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SPECIAL REPORT: Putting Down Roots : The Times Poll : How to Plug Into Utility Services in Your Area


Although half of North County's residents think they'll be living at the same address five years from now, 22% anticipate that by then they'll have moved elsewhere in the same community or in North County. For those who've lived in North County two years or less, 64% expect they'll be moving. --The Times Poll

One of the very first steps people take in establishing themselves in a community is hooking up to the utility systems. Here's a look at what the water, gas and electric, and phone companies have in store for you:


Water hookups in North County are arranged either through a municipal water department at City Hall or through the water district.

Although the hierarchy may differ among the communities, the drought is a concern to each one.

Each water district makes its own decisions on how to implement the water policies established by the San Diego County Water Authority.

The County Water Authority purchases its water from the Metropolitan Water District, which supplies water to much of Southern California.

Figuring out which water district you fall under can take a telephone call to City Hall. Bills are sent by either City Hall or the individual water district.

Carlsbad: Water hookups may be established by a trip to the Finance Department at City Hall, 1200 Elm Ave. The number is 434-2883. No deposit is needed, but an agreement to accept financial responsibility must be signed. Tenants must bring the name and address of the landlord.

Low-flow shower heads are available at the Carlsbad Water District office at 5950 El Camino Real. The number is 438-2722. Also available are household conservation kits with water displacement bags--plastic sacks that can be filled with water and plopped into a toilet tank.

Del Mar: A trip is required to the Water Utilities Department in City Hall at 1050 Camino Del Mar, as is a $100 deposit, before service will be established. A social security number and a driver's license number will also be requested. Those with further questions may call 755-9354. Low-flow shower heads and displacement bags are available.

Encinitas: The community is home to a number of overlapping water districts. Those uncertain of which district they belong to may call the Public Works Department at 944-5080 or stop by City Hall at 527 Encinitas Blvd.

Most residents fall in the Olivenhain District. That office is at 1966 Olivenhain Road, Encinitas. The number is 753-6466. Service may be established over the phone. Free shower heads are available to district members.

Escondido: There are five water districts serving the city. Officials suggest calling City Hall at 741-4682 for help in deciding who to call next. The address is 201 N. Broadway.

Those residents in areas served by the Escondido Water Utilities Department may be asked for a deposit ranging from $85 to $150. No low-flow shower heads are yet available, but water conservation kits are in stock.

Fallbrook: The Fallbrook Public Utilities District is at 990 E. Mission Road. The number is 728-1125. No deposit is required, and arrangements for a water hookup may be made over the telephone. Shower heads and displacement bags are available to all those in the district.

Oceanside: A water hookup requires a $165 deposit and a trip to City Hall East at 300 N. Ditman St. The telephone number is 966-4646.

Poway: The Poway Public Works Department at 748-6600 can arrange for water hookups. The department is at Poway City Hall, 13325 Civic Center Drive. Applications must be signed. The department has free shower heads and water conservation literature.

San Marcos: Most residents are served by the Vallecito Water District, 744-0460. That district also serves parts of Vista. The office is at 788 San Marcos Blvd. No deposit is required, but a form must be filled out. The district will provide a rebate to residents who replace their commodes with water-conserving toilets. Free low-flow shower heads also are available.

Solana Beach: Residents are in the Santa Fe Irrigation District. The address is 1853 Aliso Canyon Road, Rancho Santa Fe, and the telephone number 756-2424.

Vista: Residents must call the Vista Irrigation District at 724-8814. The district asks renters to have the landlord sign an authorization form for the water hookup. The address in Vista is 202 W. Connecticut Ave.


All roads may lead to Rome, as the saying goes, but in North County, all garbage goes to the San Marcos Landfill, the area's sole dump.

The San Marcos Landfill, on West Haven Road, is closed only on Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year's Day. There is a $3 charge for a carload of trash and a $6 charge for each pickup truck load. Yard trimmings are assessed at a slightly higher rate. Dump hours are 7 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. during the week, and 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. on weekends.

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