16.15.010    Chapter definitions.

16.15.020    Authority to regulate.

16.15.030    General water use.

16.15.040    Impairment of water service to other customers.

16.15.050    Cross-connection control and backflow protection.


Unless the context requires otherwise, the following definitions shall be used in the interpretation of this chapter.

(a)    “Backflow protection device” or “device” means an apparatus specifically designed to prevent the occurrence of the flow of water or other substances from the customer’s plumbing into the public water system, and which is specifically approved by the Foundation for Cross-Connection Control and Hydraulic Research at the University of Southern California, or the State of California’s Department of Public Health, for that purpose.

(b)    “Contamination” means the impairment of the quality of the water in the city’s water system through the introduction of any substance into the public water system, including water previously delivered to a customer through the city water system.

(c)    “Cross-connection” means any unprotected actual or potential connection or structural arrangement between a customer’s water system and any other source or system through which it is possible to introduce into any part of the system any used water, or substance other than the intended water with which the system is supplied. Bypass arrangements, jumper connections, removable pipe sections, swivel or change-over devices and other temporary or permanent devices through which this may occur are considered to be cross-connections.

(d)    “Unusually large quantity of water” means an amount that is substantially in excess of and in addition to a customer’s customary water usage and that occurs on an infrequent basis. Uses that are occasional but customary, such as the filling of a swimming pool or a hot tub at a residential account, would not be considered an unusually large quantity of water; however, use of a hydrant meter for a commercial, industrial, or construction project would be considered an unusually large quantity of water.

(Ord. 2016-06 § 7 (part), 2016).


The city council is authorized to regulate, by resolution, the use of water within the corporate limits of the city as it deems necessary to conserve the water supply of the city of Santa Cruz and provide, during a water shortage, for limitations on use of the water supply of the city for all purposes. The city council is empowered to prohibit the use of water for any purposes not directly connected with the preservation of the public health, welfare and safety of the inhabitants of the city of Santa Cruz.

The director is authorized and directed to provide for limitation and curtailment of usage of water in the service area of the Santa Cruz water department outside the corporate limits of the city of Santa Cruz in accordance with resolution adopted by the city council.

Resolutions adopted by the city council establishing water use regulations shall be effective immediately after their publication in a newspaper of general circulation distributed in the city of Santa Cruz.

(Ord. 2016-06 § 7 (part), 2016).


(a)    Use on Other Properties. The account holder shall not use or allow the use of any significant quantity of water from his/her connection on any property not specifically included in his or her application for service.

(b)    Resale of Water. No water received from the city may be resold without special approval from the water department.

(c)    Unusually Large Quantities of Water. Account holders shall make arrangements with the water department prior to using an unusually large quantity of water. Water department approval may be given if delivery of the water through the city’s water facilities can be accomplished safely and without inconvenience to other account holders.

(d)    Use of Water Outside the Service Area. No water received from the city may be used outside the system’s service area without prior approval from the city.

(Ord. 2016-06 § 7 (part), 2016).


Where a customer’s consumption is intermittent or subject to extreme fluctuations thereby impairing service to other customers, the water department may require the customer to provide, at the customer’s expense, suitable equipment to reasonably limit fluctuations in use or pressures caused by the customer’s use.

(Ord. 2016-06 § 7 (part), 2016).


(a)    Incorporation of California Title 17. The regulations of the Department of Public Health, Title 17 of the California Code of Regulations, Section 7583 through 7605, as amended from time to time, are hereby adopted, incorporated by reference and made a part hereof, insofar as the same are applicable to the protection of the city water system.

(b)    Where Protection is Required. In accordance with department policies and procedures, an approved backflow protection device shall be installed and maintained at every service connection where the department determines there is an actual or potential risk to the public water supply of contamination, pollution, or deterioration in water quality. The level of protection required and the type of device required shall be determined by the department in relation to the degree of the actual or potential hazard. The director’s decisions on such determinations shall be considered final.

(c)    Ownership and Responsibility. Any backflow protection devices installed pursuant to the requirements of this section are the sole property and responsibility of the account holder. It shall be the responsibility of the account holder to furnish, inspect, install, and test the device, and to maintain the device in proper working condition at all times. The city shall not be liable for any injury to people or damage to property which may result directly or indirectly from the installation, malfunction, testing or repair of any backflow device.

(d)    Enforcement. Water service may be discontinued immediately and without notice to the customer if the department determines that the city water supply is being contaminated or is in immediate danger of contamination. The director’s decisions on such determinations shall be considered final.

(e)    Policies and Procedures. The department shall maintain written policies and procedures, approved by the director, which specify:

(1)    Circumstances and conditions under which the installation of a backflow prevention device shall be required;

(2)    Guidelines for the determination of the degree of hazard and level of protection required;

(3)    Requirements for inspection, testing and maintenance of backflow devices; and

(4)    Notices and other enforcement actions that will be taken by the city regarding these requirements.

(Ord. 2016-06 § 7 (part), 2016).