What restrictions has the City Council placed on water use in Petaluma?

We are now in Stage 4 of this plan, designed to reduce our city’s water usage by 30% through mandatory potable water use restrictions. The restrictions below listed with a were updated on August 1, 2022.

ALL WATER CUSTOMERS

  • Limited outdoor watering schedule reduced to two times per week –  overnight Tuesday and Saturday from 7:00 pm. to 8:00 am.
  • * Planting restrictions:
    • Residential water customers permitted to plant, including food gardens (with the below exception)
    • Moratorium on installation on high-water use turf.
    • Planting is not encouraged during the summer months
    • Additional planting restrictions for Commercial, Industrial, and Institutional (CII) customers:
      • No planting or replanting allowed that requires potable water
    • Additional planting restrictions for new development:
      • Planting is permitted between November 1 and April 30.
        • Exception for stormwater treatment features.
        • Exception for mitigation plantings required by regulatory agencies.
  • All hoses must be equipped with a hose-end nozzle.
  • Water users are reminded to fix leaks and eliminate water waste (this step is required even when we are not in a drought, per Petaluma Municipal Code) 
  • No application of potable water to sidewalks, driveways, buildings, structures, patios, parking lots, or other hard surfaced areas, except in cases where health and safety are at risk.
  • No vehicle washing at home – commercial car washes only.
  • * No operating non-recirculating ornamental water fountains and water features, including decorative lakes and ponds.
  • No irrigating turf on public medians.
  • Pool and spa covers are required by the Petaluma municipal code to be covered during non-business hours or while not in use.
  • * Moratorium on the issuance of permits for new pools and spas.
  • For Schools, Parks, and LADs – limited outdoor watering schedule two times a week – overnight Monday and Thursday between 7 pm to 8 am.
  • * Homeowner’s Associations are prohibited from penalizing homeowners who reduce or eliminate the watering of vegetation or lawns during a declared drought emergency, and from requiring a homeowner to reverse or remove water-efficient landscaping that has been installed in response to a drought emergency once a drought emergency is concluded.

COMMERCIAL, INDUSTRIAL, INSTITUTIONAL (CII)

  • Water served in restaurants by request only.
  • Operators of hotels and motels to provide guest with option of choosing to have towels and linens laundered daily.
  • Street sweepers must use recycled water for street cleaning.
  • * Planting restrictions for Commercial, Industrial, and Institutional (CII) customers:
    • No planting or replanting allowed that requires potable water
    • Moratorium on installation on high-water use turf.
    • Food gardens permitted.

NEW DEVELOPMENT

  • * Planting restrictions for new development:
    • Planting is permitted between November 1 and April 30.
      • Exception for stormwater treatment features.
      • Exception for mitigation plantings required by regulatory agencies.
    • Moratorium on installation on high-water use turf.
    • Food gardens permitted.
  • * Moratorium on the issuance of permits for new pools and spas.

CONSTRUCTION

  • Recycled water must be used for dust control when available.
  • Number of recycled water haulers permitted to use recycled water for purposes other than construction to be determined by City Manager.
  • Potable water meters for construction limited to use for water line hydrostatic testing and chlorination. Water meters for construction will be evaluated on case-by-case basis.

AGRICULTURE

  • No new water hauler accounts permitted to purchase potable water (or as determined by City Manager.) The Santa Rosa Plain Drought Resiliency Project is exempt from this provision.
  • Current potable water hauler accounts will not be allowed to haul more than current allocation, and load accounts will be monitored for monthly usage.

STATE RESTRICTIONS

  • Commercial, industrial, institutional non-functional turf must not be watered. Exceptions apply.
    • Effective June 16, 2022, commercial, industrial, and institutional (CII) non-functional turf must not be irrigated in California pursuant to recently adopted State Water Resources Control Board (State Water Board) regulations. Homeowners Associations’ common areas, unless it meets one of the other exemptions listed below, are included in this turf irrigation ban.
    • The State has defined non-functional turf as, “Turf that is solely ornamental and not regularly used for human recreational purposes or for civic or community events.”
    • The State Water Board’s regulation states that some turf areas are exempt from the turf irrigation ban. The CII turf may still be watered after June 10, 2022 if the property owner or account holder determines that one or more of the following is true:
      • The turf is used for human recreation, civic purposes, sports or play.
      • The turf is irrigated with recycled water.
      • The turf is irrigated with non-potable water (water that is not permitted for use as a drinking water supply).
      • The turf is on the same valve as at least one tree or perennial non-turf plantings.
      • The turf is at a residential location, not at a commercial, industrial, or institutional location. The exception to this is common areas in Homeowners Associations sites. Unless one of the above exemptions applies, HOA common areas are included in this turf irrigation ban.
    • This emergency regulation adopted under Water Code section 1058.5 may remain in effect for up to one year, unless rescinded earlier, or extended by the State Water Board.
    • Please go to the State Water Board’s Water Conservation Emergency Regulations webpage for more information: bit.ly/conservationreg.
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