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1,2,3-Trichloropropane (TCP) is a chemical that was an unnecessary ingredient in agricultural soil fumigants applied to farm fields from the 1950s to the 1980s. After being applied to the ground over many years, TCP has migrated down into our groundwater and has been detected in several District wells. The State Water Resources Control Board, Division of Drinking Water (DDW) says that, while TCP levels in our water do not pose a health emergency and there is no need to use an alternative (e.g. bottled) water supply, some people who drink water containing TCP over many years may have an increased risk of cancer, based on studies of laboratory animals.
The District is committed to providing high quality drinking water that meets or exceeds all state and federal water quality standards at all times. As such, the District has stopped pumping certain wells where TCP has been detected and is in the process of designing and constructing treatment facilities to remove TCP from the water before it is made available to our customers.
TCP can effectively be removed using granular-activated carbon (GAC) technology. GAC is also recognized by the State of California as the "best available technology" to remove TCP and is the exact technology that the District will be implementing to remove TCP.
We encourage you to review our most recent Annual Water Quality Report (PDF). For additional questions or requests for further information, call 909-624-0035, ext. 185.
Backflow is possible in two situations, backsiphonage and backpressure. Backsiphonage occurs when there is a sudden reduction in the water pressure in the distribution system, such as during firefighting or when a water main breaks, water flow can be reversed. This can create a suction effect drawing the non potable substance into the potable water system.
Backpressure is created when pressure in non-potable system, such as in a recirculation system containing soap, acid or antifreeze, exceeds that in the potable system pressure. This can force the potable water to reverse its direction of flow through the cross connection. Non-potable substances can then enter the potable water system.
A cross connection is a permanent or temporary connection between potable drinking water and anything that can pollute or contaminate the water supply.
Water distribution systems are designed to keep the water flowing from the distribution system to our customer. However, when hydraulic conditions within the system deviate from the "normal" conditions, water flow can be reversed. When this backflow happens, contaminated water can enter the distribution system.
Cross connection control is a program designed to ensure safeguards are in place to protect our water supply. Through education and cooperation among the public and water providers, we can continue to provide high quality drinking water.
Budget-based tiered rates reward customers for using water efficiently. The District uses publicly available data to estimate your indoor and outdoor water needs - your water "budget" - and charges lower rates for this amount of water usage.
We don't! We estimate your water needs, and then charge lower rates for the water you use to meet your needs based on these estimates. Our estimates are based on State of California standards for efficient residential indoor and outdoor water use. The following is how we calculate your efficient indoor and outdoor water needs.
We use lot size, original structure, and additional hardscape (30% remaining area). The District estimates irrigated landscaped area by using information from the San Bernardino County Assessor’s Office. We take your lot size, then subtract the square footage of the original dwelling structure built on the property, and then subtract 30% of the remaining area for additional hardscape (additions, garages, driveways, sidewalks, etc.). The result of that calculation is your estimated irrigated landscape.
Tiers 3 and 4 represent inefficient and excessive usage above your water budget. Tier 3, or usage above Tier 2, is calculated by adding half of Tiers 1 and 2 together. Tier 4 is any usage above Tier 3.
Yes! Submit an Application for Water Budget Variance (PDF). District staff will work with you to make sure our estimates of your indoor and outdoor water needs are accurate and fair. Call 909-624-0035 for assistance.
To start/stop service please contact customer service at (909) 624-0035. A deposit is required when starting service.
Monte Vista Water District will forward your information to the City of Montclair to establish your trash and sewer service account. For questions regarding these services, please call 909-625-9472.
Monte Vista Water District does not bill for trash or sewer services. Contact your local city or county for information about trash and sewer services.
Call customer service at 909-624-0035 and request an extension. There is a nominal fee for this service.
Call our Customer Service Representatives at 909-624-0035 and they will be happy to give you that information.
The District is open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., but is closed in observance of the following holidays:
Martin Luther King Jr. Day
Thanksgiving and the day after
New Year's Eve
New Year's Day
Specific dates for holiday closure are noted on the District's calendar, which is on the home page of this website.
Possible reasons for a high water bill:
To reach the District after regular business hours, please call the general line at 909-624-0035 and follow the prompt to reach stand-by personnel.
