Lubbock Water Inspectors Could Issue Tickets To Water Wasters - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

6/27/06

Lubbock Water Inspectors Could Issue Tickets To Water Wasters

For the first time ever in Lubbock, you could get a fine or misdemeanor charge for wasting water. The Lubbock city council plans to pass a Drought Plan that will be implemented depending on our water supply. 

After the plan passes, there will be four possible stages; stage one, you can water your lawn twice a week, stage two, once a week, stage three, once a month, stage four, no watering at all.  Right now, because of our drought condition we would move immediately into stage one.

NewsChannel 11's Jennifer Vogel spoke with the inspectors that would enforce the new law to get their reaction to the possible changes.

Marcus Reed says, "maybe if we hit them in the pocketbook and really cost them money it might make them realize how serious a problem this is." Reed is a Landscape and Irrigation Inspector for Lubbock Public Works. Everyday he goes on water run-off calls, and everyday, it's the same thing; flooded streets, with no-one to blame. 

"For us to be able to enforce it we'd have to see it," says Reed.  And with only two inspectors for the entire city to respond to water run-off reports, the chance of catching someone in the act is nearly impossible.

"The main water waste problem is from 12am-6am, they're watering while they're asleep and don't know if something is broken," says Reed. Inspectors say 50% of our water goes to watering lawns and 25% of that is wasted in run-offs.

So what if someone is caught wasting water after the new plan passes? For the first time, the new law says you can get a ticket.  "Most cities in Texas have a citation or a fine process and it's pretty steep. I wouldn't think it would take very many of those to wake everybody up and see how important this is and for them to quit wasting water," says Reed.

The city says citations are the last resort. If you do have water run-off after the Drought Plan passes, the first time you are caught, an inspector will come visit and talk to you about how to change your sprinklers. If you are a repeat offender, you could get a ticket or misdemeanor charges.

Lubbock Mayor David Miller also tells NewsChannel 11 that they will depend heavily on residents to report water run-off. If you do see excessive water on your streets, you are asked to call the city's 24-hour hotline at 775-3952.

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