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Fresno 'Water Police' Look for Water Wasters

The City of Fresno's Water Division gets about 100 reports a day of people wasting water. Water conservation representatives patrol Fresno neighborhoods to remind people of the designated watering days and times. At first contact, there's no fine. But if the water police has to come back again, there's a $45 fine involved each time after.

Water conservationists at the City of Fresno's Water Division are looking for water wasters.

In this drought year, saving water is even more important.

Our news crew rode along Thursday while water conservation representative Lee Rodriguez was on patrol.

In Fresno's Sunnyside neighborhood, water flows to the curb, down the street, and around the corner.

Rodriguez finds the source--water flowing from a home's backyard.

He stops to tell the woman there that she's watering outside the designated time.

"A lot of people are not aware of the schedule and also not aware that there are ways to conserve water. So we try to teach them a little about that," Rodriguez says.

He doesn't issue her a citation because it's the first time she's been contacted. He only gives her a pamphlet with the watering schedule and a friendly reminder.

But around the corner, the sprinklers are on, and Rodriguez says he's been here before.

While it's their designated watering day, it's not the right time.
       
'I'm going to give you a schedule, and I'm going to give you a notice," Rodriguez tells the homeowner. "You can water before 6 in the morning or after 7 p.m."

"Oh, times matter? I thought it was just days," the woman says from behind a screen door.

"Hours, too," Rodriguez says.

He spends his days having interactions like that one--both patrolling or responding to calls from concerned residents.

The City of Fresno's Water Division gets about 100 reports a day, says Nora Laikam, water conservation supervisor.

"When they call in to complain about a neighbor or somebody over watering, they often refer back to the drought," Laikam says.

If a location is issued any subsequent notices, then they come with $45 fines.

But Rodriguez hopes people will get the message to conserve water.

"One guy used to water here all the time. I think he finally got it," Rodriguez says while patrolling the neighborhood.

In Fresno, watering days are different depending on the location's address.

During the spring and summer months, addresses ending in an odd number can water on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays.

Those addresses ending in even numbers can water on Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays.

No watering is allowed on Mondays.

Watering is only allowed between 7 p.m. and 6 a.m.

Check the city of Fresno's website for complete information: http://www.Fresno.Gov/government/departmentdirectory/publicutilities/watermanagement/conservation/schedule.Htm

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