Monte Vista Water District's drinking water supply is obtained from two main sources:
In addition, the District owns stock in San Antonio Water Company and receives its entitlement through a connection with the City of Upland. The sources of Upland's water supply include groundwater, local surface water (San Antonio Canyon), and imported surface water.
The water distributed by Monte Vista Water District that our customers receive at their taps meets or exceeds all state and federal drinking water standards set to protect public health.
The Federal Safe Drinking Act of 1974 and its 1986 amendments are intended to ensure the quality of our nation's water supplies. In order to ensure that tap water is safe to drink, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the California State Water Resources Control Board set forth regulations that limit the amount of certain contaminants in water provided by public water systems.
A drought is a period of persistent dry weather that continues long enough to cause serious problems such as plant damage and water supply shortages. When a severe drought takes place, we must all do our part to reduce water use and conserve as much as possible.
There is a Just for Kids page that has several neat websites that have lots of information about water, games and activities. Check it out! If you need additional information, call the community affairs office at 909-267-2130.
MVWD offers educational resources, materials and programs to assist educators in teaching their students about the value of water and the need to conserve. MVWD also hosts a Poster Contest and Bruce J. Lance Jr. Water Scholarship Program to incentivize students in learning more about water and conservation.
The Project Wet Workshops page provides details on what the workshops consist of and how to sign up.
Yes, any student who resides in the MVWD service area has the opportunity to apply.
Yes, any student who resides in the MVWD service area has the opportunity to participate.
If your school is located within the Monte Vista Water District service area, then you are eligible to participate in any educational opportunity. Click here to view a map of our service area.
Please visit the appropriate program page for details on current details, participation criteria, etc.
Art posters can be submitted in person or electronically. Visit www.mvwd.org/postercontest for current program details.
Scholarship applications can be completed and submitted online. Don’t forget to upload your essay and statement of financial need.
Yes, MVWD can visit your classroom and lead a water-related activity tailored to the students’ grade level. Please allow 2-3 weeks for scheduling and planning. Call 909.267.2130 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to request a visit.
Yes, MVWD offers resources and activities for teachers on the resources for teacher’s page which includes web links to assist educators in teaching their students about the value of water and the need to conserve.
The Chino Basin Water Conservation District/Waterwise Community Center offers field trips to students to support place-based discovery of waterwise landscapes and exploration of the relationship between people and the environment. For more information, visit Instructor-Led Field Trips | Chino Basin Water Conservation District, CA (cbwcd.org).
Monte Vista Water District administrative offices are located at:10575 Central AvenueMontclair, CA 91763Phone: 909-624-0035
The nearest cross streets are Holt Boulevard and Central Avenue.
Monte Vista Water District provides retail water services to the city of Montclair, portions of the city of Chino and the unincorporated areas of San Bernardino County in Ontario, Chino and Pomona. The population of these areas totals over 46,000. The District also provides wholesale water supply to the city of Chino Hills.
Monte Vista Water District was founded in 1927 as a county water district under the California Water Code. It is governed by a 5-member Board of Directors who are elected by the voters within the District's service area. It is considered a special district and conducts its business similar to other public agencies with noticed open meetings and proceedings.
The District has over 13,172 active metered connections, including the following:
MVWD only accepts employment applications for positions that are currently open and listed on our Employment page. An application must be submitted electronically by clicking on the application button. You can submit your application in person, by mail, or electronically.
No. Resumes will be accepted in addition to, but not in lieu of a District employment application. You may attach documents (resume, cover letter, certifications, transcripts, etc.) to your application.
Monte Vista Water District only accepts applications for open positions that have been posted on our website and for which we are actively recruiting. Applications are not accepted unless the position is open.
Open until filled means that the position will remain open until sufficient number of qualified applications have been received. Once this occurs, the position may close at any point.
If the job announcement indicates a date on which applications will be first reviewed, it means that we will consider the first group of applications received before any others. We will continue to accept applications after the first review date, once we have received a sufficient number of qualified applicants we will close the position immediately.
No. A completed application is required for each job opening. A resume may be attached to the application if desired.
No. Monte Vista Water District accepts applications only for current job openings.
