top of page

Water Conservation

Ten Ways to Avoid Water Waste

  1. Do not over-water plants and lawns. Avoid water runoff into streets and gutters.

  2. For best results, try morning watering. Evaporation loss is at a minimum.

  3. Avoid washing down paved areas. Sweep driveway and sidewalks in garden cleanup.

  4. When washing the car, use a bucket of water. Use the hose only to rinse.

  5. Repair faucet leaks. As much as 15 gallons of water can be lost each day with a slow drip.

  6. Avoid toilet water waste. Do not use toilet as a trash disposal.

  7. Don't fall asleep in the shower. An extra five minutes in the shower could mean another 50 gallons down the drain. Use a moderate stream.

  8. The automatic dishwasher – use it wisely. Half loads cheat you out of full water use.

  9. Watch those laundry loads, too. Some 50 gallons of water are used to wash a load of clothes. Make every load count.

  10. Avoid the running faucet. Don't run water continuously while shaving, brushing teeth, peeling vegetables, or washing dishes. 

Water Sprinkler


Do not over-water plants and lawns. Avoid water runoff into streets and gutters.

Water-use efficiency legislation


Since 2011, EOCWD has voluntarily implemented indoor and outdoor use targets – or water budgets – for households, using a target of 55 gallons per day. This policy aligns with targets set to be mandated for water districts by the state starting in 2023.


We closely monitor policy changes at the state level, and it is possible the state may alter outdoor watering targets. If that happens, we will communicate those changes with you.

We appreciate the efforts of our customers to use water wisely, and our district is well prepared as new legislative mandates begin to come online.


Click here to view a fact-sheet for more information on this new legislation.

Return to top


What standards have we set for water conservation?

To minimize or avoid the effect and hardship of potential shortages of water to the greatest extent possible, EOCWD has established a Retail  Zone Water Shortage Contingency Ordinance / Water Conservation designed to:

a. Reduce water consumption (demand) through conservation

b. Enable effective water supply planning

c. Assure reasonable and beneficial use of water

d. Prevent waste of water and maximize efficient use in the District

Permanent Mandatory Water Conservation Measures
The following Permanent Mandatory Water Conservation Measures are in effect at all times, whether or not there is a water supply shortage or emergency.

1. General Restrictions – Residential, Commercial and Public Customers

a. Limits on Watering Duration

1. Watering or irrigating with a device or system that is not continuously attended is limited to no more than 10 minute per valve, per day.


2. This applies to lawns, landscaping and all other vegetated areas.


3. The following irrigation systems are exempt:

a. Low-flow drip-type systems that will achieve the conservation goals of this Ordinance.
b. Systems equipped with weather-based controllers or stream-rotor sprinklers that meet a 70% efficiency standard.

b. No Excessive Water Flow or Runoff: It is prohibited to water lawns, landscaping and vegetated areas in a manner that causes or allows excessive water flow or runoff onto an adjoining sidewalk, driveway, street, alley, gutter or ditch.

c. Automatic Rain Shut-Off for Automated Irrigation Systems

1. New residential automated irrigation systems must be equipped with:

a. Rain sensors that shut off the system when it rains, or
b. Smart controllers or evapo-transpiration sensors that use weather-based data to set efficient watering schedules.

2. As of July 1, 2010, new and existing automated irrigation systems connected to dedicated irrigation meters must be equipped with:

a. Rain sensors that shut off the system when it rains, or
b. Smart controllers or evapo-transpiration sensors that use weather-based data to set efficient watering schedules

Conservation Ordinance No. 2009-01


d. Obligation to Fix Leaks, Breaks or Malfunctions in lines, fixtures or facilities

1. Excessive use, loss or escape of water through breaks, leaks or malfunctions in the water user’s plumbing or distribution system:

a. Is prohibited for any period of time after such water waste should have reasonably been discovered and corrected
b. Must be immediately shut-off upon District notification, unless Undue Hardship occurs
c. Must be corrected within no more than three (3) days of District notification

e. No Hosing or Washing Down Hard or Paved Surfaces

1. It is prohibited to hose or wash down hard or paved surfaces, such as sidewalks, walkways, driveways, parking areas, tennis courts, patios or alleys.

