Chapter 4. WATER CONSERVATION


 

 


PART 1.  WATER CONSERVATION AND DROUGHT MANAGEMENT PLAN

Sec. 12-4.01.01.  Purpose.

The purpose of this Part 1 of Title XII, Chapter 4 is to increase water conservation, maximize the use of recycled water, and provide a drought management plan.  This Part will maximize the efficient use of potable and recycled water and minimize the effects of a water shortage to the City and its residents.  This Part will significantly reduce the consumption of imported water, thereby extending available water supplies and reducing the hardship to the City and the general public.

Sec. 12-4.01.02. Definitions.

(A)       "Billing Unit" means the unit of water used to apply water rates for purposes of calculating water charges for a person’s water usage and equals 100 cubic feet or 748 gallons of water.

(B)       "City" means the City of Lomita.

(C)       “City Manager” means the Lomita City Manager or the designee of that individual.

(D)       "Landscape Irrigation System" means an irrigation system with pipes, hoses, spray heads, or sprinkling devices that are operated by hand or through an automated system.

(E)       "Person" means any natural person or persons, corporation, public or private entity, governmental agency or institution, or any other user of water provided by the City.

(F)       "Potable Water" means water which is suitable for drinking.

(G)       "Recycled Water" means the reclamation and reuse of non-potable water for beneficial use.


Sec.  12-4.01.03.  Water Conservation and Drought Management Plan Application.

(A)       The provisions of this Chapter apply to any person utilizing water provided by the City of Lomita.

(B)       Nothing in this Chapter shall apply to the use of water that is subject to a special water supply program of which the City takes part in conjunction with the West Basin or Metropolitan Water Districts.

(C)       The provisions of this Chapter do not apply to the use of water from private wells.

 

Sec.  12-4.01.04. Water Conservation Requirements.

(A)       Except as provided in subsection (B), the following water conservation requirements shall apply to all persons within the City of Lomita:

1.   Watering Hours. No lawn or landscape area shall be watered between the hours of 10:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m. on any day. This subsection shall not apply to any drip irrigation system approved in writing by the Community Development Director, for irrigation system maintenance, leak repair or new planting of low water usage plants, or irrigation using reclaimed water;

2.   Water Fountains and Decorative Water Features.  No person shall operate a fountain or other decorative water feature that does not re-circulate the water utilized by the device;

3.   Anti-Waste Measures. No person shall do any of the following:

(a)     Permit the excess use, loss or escape of water through breaks, leaks or other malfunctions in the person’s plumbing or distribution system for any period of time after such escape of water should have reasonably been discovered or corrected;

(b)     Wash, clean or clear with water sidewalks, walkways, patios, driveways, alleys or parking areas, whether paved or unpaved, except by use of a hand-held bucket or similar container or by use of a cleaning machine equipped to recycle any water used. In no event shall any water so used be permitted to run off into streets, alleys or storm drains;

(c)     Wash or clean with water any vehicle, including boats and trailers, whether motorized or un-motorized, except by use of a hand-held bucket or similar container or a hose equipped with a positive action quick release shutoff valve or nozzle. This subsection shall not apply to any commercial car washing facility which utilizes a recycling system to capture or reuse water; and

(d)     Water any lawn or landscape area to the point where excess water runs off the lawn or landscape area onto any gutter, street or alley.

4.   Eating and Drinking Establishments. All eating and drinking establishments of any kind whatsoever including, but not limited to, any restaurant, hotel, cafe, cafeteria, bar or club, as those terms are used in Title XI of this Code, whether public or private, shall comply with the following requirements:

(a)     Only provide drinking water to any person upon receipt of an express request; and

(b)     Wash or clean the kitchen and dining room area floor using a hand-held bucket or similar container, a mop using a bucket or similar container, or “water broom” technologies.

5.   Hotels, Motels and Bed and Breakfasts.  All hotels, motels, or bed and breakfasts shall provide customers with an option of choosing to have towels and linens laundered daily.  The establishment shall prominently display notice of this option in each bathroom and sleeping room using clear and easily understood language.