Completed applications must be received by the Human Resources Office by close of business on the closing date. Applications are accepted by mail, fax or in the lobby at our main office. Applications postmarked on or before the closing date will be accepted.
Participating customers must renew and re-certify their eligibility every year (usually around July 1st), but may be asked to recertify their eligibility sooner.
Each May, MVWD sends letters to all customers participating in LAP, telling them to renew their application to avoid losing payment assistance. Customers who do not re-apply by June 30 are removed from the program.
To continue receiving payment assistance on your bill, submit a new LAP application with the supporting documentation (an energy utility bill showing participation in CARE/FERA). You can apply online or we can mail a printed application.
Yes. Customer Service will send letters to LAP customers reminding them that participation in the payment assistance program must be renewed by June 30 each year. This will ensure there is no interruption to your participation in the payment assistance program.
If you are no longer eligible, you must notify MVWD within 30 days of losing eligibility.
Applications may take up to 30 days for review.
If approved, LAP funding will be applied to the next water bill following application approval.
Customer participation in LAP is on a “first come, first serve” basis. Program funding is limited and not guaranteed.
The District's Board of Directors must approve all new water mainlines and service lines. For more information, including the procedures and information required for the approval process, call the Maintenance Department at 909-624-0035, ext. 112.
If a customer is experiencing a noticeable drop in water pressure, a call to the Maintenance Department usually results in the performance of a flow test that measures the amount of water the customer receives both at the water meter and at the front water spigot at the house or business. A pressure test is also taken.
Depending on the test results obtained from measuring the flow, the service line from the main waterline in the street to the meter may be upgraded. The District may also make recommendations that the water service line from the meter to the house be upgraded, which is the responsibility of the property owner. The District's responsibility ends at the water meter.
Because the District's entire distribution system operates on gravity, flows may not be significantly altered even after replacement of lines. Call the Maintenance Department at 909-624-0035, ext. 112 for more information.
The most common water quality complaints received by the District involve odor, taste or color. Other complaints include sand or other debris, milky or cloudy water or air. The District's water quality operators investigate all complaints. If deemed appropriate, operators flush hydrants in the vicinity if taste or odor is persistent. In older buildings, internal plumbing lines may be the cause of many water quality issues.
Sand in the water is caused by wells that generate sand as the motor is turned on. Operators flush hydrants in the area thoroughly to alleviate this condition. Air in the system is also due to well operation. Flushing is also performed with necessary operational changes or repairs made. Reports of debris in the water are usually caused by faulty filter systems within the internal plumbing system of the residence or business.
Milky or cloudy water is typically dissolved oxygen combining as it passes through flow restrictions, such as faucet screens, resulting in a "milky" appearance. Fill a clear glass at your faucet and watch the water clear from the bottom of the glass to the top, as the air bubbles rise. For more information, call the Water Quality Department at 909-624-0035, ext. 122. You can also report a water quality concern to use by using our online form.
During regular business hours, contact customer service immediately. After regular business hours and on the weekend, call the District's main number, 909-624-0035 and follow the directions on the telephone menu to report an emergency water problem.
A District staff member will be notified and will come to the location to determine if the leak is the responsibility of the District or the homeowner. If the leak is determined to be an emergency and is the responsibility of the District, our staff will tend to the problem as soon as it is possible. If it is determined that the leak is not an emergency, the District must file a "Dig Alert" to request other utilities mark the location of their infrastructure (gas, electric, telephone, cable) prior to crews digging in the street. The District is required to allow at least 3 full business days for utilities to respond to Dig Alert requests.
For information, call the Maintenance Department at 909-624-0035, ext. 112. You can also report a leak online.
Per- and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances (PFAS) are a family of chemicals used widely in products that resist heat, oils, stains and water. Products manufactured with PFAS include: non-stick cookware; fast-food packaging and pizza boxes; stain- and water-repellant fabrics, including clothing and carpets; and other products found under the brand names Scotchgard, Gore-Tex and Teflon. They also were used in fire-fighting foam (a major source of groundwater contamination at airports and military bases).
There are thousands of types of PFAS, but the two most commonly used, studied and regulated are Perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) and Perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS). The use of PFOA and PFOS in the U.S. was voluntarily phased out in the 2000s, though they are still used in products manufactured in other countries.
