Long Beach Water Issues Business $800 Penalty for Violating Water Restrictions

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The Long Beach Water Department issued its first water violation penalty last week, serving an $800 charge to a business who continuously violated four different landscape irrigation water restrictions. Long Beach Water used the smart meter technology to identify the water violations.

“California needs to take greater measures to ensure water conservation and that means moving into the enforcement stage of water restrictions,” said Harry Saltzgaver, President of the Board of Water Commissioners. “Long Beach is again stepping up and taking action to secure our limited water supply.”

Long Beach Water uses the water waster reports it receives to determine if a smart meter is needed to identify water violations. A Long Beach Water employee must document the water violation before issuing a warning to the owner of the water account. If Long Beach Water documents the violation a second time, the account owner will be served with a $200 charge for each water violation under the Stage 1 Water Supply Shortage.

“Using smart meter technology, we are able to identify water violations in a quick, easy and cost-effective manner,” said Kevin Wattier, General Manager of the Long Beach Water Department. “This enforcement policy will help us identify and take action on those Long Beach residents and businesses who are wasting a lot of water and have not responded to notifications and changed their behavior during this unprecedented drought.”

The smart meter register is installed over an existing water meter and collects water consumption data in five-minute increments. The data is downloaded to a website that Long Beach Water and each resident or business will be given access to view their daily water use to see high spikes in consumption.

Long Beach restricts certain uses of water. For a full list of water restrictions visit www.lbwater.org/water-use-prohibitions.

Long Beach Water is an urban, Southern California retail water supply agency, and the standard in water conservation and environmental stewardship.

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