Chapter 13.07


13.07.010    Substandard water fixtures prohibited.

13.07.020    Water runoff prohibited.

13.07.030    Council water conservation powers.

13.07.040    Utilities manager powers.

13.07.050    Violations.

13.07.060    Definitions.

13.07.070    Water use reduction.

13.07.080    Excess water use surcharge.

13.07.090    Additional authority.

13.07.100    Hearing for exceptions.

13.07.110    Reservation of rights.

13.07.010 Substandard water fixtures prohibited.

No person shall cause or allow any water received by such person from the city water system to be wasted due to substandard, leaky or faulty water fixtures or water-using or distributing devices. (Ord. 1089 § 1 (part), 1987)

13.07.020 Water runoff prohibited.

A. No person shall cause any water delivered by the city water system to flow away from property owned, occupied or controlled by such person in any gutter, ditch or in any other manner over the surface of the ground, so as to constitute water waste runoff.

B. “Water waste runoff” means water flowing away from property and which is caused by excessive application(s) of water beyond reasonable or practical flow rates, water volumes or duration of application. (Ord. 1089 § 1 (part), 1987)

13.07.030 Council water conservation powers.

A. When deemed necessary in the judgment of the city council to conserve water during critical water periods, the city council may by resolution declare an emergency condition and do any or all of the following which in its judgment is deemed advisable after publication of notice thereof in a newspaper of general circulation distributed in the city or after reasonable notice thereof is otherwise given by the city to users:

1. Limit irrigation within the city water service area to specified hours, or prohibit irrigation entirely within the service area or any portion or portions thereof;

2. Limit all customers inside the city water service area to specified maximum usages of water for each category of users;

3. Implement other water conservation measures as deemed appropriate.

B. In order to comply with any mandatory actions required by the State Water Board or any other agency having jurisdiction over the waters of the state, the city council may by resolution limit outdoor irrigation of ornamental landscapes or turf with potable water to three or two days a week in accordance with the following schedules:


Three-Day a Week Schedule

Even numbered addresses:

Sundays, Tuesdays and Thursdays

Odd numbered addresses:

Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays


Two-Day a Week Schedule

Even numbered addresses:

Tuesdays and Fridays

Odd numbered addresses:

Mondays and Thursdays

C. In order to comply with any mandatory actions required by the State Water Board or any other agency having jurisdiction over the waters of the state, the city council may by resolution limit outdoor irrigation of ornamental landscapes or turf with potable water between the hours of seven p.m. and seven a.m.

Nothing in this subsection C shall limit the use of nonpotable water (i.e., recycled or gray water systems) for outdoor irrigation of ornamental landscape or turf.

D. The following public facilities may be allowed to be renovated on an annual as needed basis: Emerson Field, Meadow Park Field, Mission Plaza Turf, Santa Rosa Center Field, Santa Rosa Softball Field, Sinsheimer Stadium, Stockton Field, and Throop Field. Annual renovation shall include an initial germination period during which daily watering at these eight facilities is allowed for a period of up to six weeks. Following renovation, these eight facilities will be allowed to be watered up to three days a week in order to sustain them. (Ord. 1631 § 2, 2016; Ord. 1619 § 2, 2015: Ord. 1607 § 3, 2014: Ord. 1116 § 2 (part), 1988)

13.07.040 Utilities manager powers.

If the city council adopts a resolution declaring a critical water period or any emergency in the water system as set out in Section 13.07.030, the utilities manager is authorized and directed to take any appropriate action which in his or her judgment will best conserve water during the duration of the emergency; such action may include but is not limited to the following:

A. Specify the days and/or hours during which water users may irrigate;

B. Notify owner or owners of property in writing of leaks in the water line on their private property and require repair of such leaks within three days after such notification. Upon failure to comply, the water department shall turn off the water on the property until the leak is repaired. Service will be restored after the property owner corrects the leak. Reconnection fees will be charged as set forth in Section 4.20.080 (Restoration-reconnection charge) of this code. (Ord. 1116 § 2 (part), 1988)

13.07.050 Violations.

A violation of this chapter shall constitute an infraction and may be punishable by this code and/or result in discontinuance of water service as provided in Sections 13.04.180 (Discontinuance of service) and 4.20.080 (Restoration-reconnection charge). (Ord. 1116 § 2 (part), 1988)

13.07.060 Definitions.

The following words or phrases, whenever used in this chapter, shall be construed as defined in this section unless from the context a different meaning is intended or unless a different meaning is specifically defined within individual sections of this chapter:

A. “Base period” means that period of time over which the base water use is computed. (Ord. 1168 § 2 (part), 1990: Ord. 1143 § 2 (part), 1989)

13.07.070 Water use reduction.

No customer of the city shall make, cause, use or permit the use of potable water from the city for residential, commercial, industrial, agricultural, governmental or any other purpose in a manner contrary to any provision of this chapter.

A. Mandatory Water Conservation. The city will establish by resolution a mandatory water conservation program.

B. Residential Lifeline Allowance. No customer shall be surcharged or otherwise be penalized for failure to reduce water consumption below a lifeline rate as established by the city.

C. Prohibited Water Uses. In addition to any other requirements of this code, all consumers are deemed to have under their control at all times any and all water distribution lines and facilities serving the property benefited by the water service and to know the manner and extent of their water use and any runoff. The following specific uses of water are prohibited and constitute a violation of this code:

1. Use of water from fire hydrants shall not be used for any purpose other than to fight fires or for other activities where such use is immediately necessary to maintain the health, safety and welfare of the residents of San Luis Obispo.

2. Restaurants may not serve water to their customers except on specific request.

3. Potable city water shall not be used for major construction activities, such as grading and dust control, and shall not be used to wash down sidewalks, driveways, or parking areas except to alleviate immediate fire or sanitation hazards.

4. New landscaping may be restricted or prohibited during mandatory water conservation. The council shall adopt by resolution procedures to implement this section. (Ord. 1395 § 1, 2001: Ord. 1168 § 2 (part), 1990: Ord. 1143 § 2 (part), 1989)

13.07.080 Excess water use surcharge.

To encourage compliance with mandatory water conservation, there shall be a surcharge added to the water bill if a customer exceeds the established allocation amount. The city will establish by resolution the surcharge method and amount. (Ord. 1168 § 2 (part), 1990: Ord. 1143 § 2 (part), 1989)

13.07.090 Additional authority.

The city has the authority to install a flow restrictor or terminate water service to any customer who is in violation of this code, including the failure to meet water conservation reduction requirements. Prior to the termination of a water service, the city will provide a due process hearing before the water conservation adjustment board. The criteria to install a flow restrictor or terminate water service will be established by resolution. (Ord. 1168 § 2 (part), 1990: Ord. 1143 § 2 (part), 1989)

13.07.100 Hearing for exceptions.

The water conservation adjustment board, consisting of the directors of the city’s finance, utilities and community development departments or their designees, may grant exceptions for uses of water otherwise prohibited by Section 13.07.070. Rules and procedures for filing and hearing requests for exemptions shall be adopted by resolution of the council. Appeals may be taken from decisions of the board in the manner set forth in said resolution. (Ord. 1168 § 2 (part), 1990: Ord. 1143 § 2 (part), 1989)

13.07.110 Reservation of rights.

The rights of the city under this chapter shall be cumulative to any other right of the city to discontinue service. All moneys collected by the city pursuant to the provisions of this chapter shall be deposited in the water fund as reimbursement for the city’s costs and expenses of administering and enforcing this chapter. (Ord. 1168 § 2 (part), 1990: Ord. 1143 § 2 (part), 1989)