PFOA is a possible human carcinogen. If people ingest PFAS, through food or water that contain them, the PFAS can accumulate in the body. They stay in the body for long periods of time and the level of PFAS may accumulate to the point where people experience adverse health effects.
MVWD has tested for PFOA and PFOS and they were not detected in our drinking water supply.
Based on water quality regulations, MVWD tested for PFAS in 2013 and there was no detection of PFAS in MVWD water sources. Recent legislation passed by the California legislature authorizes the state to develop stricter regulations for monitoring PFAS and they are currently conducting a statewide assessment to determine the scope of contamination by PFAS in water systems and groundwater.
As with all water quality monitoring and testing, results are made public in MVWD’s Annual Water Quality Report, which is published and provided to all MVWD customers by July 1st each year. The most recent Annual Water Quality Report can be viewed here.
If PFOA or PFOS are detected in our water supply at unacceptable levels, water quality can be improved by:
California Division of Drinking Water: http://www.waterboards.ca.gov/drinking_water/certlic/drinkingwater/PFOA_PFOS
Association of California Water Agencies: Fact Sheets
Monte Vista Water District is committed to providing high quality drinking water that meets or exceeds all state and federal water quality standards at all times. MVWD will add granular-activated carbon (GAC) and ion exchange technology to the water treatment process at Plant 30, located on San Bernardino St. in Montclair, to meet stricter regulations recently implemented by the State Water Resources Control Board’s Division of Drinking Water (DDW). The project will include 12 GAC vessels, each approximately 10’ in diameter and 18’ tall, as well as four slightly larger ion exchange vessels.
The State Water Resources Control Board’s Division of Drinking Water (DDW) now requires advanced treatment of drinking water for 1,2,3-Trichloropropane (TCP). TCP is a chemical that was an unnecessary ingredient in agricultural soil fumigants applied to farm fields from the 1950s to the 1980s. After being applied to the ground over many years, TCP has migrated down into our groundwater and has been detected in some District wells.
The water distributed by Monte Vista Water District that our customers receive at their taps meets or exceeds all state and federal drinking water standards set to protect public health. Groundwater produced by MVWD’s wells requires very minimal treatment prior to distribution. However, the groundwater basin from which MVWD draws water has areas of high concentration of nitrates, a salt that at certain levels may pose a health risk to vulnerable populations. MVWD currently uses ion exchange treatment to remove nitrates from the pumped groundwater. The Plant 30 Wellhead Treatment Project will add granular-activated carbon (GAC), which is recognized by the State of California as the “best available technology” to remove TCP and improve drinking water quality for MVWD customers.
Construction of the treatment project is anticipated to begin October 2020 and could last approximately 12 months. Much of the construction project will occur on MVWD’s Plant 30 site, located on San Bernardino St. in Montclair. Pipelines will also be installed along Benson Ave., between Palo Verde St. and Orchard St., to distribute water from two other MVWD wells to be treated at this facility. MVWD staff are working very closely with the cities of Montclair and Ontario as well as the Ontario-Montclair School District to coordinate construction and reduce impacts to residents and nearby schools.
Recycled water is regulated by the California Department of Public Health and the State Water Resources Control Board, California Regional Water Quality Control Boards, and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. These regulatory agencies have approved the use of recycled water for:
Recycled water is appropriate for all human contact, except for drinking.
All water on earth is, in some way, recycled. However, the current meaning of recycled water is wastewater that has been treated and purified through a high level of treatment that is approved by regulatory agencies for non-potable (non-drinking uses), such as for landscape irrigation, some industrial uses and other approved uses.
Water treatment technology has been developed to mimic nature's cleansing process. Prior to its use, recycled water undergoes four levels of purification to produce a high quality water that meets or exceeds water quality standards.
The wastewater is collected in large tanks where settled and floatable materials are removed for further treatment and disposal. The wastewater, which still contains dissolved and suspended organic material, continues to the next stage of processing.
The wastewater is further treated in aeration tanks which contain naturally occurring microbes and enzymes that consume the remaining dissolved and suspended organic material. Air is bubbled through the tanks to supply the microbes with oxygen. Settling is then used to separate these microbes from the treated water.
