Jul 29 2014
Pasadena City Council Declares Level 1 Water Shortage #pasadena

Pasadena City Council Declares Level 1 Water Shortage


  • The Pasadena City Council at its July 28, 2014 meeting declared a local water emergency, establishing a 20-percent conservation goal and implementing the City’s Level 1 Water Supply Shortage Plan, with mandatory water waste restrictions effective immediately. The Level 1 plan limits watering to three days per week in summer, one day per week in winter and requires that leaks be repaired within 72 hours, in addition to permanent water waste prohibitions. PWP customers can report water waste by calling (626) 744-8888 at any time or report online via the Pasadena Citizen Service Center. Fines for repeat offenders can be up to $500 per violation for residential customers, and up to $1,000 per violation for commercial accounts. See below for a complete list of water waste restrictions.

    Pasadena’s Permanent Water Supply Shortage Ordinance remains in place. Thirteen instances of water waste remain permanently prohibited, with enforcement, in PWP’s service territory.

    State Water Board Adopts Emergency Water Regulations

    As California is facing a severe drought, the State Water Resources Control Board (“State Water Board”) Adopted Resolution No. 2014-0038 with proposed Emergency Regulations on July 15, 2014. These regulations require numerous statewide conservation measures and water waste prohibitions. Pasadena’s existing permanent water waste prohibitions (PMC 13.10.032) cover these requirements, except for the limitations on watering days.


    The following is a summary of the key components in the Water Shortage Procedures Ordinance. Click here to read or print the unabridged ordinance.

    If you have witnessed a possible instance of water waste and would like to report it to Pasadena Water & Power, please call the Pasadena Water Shortage Hotline at (626) 744-8888, or submit an online service request below.

    Pasadena Water & Power will send a formal notice to the address where water waste is thought to have occurred. The goal of these notices is to give all persons and businesses the opportunity to correct the problem; become better informed about the importance of water conservation; deter future instances of waste; and, change water habits for the better.

    For a list of the City’s permanent water waste restrictions visit:  https://cityofpasadena.net/waterandpower/waterwaste/

    The following instances of water waste that are permanently prohibited at all times:

    • No watering outdoors between 9 a.m. and 6 p.m., except with a hand-held container or hose with a shut-off nozzle, or for very short periods when adjusting a sprinkler system;
    • No watering during periods of rain;
    • No excessive water flow or runoff onto pavement, gutters or ditches from watering or irrigating landscapes or vegetation of any kind;
    • No washing down paved surfaces unless for safety or sanitation, in which case a bucket, a hose with a shut-off nozzle, a cleaning machine that recycles water or a low-volume/high-pressure water broom must be used;
    • All property owners must fix leaks, breaks or malfunctions when they find them, or within seven days of receiving a notice from PWP;
    • Fountains and water features must have a re-circulating water system;
    • Vehicles must be washed with a hand-held bucket and/or hose equipped with a water shut-off nozzle (does not apply to commercial car washes);
    • Restaurants may not serve drinking water unless by patron’s request;
    • Restaurants must use water-saving dish wash spray valves;
    • No installation of non-recirculating water systems at new commercial car washes and laundry systems;
    • Effective July 1, 2010, all commercial car washes must have a re-circulating water system or secure a city waiver;
    • Hotels and motels must give guests the option to decline daily bed linen and towel changes; and
    • No installation of “single pass cooling systems” in buildings requesting new water service.

    The city’s “Water Shortage Level” will tell you how many days per week you can water outdoors and other water use restrictions.

    In the event that a water shortage is declared by City Council, they will also declare which of four “Water Shortage Levels” exists. The Level will indicate which other water use restrictions will take effect in addition to the permanent water waste prohibitions listed above.

    Water Shortage Level





    # of watering days per week*

     Apr. 1-Oct. 31

     ONLY 3 DAYS MAX -Tues, Thurs. & Sat. ONLY

    Nov. 1-Mar. 31

     CHOOSE ONLY 1 DAY – Either Tues., Thurs. OR Sat.

    2 Summer

    1 Winter

    1 Summer

    1 Winter

    No Irrigation

    Obligation to fix leaks, breaks and malfunctions

    72 hours

    48 hours

    36 hours

    24 hours

    Additional restrictions

    No filling ornamental lakes or ponds; no washing vehicles

    No filling ornamental lakes or ponds; no washing vehicles

    No filling ornamental lakes or ponds; no washing vehicles; no fillings pools or spas; no new potable water service

    * PWP, at its sole discretion, may make exceptions to these restrictions for extenuating circumstances. See PMC Sections 13.10.040 to .050 in the Water Waste Prohibition ordinance.

    Warnings and fines will be used to enforce the ordinance.

    PWP will work closely with customers to provide helpful information and issue written warnings for first offenses. However, homeowners and small-business customers with meter sizes smaller than 1 ½” who continue to violate the ordinance will face fines of $100 – $500 for future violations. Fine amounts are double for customers with meters of 1 ½” or larger. Flow restrictors may also be used to achieve compliance. A customer does have the right to a hearing if a written request is received by PWP within ten (10) days of the date of notification. See PMC Sections 13.10.065 to .095 in the Water Waste Prohibition ordinance for details on fines.

    Documents and Additional Information:

    Council Approves “Comprehensive Water Conservation Plan”(Agenda Report, April 13, 2009)

    Conservation measures in addition to those specified in Water Shortage Plan

    Water Tips and Rebates


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