

10.08.030 ENFORCEMENT:

The city manager and all officers and employees of the city shall enforce all the provisions of this chapter, by the issuance of citations, including warning citations, and taking all other necessary action, including bringing civil action to abate a nuisance as set forth herein, through the city attorney’s office. (1972 Code § 13.09.030)


A.    Cleaning Of Structures: No person shall use potable water through a hose to clean the exterior of any building or structure unless such hose is equipped with a shutoff nozzle.

B.    Cleaning Of Surfaces: No person shall use potable water through a hose to clean any sidewalk, driveway, roadway, parking lot or any other outdoor paved or hard surfaced area, except where necessary to protect public health and safety. The use of a bucket is not prohibited at any time for cleaning food, grease, oil or other stains or spillage from surfaces.

C.    Commercial Car Washes: No person in charge of the operation of any commercial car wash facility shall suffer or permit the washing of any boat, trailer, recreational vehicle or other vehicle in such facility or on its premises, other than by the following methods:

1.    Use of mechanical automatic car wash facilities utilizing water recycling equipment;

2.    Use of a hose that operates on a timer for limited time periods and shuts off automatically at the expiration of the time period;

3.    Use of a hose equipped with an automatic shutoff nozzle;

4.    Use of bucket and hand washing.

D.    Construction:

1.    No potable water may be used for compaction or dust control purposes in construction activities where there is a reasonably available source of reclaimed or other subpotable water approved by Monterey County health department and appropriate for such use.

2.    All hoses used in connection with any construction activity shall be equipped with a shutoff nozzle. When an automatic shutoff nozzle can be purchased or otherwise obtained for the size or type of hose in use, the nozzle shall be an automatic shutoff nozzle.

E.    Fountains: No person shall use water to operate or maintain levels in decorative fountains, unless such water is recycled in the fountain.

F.    Indiscriminate Use: No person shall cause, suffer or permit the indiscriminate running of water not otherwise prohibited by the provisions set forth herein which is wasteful and without reasonable purpose.

G.    Leakage Detection And Repair Program: The public works director shall maintain in effect a distribution system leakage detection and repair program. This program shall be reviewed on an annual basis and a report analyzing the results of the program shall be prepared by the public works director and submitted to the city council.

H.    New Construction:

1.    In all new construction, all toilets shall be ultra low flow toilets with a maximum tank size or flush capacity of one and one-half (1 1/2) gallons.

2.    All shower heads shall have a maximum flow capacity of two and one-half (2 1/2) gallons per minute.

3.    All hot water faucets that have more than ten feet (10’) of pipe between the faucet and the hot water heater serving such faucet shall be equipped with a hot water recirculating system.

4.    All new construction requiring a discretionary permit from the city shall apply xeriscape principles throughout the exterior landscape development associated with such new construction, including such techniques and materials as native or low water use plants and low precipitation sprinkler heads, bubblers, drip irrigation systems and timing devices.

I.    Public And Quasi-Public Entities: All public and quasi-public entities shall display, in visible locations in all restrooms, kitchens and dining areas, placards or decals approved by the city promoting public awareness of the need for water conservation and/or advising the public that waste of water is prohibited. "Quasi-public entities" include educational institutions, churches, recreational facilities open to the public, and other such entities designated by the city. Placement of placards or decals by a quasi-public entity of a type not specifically mentioned in this chapter shall not be required unless the city gives written notice to the entity that this chapter is applicable to the entity so notified and that placement of placards or decals is required.

J.    Repair Of Plumbing, Sprinkler And Irrigation Systems: Any person who is the owner, manager or person responsible for the day to day operation of any premises shall take action to initiate steps to repair any leaking, broken or defective water pipes, faucets, plumbing fixtures, other water service appliances, sprinklers, water or irrigation systems, or distribution systems within a reasonable time after such person learns of such leaks, breaks or defects, and shall thereafter diligently and promptly pursue such repair work to completion. In any event, such action initiating steps for repair shall take place within seventy two (72) hours after such person first learns of the problem, unless an exemption is obtained from the city.

K.    Retrofitting Existing Hotels And Motels: All existing hotels and motels shall, within six (6) months following the effective date hereof, be retrofitted with shower heads with a maximum flow capacity of two and one-half (2 1/2) gallons per minute.

L.    Retrofitting Upon Change Of Ownership Or Use:

1.    All existing residential structures shall, at the time of change of ownership, be retrofitted, if not already so modified, with ultra low flow toilets with a maximum tank size or flush capacity of one and one-half (1 1/2) gallons and shower heads with a maximum flow capacity of two and one-half (2 1/2) gallons per minute.

2.    All existing commercial and industrial structures shall, at the time of change of ownership or change of use, be retrofitted, if not already so modified, with ultra low flow toilets with a maximum tank size or flush capacity of one and one-half (1 1/2) gallons and shower heads, if applicable, with a maximum flow capacity of two and one-half (2 1/2) gallons per minute.

M.    Swimming Pools And Spas: No person shall empty and refill a swimming pool or spa except to prevent or repair structural damage or to comply with public health regulations.

N.    Unauthorized Taps In Water System: No person may tap into any water system without first obtaining written approval from the city public works department.