Filtration and disinfection processes, using specialized granular material or membrane filters, are used to remove any remaining suspended solids.
Recycled water is distributed via its own dedicated pipeline system to end users. The recycled water distribution system uses purple pipes to distinguish that system from the drinking water system.
In general, not unless you want to change your tap water's taste or remove the minerals that cause it to be hard. While many people prefer the taste of bottled water, tap water is subject to even more-stringent quality standards than bottled water and is tested more frequently.
Some customers may be sensitive to the taste or odor of their tap water caused either by naturally occurring minerals or by residual chlorine added to ensure disinfection. We recommend first trying the simple practice of placing the water in a pitcher and letting cool in the refrigerator. Also, most inexpensive carbon filters will remove residual chlorine.
Pregnant women and people with medical conditions affecting their immune system should consult a physician to determine whether a supplemental treatment system is appropriate.
The Federal Safe Drinking Act of 1974 and its 1986 amendments are intended to ensure the quality of our nation's water supplies. In order to ensure that tap water is safe to drink, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the State Water Resources Control Board set forth regulations that limit the amount of certain contaminants in water provided by public water systems. Department of Public Health regulations also establish limits for contaminants in bottled water that provide the same protection for public health.
The District is not able to recommend a specific brand of water softener. However, the District urges customers to install only softeners that do not discharge salt into the sewer system, as this will negatively impact the quality of recycled water.
The hardness in the District's water is caused by the presence of calcium carbonate, a naturally occurring mineral necessary for healthy bone growth.
Please refer to the District's most recent Annual Water Quality Report. The level of hardness in our water supply is listed in the Report in parts per million (ppm). To convert to grains per gallon, divide by 17.1.
Occasionally the District receives customer inquiries regarding the appearance of cloudy or milky tap water. This condition is usually due to the presence of dissolved oxygen in the water supply. As the water passes through household water faucet restrictors and/or aerators, the dissolved oxygen collects to form small but visible bubbles.
This appearance will typically clear within 30 seconds, as the bubbles rise and dissipate into the atmosphere. The cloudy or milky condition is not indicative of a water quality or public health concern.
One billing unit is equal to 100 cubic feet of water, or 748 gallons of water.
The readiness-to-serve (RTS) charge is a bi-monthly fee based on meter size that covers a portion of the fixed costs of operating the District. Such fixed costs include maintenance of the water system and facilities, customer service, administration, and staffing.
A "pass through" charge covers unforeseen increases in wholesale charges for imported water and groundwater management, which may be passed through to the customer as they occur. If the District finds it necessary to pass through unforeseen wholesale charge increases, customers will be informed of these additional charges in advance of the effective date, and each additional charge will be itemized on each bill.
There are currently no pass through charges being assessed to District customers.
Budget-based tiered rates reward customers for using water efficiently. The District uses publicly available data to estimate each customer's indoor and outdoor water needs (your water "budget"), and allocates sufficient lower-priced water to meet those needs. If customers exceed their budget, higher rates are charged for the additional use.
The District currently offers a budget-based tiered rate structure for single-family residential customers and dedicated irrigation meter customers. All other customers are charged a flat rate.
The District's budget-based tiered rate structure rewards efficient water use while equitably allocating water supply costs and balancing revenue needs for single-family residential customers and irrigation customers. Budget-based tiered rates fairly allocate the cost of water service based on water needs and water supply and operational/maintenance costs. The method recognizes the difference between indoor and outdoor use and rewards customers who use water efficiently with lower water rates.
Water budgets represent an appropriate amount of water to meet customers' efficient water use needs. If customers exceed their budget, they are considered to be using water inefficiently and pay a higher rate to cover higher costs associated with discretionary or excessive water use.
A water budget is an amount of water allocated per billing cycle representing efficient water needs. Like financial budgeting, a water budget gives customers a target so they can use water efficiently and pay lower rates.
For single-family residential customers, the total water budget for each two-month billing period is based on your individual indoor (Residential Tier 1) and outdoor (Residential Tier 2) allocations.
The indoor water allocation for single-family residential customers is calculated to accommodate four (4) people per household, based on U.S. Census and State of California Department of Finance data. Residential customers are allocated 52.5 gallons of water per person per day at the Residential Tier 1 rate, which is consistent with the State of California standard for efficient indoor water use.