6.   Automobile Wash Businesses.  On or after January 1, 2012, all “conveyor” style car wash systems shall have installed water recycling systems and have the system operational, or shall have secured a variance in accordance with Section 12-4.01.09 herein. 

(B)       Exceptions. The provisions of this Section are not applicable to the uses of water which are necessary to protect public health and safety or for essential governmental services, such as police, fire and other similar emergency services.

Sec. 12-4.01.05.  Drought Response Level 1 – Drought Alert Condition.

(A)       A Drought Response Level 1 condition is also referred to as a “Drought Alert” condition.  A Drought Alert condition applies when the City declares a Drought Alert by resolution adopted a regular or special meeting of the City Council and the City provides notice in substantial compliance with Section 12-4.01.08 that due to cutbacks caused by drought or other reduction in supplies, a consumer demand reduction of up to 10 percent is required in order to have sufficient supplies available to meet anticipated demands.  After declaration and notification, the City may implement the mandatory Level 1 conservation measures identified in this Chapter.

(B)       All persons using City water shall comply with the Water Conservation and Drought Management Plan pursuant to Section 12-4.01.04, during a Level 1 Drought Alert, and shall also comply with the following additional conservation measures:  

1.   Limit residential and commercial landscape irrigation to no more than three days per week from June 1st to October 31st and no more than once per week from November 1st to May 31st. This Section shall not apply to horticulture nurseries or nursery stock, as those terms are used in Title XI of this Code.  

2.   Limit lawn watering and landscape irrigation using sprinklers to no more than 10 minutes per watering station per day.  This provision does not apply to landscape irrigation systems using water efficient devices, including but not limited to: weather based controllers, drip/micro-irrigation systems and stream rotor sprinklers that meet a 70% or greater efficiency standard.  

3.   Repair all leaks within 72 hours of notification by the City unless other arrangements are approved in writing by the City’s Water Department. 


Sec.  12-4.01.06.  Drought Response Level 2 – Drought Critical Condition.

(A)       A Drought Response Level 2 condition is also referred to as a “Drought Critical” condition.  A Drought Critical condition applies when the City declares a Drought Critical condition by resolution adopted at a regular or special meeting of the City Council and the City provides notice in substantial compliance with Section 12-4.01.08 that due to increasing cutbacks caused by drought or other reduction of supplies, a consumer demand reduction of up to 20 percent is required in order to have sufficient supplies available to meet anticipated demands. After declaration and notification, the City may implement the Level 2 conservation measures identified in this Chapter. 

(B)       All persons using water shall comply with Water Conservation and Drought Alert water conservation practices during a Drought Critical condition and shall also comply with the following additional mandatory conservation measures:  

1.   Limit residential and commercial landscape irrigation to no more than two days per week from June 1st to October 31st and no more than once per week from November 1st to May 31st.  This Section shall not apply to horticulture nurseries or nursery stock, as those terms are used in Title XI of this Code.  

2.   Water landscaped areas, including trees and shrubs located on residential and commercial properties by using a bucket, hand-held hose with a positive shut-off nozzle, or low-volume, non-spray irrigation.  

3.   Stop filling or re-filling ornamental lakes or ponds, except to the extent needed to sustain aquatic life.

4.   Stop washing vehicles except at commercial carwashes that re-circulate water, or by high pressure/low volume wash systems.

5.   Repair all leaks within 48 hours of notification by the City unless other arrangements are approved in writing by the City’s water department.

(C)       Upon the declaration of a Drought Response Level 2 condition, no new potable water service shall be provided, no new temporary meters or permanent meters shall be provided, and no statements of immediate ability to serve or provide potable water service (such as, will serve letters, certificates, or letters of availability) shall be issued, except under the following circumstances:

1.   A valid, unexpired building permit has been issued for the project; or   

2.   The project is necessary to protect the public’s health, safety, and welfare as determined by the City Council; or

3.   The project is a residential development consisting of less than five residential units; or

4.   The applicant provides substantial evidence of an enforceable commitment that water demands for the project will be offset prior to the provision of a new water meter(s) to the satisfaction of the City.

This provision shall not be construed to preclude the resetting or turn-on of meters to provide continuation of water service or to restore service that has been interrupted for a period of one year or less.  