O.    Use Of Hydrants: No person, other than a member of the fire department of the city, the fire department of any other jurisdiction giving assistance to the Gonzales fire department in emergencies, or the city public works department may use water from a fire hydrant, without first obtaining a permit from the city public works department.

P.    Visitor Serving Facilities: The owner and manager of each hotel, motel, restaurant, convention and other visitor serving facility shall ensure that such facility displays, in places visible to all customers, placards or decals approved by the city promoting public awareness of the need for water conservation and/or advising the public that waste of water is prohibited.

Q.    Washing Of Vehicles: No person shall use a water hose to wash any car, truck, boat, trailer, bus, recreational vehicle, camper, aircraft, tractor, or any other vehicle, or any portion thereof, with potable water, unless the hose is equipped with an automatic shutoff nozzle.

R.    Water Spillage: No person shall cause, suffer or permit water to spill into streets, curbs or gutters. No person shall use any water in any manner which results in runoff beyond the immediate area of use, unless the contour of the premises is such that avoidance of some minimum spillage is impossible.

S.    Outdoor Irrigation Limits: Outdoor irrigation shall be limited to Sundays and Wednesdays. (1972 Code § 13.09.040; amd. Ord. 2015-85, 9-8-15)


A.    Submission Of Plan; Contents: In lieu of the tiered water rate structure (which applies to residential and commercial users only), all industrial users shall submit to the city, within six (6) months following the effective date hereof, a water conservation plan which includes the following information:

1.    Description of use of potable/nonpotable water.

2.    Amount of use (provide a 12 month history and projected consumption for the next 12 months)

3.    Description of programs and/or equipment that are in place to conserve water.

4.    Plans and time line for initiation of new programs or installation of new equipment to conserve water.

5.    Projected amount of reduction of water consumption as a result of programs/equipment in next twelve (12) months.

6.    Person responsible for implementation of the water conservation plan.

7.    Person responsible for completion of annual status report.

B.    All new industrial users shall be required to submit the above plan within six (6) months after start up of business within the city.

C.    Once the water conservation plan has been submitted and approved, all industrial users shall be required to submit an annual status report no later than twelve (12) months from the date of the plan’s approval to the city outlining their efforts to comply with water conservation measures established by the city council. (1972 Code § 13.09.050)

10.08.060 EXEMPTIONS:

A.    Application For Exemption:

1.    Any person may, at any time, apply in writing for an exemption from strict application of this chapter. The application for the exemption shall be filed with the city manager.

2.    The city manager may, in his/her discretion, temporarily dispense with the requirement to file a written application, if he/she finds that an emergency condition exists requiring immediate action on the exemption request.

B.    Temporary Exemption: The city manager may grant a temporary exemption of up to one year to come into compliance with the terms of this chapter upon making both of the following findings:

1.    The strict application of the chapter would create an undue hardship, or an emergency condition exists which requires that the exemption be granted; and

2.    Granting the exemption will not cause a significant adverse effect on the water supply or on service to other water consumers.

C.    Imposition Of Conditions: In granting an exemption, the city manager may impose any conditions in order to ensure that the exemption is consistent with the overall goal of water conservation. The granting of an exemption and any conditions imposed upon such exemption shall be set forth in writing.

D.    Right Of Appeal; Fee:

1.    Any decision of the city manager with respect to an application for an exemption may be appealed, in writing, to the city council with filing fee as set by the city council.

2.    The city council shall schedule the matter for hearing within thirty (30) days of receipt of appeal.

3.    The city council may confirm, modify, or rescind any decision of the city manager in this regard. The city council’s decision on all exemption appeals shall be final. (1972 Code § 13.09.090)


All revenue received by the city from enforcement of this chapter shall be used exclusively for city water conservation programs, including, but not limited to, administration, monitoring and enforcement costs of mandatory water conservation. (1972 Code § 13.09.100)


In order to encourage cooperative efforts to achieve water conservation, it shall be the policy of the city to issue a written warning notice when an alleged violation is first noted. Such warning shall include an explanation of the alleged violation. Any individual provided with such notice will then be given an opportunity to correct the identified problem. However, if an infraction citation is issued and a prosecution commenced for the alleged violation, in no case shall proof of a violation depend upon the showing that a warning was previously given, nor shall failure to give a warning be a defense. (1972 Code § 13.09.060)


A.    Nuisance Declared: Any violation of this chapter is hereby declared to be a public nuisance.

B.    Abatement Or Civil Action By City: In accordance with the provisions of chapter 5.20 of this code, the city may, upon order of the city council, abate an identified public nuisance and/or bring civil action to enjoin or abate the nuisance and make the costs of nuisance abatement a special assessment against the parcel of land on which the nuisance is located or originates.

C.    Additional Remedial Action: Nothing contained in this section limits the city to the prescribed remedy, or prevents the city from initiating and prosecuting any other remedy available to it for the abatement of a public nuisance, or for recovery of the cost of abatement, under the civil or criminal statutes of the state or under other ordinances of the city. (1972 Code § 13.09.080)

10.08.100 PENALTY:

A.    Infraction; Penalty: Each violation of this chapter is an infraction punishable as provided for in subsection 1.16.010B of this code.

B.    Separate Offense For Each Day: Any violation that occurs or continues from one day to the next shall be deemed a separate violation, for each day during which such violation occurs or continues to occur. (1972 Code § 13.09.070; amd. 2003 Code)