The outdoor water allocation for single-family residential customers is calculated according to a property's estimated irrigated area, based on County of San Bernardino parcel data (lot size, house footprint) and estimated hardscape (garages/carports, driveway, sidewalks, etc.). Residential customers are allocated 38 gallons per square foot of irrigated area per year at the Residential Tier 2 rate, which is consistent with the State of California standard for efficient outdoor water use on mixed residential landscapes (about 80% grass, about 20% other plants). The outdoor water allocation is distributed per billing period based on the seasonal water needs of plants (more in the warmer months, less in the cooler months).
For dedicated irrigation metered customers (outdoor use only), the water budget for each two-month billing period is based on an outdoor water allocation calculated according to a property's lot size or measured irrigated area. Irrigation customers are allocated 45 gallons per square foot of irrigated area per year at the Irrigation Tier 1 rate, which is consistent with the State of California standard for efficient outdoor water use on large non-residential landscapes (100% grass).
Indoor water use is essential for public health and safety, while outdoor water use is necessary for growing aesthetically pleasing plants and landscaping. Additionally, it is more expensive to supply the water needed for outdoor uses due to peaking factors; in other words, we need additional water supply and distribution system capacity to meet the needs of outdoor watering, particularly in the summer months. Therefore, the cost of providing outdoor water is recovered through a higher rate. Outdoor water use can be reduced by increased irrigation efficiency and replacement of water-thirsty grass with more water-efficient plants.
Customers may apply for a variance to their water budget to adjust the number of people in a household, irrigated area, or for a special circumstance such as a home daycare facility. Download an Application for Water Budget Variance (PDF).
MVWD's website offers lots of information and opportunities for customers to save water. Click here to visit our "Rebates & Programs" page for a wealth of ideas on how you can save water.
How old are your water using appliances? Manufacturers are constantly improving appliances like toilets and clothes washers to be more water efficient. Visit www.socalwatersmart.com to see the list of rebates available for new, water efficient appliances.
Is your outdoor watering as efficient as it can be? Contact the Waterwise Community Center for a FREE landscape irrigation evaluation. Visit www.cbwcd.org or call (909) 626-2711.
For assistance or information on additional conservation programs and incentives, call MVWD's Community Affairs team at (909) 267-2130.
The District expects a long-term reduction in water use habits as our customers become more efficient. This expected reduction in water use is one of the reasons the District must raise rates in order to recover sufficient revenues to maintain high quality water service.
In the future, the District may be required to reduce demands even further. For instance, in response to the recent statewide drought the California State Water Resources Control Board is requiring the District to reduce overall water demand by 24 percent compared to 2013 usage levels. Such a decrease in demand reduces the amount of expected revenues generated by existing water rates.
The District's new demand reduction rates will maintain financial stability and high quality water service during future periods of additional planned demand reduction. Stages 1, 2, 3 and 4 represent potential future rate adjustments to address a 10%, 20%, 30% and 40% planned reduction in demands. Demand reduction rates cannot be automatically implemented - they require separate action by the Board of Directors before they take effect. Demand reduction rates do not apply to recycled water customers.
Demand reduction rates are not being implemented at this time.
Monte Vista Water District meets approximately 50 to 75% of its customers' annual water demand with local groundwater supplies. The remaining 25 to 50% is imported from the State Water Project, originating from northern California. The reliability of this imported supply source has diminished greatly due to severe drought conditions and environmental and regulatory restraints affecting the entire state of California. As a result, the cost of obtaining imported water supply has increased greatly.
Additionally, prudent utility management requires the District to maintain adequate reserves in order to fund facility replacement needs, as well as to accommodate natural disasters, spikes in energy costs, and reduced revenue due to droughts. Portions of the District's infrastructure are over 50 years old and are undersized for adequate water service and fire protection. Material and energy costs also increase over time, requiring periodic adjustment of rates.
Finally, water conservation legislation passed by the California Legislature and signed by the Governor in 2009 requires the District to meet specific water use reduction targets by 2020. District customers have been successful in meeting these required reductions in water use, and we expect a long-term change in our customers' water use habits which will impact District revenues.