2. When it is necessary hose or wash down hard or paved surfaces to alleviate safety or sanitary hazards, the following may be used:

a. Hand-held bucket or similar container
b. Hand-held hose equipped with a positive shut-off valve.
c. Low-volume high-pressure cleaning machine or “water broom”

f. No Hosing or Washing Down Vehicles

1. It is prohibited to use water to hose or wash down a motorized or non-motorized vehicle, including but not limited to automobiles, trucks, vans, buses, motorcycles, boats or trailers.

2. The following are exempt from this restriction:

a. Use of a hand-held bucket or similar container
b. Use of a hand-held hose equipped with a positive shut-off valve
c. Commercial car washing facility

g. Re-Circulating Decorative Water Fountains and Features:  Effective January 1, 2011, all decorative water fountains and water features must re-circulate water -- or users must secure a waiver from the District.

h. Unauthorized Use of Fire Hydrants Prohibited: No person may use water from any fire hydrant for any purpose other than fire suppression or emergency aid without first:

1. Requesting and posting the appropriate fees at the District.


2. Obtaining a hydrant meter to record all water consumption for a specified project. Absent a meter, water theft and meter tampering fees will be applied as appropriate.

2. Commercial Food-Serving & Lodging Requirements

a. Water Served Only Upon Request. Eating or drinking establishments, including but not limited to restaurants, hotels, cafes, bars or other public places where food or drinks are sold, or served or offered for sale, are prohibited from providing drinking water to any person unless requested.

b. Option Not To Have Towels/Linens Laundered. Hotels, motels and other commercial lodging establishments must provide guests the option of not having their used towels and linens laundered. Lodging establishments must prominently display notice of this option in each room and/or bathroom, using clear and easily understood language.


3. Commercial Kitchen Requirements

a. Water-Efficient Pre-Rinse Kitchen Spray Valves. Food preparation establishments, such as restaurants, cafes and hotels, are prohibited from using non-water efficient kitchen spray valves, as follows:

1. New kitchen spray valves must use 1.6 gallons or less per minute.

2. Effective January 1, 2010, existing kitchen spray valves must be retrofitted to models using 1.6 gallons of water or less per minute.

b. Best-Available Water-Conserving Technology. All water-using equipment in new or remodeled commercial kitchens must use the best-available, water-conserving technology, for example, technologies cited on the California Urban Water (CUWCC) website.


c. No Defrosting With Water. Defrosting food with running water is prohibited.

d. Scoop Sinks. Scoop sinks shall be set at minimum water flow at all times of use and shut off during non-working hours.

e. Automatic Shut-Off Nozzles. When hosing or washing kitchen or garbage areas or other areas for sanitary reasons as required by the Health Dept., hoses shall be equipped with positive shut-off valve.


4. Commercial Water Recirculation Requirements

a. Car Wash and Laundry System Requirements: All new commercial car-wash and laundry facilities and systems must re-circulate  the wash water or secure a waiver of this requirement from the District.

b. No Single-Pass Cooling Systems: Buildings requesting new water service or being remodeled are prohibited from installing single-
pass systems.


5. Construction Site Requirements

a. Recycled or non-potable water must be used, when available.

b. No water may be used for soil compaction or dust control where there is a reasonably-available source of recycled or non-potable water approved by the Dept. of Public Health and appropriate for such use.

c. Water hoses shall be equipped with automatic shut-off valves, given such devices are available for the size and type of hoses in use.



6. Indiscriminate Water Use 

Upon notice by the District, persons shall cease to cause or permit the indiscriminate use of water not otherwise prohibited above which is wasteful and without reasonable purpose.

7. Public Health and Safety

These regulations shall not be construed to limit water use which is immediately necessary to protect public health and/or safety.

bottom of page