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Residents Asked to Cut Water Use by at Least 10%

May 26, 1988|STEPHANIE O'NEILL | Times Staff Writer

In their first call for citywide water conservation, Glendale officials are asking residents to voluntarily reduce water use at least 10% in the hopes of avoiding mandatory conservation measures.

City Council members unanimously adopted a resolution Tuesday outlining an 11-step program for water conservation. If citywide water use is not cut back 10% or if a statewide drought condition is declared, council members will consider adopting a mandatory conservation program, according to the resolution.

The council vote followed by a day the adoption of a similar voluntary measure in neighboring Pasadena and came several hours before a vote establishing tougher water conservation measures in Santa Monica.

For the second year in a row, low rainfall levels and inadequate mountain snowpack have prompted the state Department of Water Resources to declare this year a "critically dry year," Glendale City Manager David H. Ramsay told the council.

Glendale residents and businesses use about 26 million gallons of water daily, Ramsay said. A 10% cut would mean reducing citywide water use by about 2.6 million gallons a day.

'Important First Step'

"This is an important first step in the issue of water conservation," he said.

Water conservation also would help reduce flow through city sewer pipes, which feed into the strained Los Angeles sewage system, Ramsay told the council. About 60% of the water Glendale uses daily, or 16 million gallons a day, flows through the city's sewer pipes, Ramsay said.

The Glendale resolution calls for residents to stop hosing down driveways, patios and sidewalks, to install toilet tank displacements and low-flow shower heads and to restrict the watering of yards to before 10 a.m. and after 6 p.m.

Other steps include fixing leaking faucets and pipes, turning off the hose while washing cars and asking restaurants to serve water only at customers' request.

Pasadena city officials unanimously adopted a similar plan Monday, said Mariann Long, Conservation and Consumer Program coordinator. Moreover, the city has distributed about 1,000 free water conservation kits that include a toilet tank water bag to reduce water use per flush and toilet dye tablets that help locate toilet leaks, Long said.

The Santa Monica program, passed unanimously by that City Council on Tuesday night, requires that residents limit watering lawns to once every three days and then that they water only before 10 a.m. and after 4 p.m., Administrative Services Manager Craig Perkins said.

That plan also prohibits using water in decorative fountains unless it is recycled and prohibits residents from emptying and refilling swimming pools, he said.

Perkins said the city will make available to residents free low-flow shower heads and conservation kits similar to those offered in Pasadena.

Glendale City Council members are scheduled to decide next month whether to offer such kits to residents, Ramsay said.

"It's something that we're talking about right now. It's a matter of getting hold of them, determining the cost to us and deciding whether we will charge for them," he said.

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