Using potable water for the following activities:
Potable water, also known as drinking water, is water that meets state and federal drinking water standards and is safe for sanitary purposes such as drinking, cooking or handwashing.
The prohibitions apply to all water users including individuals, cities, counties, and businesses.
Yes. Water can be used for immediate health and safety needs.
Yes. The emergency regulation only prohibits irrigating turf (lawn) on public street medians. Trees provide many environmental benefits, such as shade, carbon storage, and animal habitat. Urban trees also reduce heat island effects and associated health impacts, absorb and filter storm water, reduce urban flooding risk, protect air quality, and save energy by shading buildings. For more information on taking care of trees while saving water, see the Save Our Trees section within SaveOurWater.com.
Any local agency or government authorized to enforce infractions can enforce these prohibitions at their discretion, along with the State Water Board. The emergency regulation allows agencies/governments to decide if and how to enforce these prohibitions along with their own existing conservation rules.
You can report water waste violations online at www.mvwd.org/Reportwaste. The website allows you to upload photos, which helps with enforcement decision-making.
The emergency regulation does not impact swimming pools.
The adopted regulation text is available on the Board’s Water Conservation Emergency Regulations webpage.
Non-functional turf is a ground cover surface of mowed grass that is ornamental and not otherwise used for human recreation purposes. Non-functional turf does not include school fields, sports fields, and areas regularly used for civic or community events.
No, residential properties may continue to irrigate turf, subject to local rules. The Board encourages people to reduce turf irrigation on their properties and to convert turf to water-wise plants, but those are not required by this regulation. For more information and practical tips for converting your landscape and making your yard more water-wise, visit SaveOurWater.com.
The ban only applies to irrigation of non-functional turf in the commercial, industrial, and institutional sectors and only applies to irrigation with potable water. It does not apply to residential lawns or any turf that is regularly used for human recreational purposes, such as community spaces, or sports fields and other turf spaces used for recreation or events. The regulation does not ban the irrigation of trees or other non-turf plantings. There is an exemption process available for certain low water using turf species and irrigation approaches. To be exempt from the ban, an owner or manager must provide to their water supplier evidence that they have met two requirements: (1) the user must certify that the turf species needs low levels of water (a plant factor of 0.3 or less; “plant factor” is a factor used to estimate the amount of water needed by plants – see section 491 of title 23 of the California Code of Regulations) and (2) the user must demonstrate that the turf is irrigated in a way that uses low levels of water (less than 40 percent of reference evapotranspiration). For more information on plant factors and reference evapotranspiration, see the state's Model Water Efficient Landscape Ordinance.
An HOA should review areas of turf that it maintains, consult with residents, and determine whether the turf is functional or not. Water suppliers may defer to HOAs’ determinations that specific areas of turf are used for recreation or community events. However, water suppliers also retain the authority to enforce the irrigation ban if there is a documented violation.
The regulation does not restrict the watering of trees, just turf. Although most mature trees often require little to no irrigation, some species do.
Local or Board enforcement may include warning letters, conservation orders, and fines (up to $500 per day). The Board also encourages agencies to provide additional assistance to disadvantaged communities and translate conservation announcements and materials into the languages spoken at properties in commercial, industrial, and institutional sectors.
Homeowners’ associations (HOAs) are prohibited from fining residents who are taking appropriate drought measures to conserve water. In drought emergencies, many homeowners want to change their landscaping to plants and structures that require less water or to reduce watering turf. The State Water Board regularly receives complaints during drought from homeowners frustrated by HOAs enforcement of landscaping rules, such as requiring lawn watering or maintaining specific plants. This enforcement may violate the Davis-Stirling Act The State Water Board or a local agency could impose penalties on any HOA that violates specific portions of the Davis-Stirling Act. The emergency regulation includes a similar provision prohibiting cities and counties from restricting certain drought responses.
Yes, but only to non-functional turf on property the homeowners’ association (HOA) owns, not residences. While an individual’s property is considered residential, property owned and maintained by an HOA is considered the same as landscapes owned and maintained by commercial or institutional entities. This means that the regulation does not prevent homeowners from irrigating turf; it prohibits the irrigation of non-functional turf (with potable water) on property an HOA owns. However, the regulation does not ban the irrigation of turf used for recreation or community activities.