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Outdoor Watering Banned in Area of Madera Ranchos
New watering restrictions go into affect Thursday for the MD-10A area within the Madera Ranchos that relies on three wells.
All outdoor watering will be banned until further notice.
The area is roughly between Avenues 36 and 37 1/2.
During stage 4 water conservation, there are no warnings. Violators will be fined $75 on first notice, $125 on the second, and $175 the third time.
Johannes Hoevertsz with the Madera County Public Works Department says water pressure is now dropping at those three wells.
"The pressure in the system started going low last week. For the last month we've been monitoring it," Hoervtsz says.
No outdoor watering will be allowed: "No irrigation, no washing your cars, no topping off pools or anything that has to do with outside watering," Hoervtsz says.
But the rules don't apply to farmers and those who have private wells, which makes some residents upset.
"I just want them to be fair. If there's going to be pain, they should spread it around," says Jim Turner, who lives in the affected area of Madera Ranchos.
Heather Frandsen has a private well on her property.
She supports the new restrictions even though they wouldn't apply to her.
But she says she and her family of seven are already doing what they can to conserve water since the water comes from the same aquifer.
"We are scooping our shower water. We're not flushing every time. My 6-year-old scoops her own bath water," Frandsen says.
For her, the shared pain comes in the form of a 480-foot hole they had a drilling company dig to put in a new well that came up dry.
Now out about $21,000, she and her family are in a bind.
"Well we have our options--to try to dig another one, or to abandon our property, or to truck water in," Frandsen says.
Residents say these new restrictions are pitting neighbor against neighbor--those who are already conserving water and letting their lawns die against those who are keeping their grass green.