(D)       Upon the declaration of a Drought Response Level 2 condition, the City shall suspend consideration of annexations to its water service area. 

(E)       The City may establish a water allocation for properties within the City’s jurisdiction. Water allocation shall not penalize persons for the implementation of conservation methods or the installation of water saving devices.  If the City establishes a water allocation it shall provide a notice in the regular billing statement for water services and to the addresses in which the bills are customarily sent.  Following the effective date of the water allocation as established by the City, any person that uses water in excess of the allocation shall be subject to a penalty as determined by a resolution of the City Council for each billing unit of water in excess of the allocation. 


Sec.  12-4.01.07.  Drought Response Level 3 – Drought Emergency Condition. 

(A)       A Drought Response Level 3 condition is also referred to as a “Drought Emergency” condition.  A Level 3 condition applies when, after a public hearing, the City declares by resolution that a water shortage emergency pursuant to California Water Code Section 350 and provides notice in substantial compliance with Section 12-4.01.08 that Level 3 requires a demand reduction of more than 20 percent in order for the City to have maximum supplies available to meet anticipated demands.  The City shall declare a Drought Emergency in the manner and on the grounds provided in California Water Code §§ 350 et seq, as amended.   Notice of the time and place of the public hearing shall be published not less than seven days before the hearing in a newspaper of general circulation within the city, as specified in California Water Code §§ 350 et seq.  

(B)       All persons using City water shall comply with Water Conservation and Drought Management Plan, Drought Alert, and Drought Critical conditions and shall also comply with the following additional mandatory conservation measures:

1.   Stop all landscape irrigation, except crops and landscape products of horticulture nurseries or nursery stock, as those terms are used in Title XI of this Code.  This restriction shall not apply to the following categories of use:

(a)          Maintenance of trees and shrubs that are watered by using a bucket, hand-held hose with a positive shut-off nozzle, or low-volume non-spray irrigation; 

(b)         Maintenance of existing landscaping necessary for fire protection as specified by the Fire Marshal of the local fire protection agency having jurisdiction over the property to be irrigated;

(c)          Maintenance of existing landscaping for erosion control;

(d)         Maintenance of plant materials identified to be rare or essential to the well being of rare animals; 

(e)          Maintenance of landscaping within active public parks and playing fields, day care centers, school grounds, cemeteries, and golf course greens, provided that such irrigation does not exceed two days per week; 

(f)           Public works projects and actively irrigated environmental mitigation projects.

2.   Repair all water leaks within 24 hours of notification by the City unless other arrangements are approved in writing by the City Manager.   

Sec. 12-4.01.08.  Procedures for Notification of Existence or Termination of Drought Response Level.

(A)       The city council may implement the applicable provisions of this conservation plan upon its determination that such implementation is necessary to protect the public welfare and safety.

(B)       Procedure for the notification of a drought response level.

1.   Within five days following the declaration of the response level, the City shall publish a copy of the resolution in a newspaper used for publication of official notices, and in any other places designated by the City Council or City Manager.

2.   The mandatory conservation measures applicable to Drought Response Level 3 conditions shall take effect on the 10th day after the date the response level is declared.  All other conditions shall take effect immediately upon adoption of the resolution.

3.  If the City establishes a water allocation, it shall provide notice of the allocation by including it in the regular billing statement to the address to which the billing statement for fees for on-going water service is customarily sent.  Water allocation shall be effective on the fifth day following the date of mailing or at such later date as specified in the notice. 

(C)       The City Council shall declare the end to a Drought Response Level by the adoption of a resolution at any regular or special meeting held in accordance with State law. 


Sec.  12-4.01.09.  Hardship Variance.

(A)       A variance may be granted or conditionally granted in accordance with the following requirements.

1.   Application.  The applicant must fill out a City application located within the Community Development Department and pay the nonrefundable processing fee for a variance. Such fee shall be set by resolution of the City Council.

2.   Supporting Documentation.  The application shall be accompanied by photographs, maps, drawings, and other information, including a written statement of the applicant demonstrating the grounds for the requested variance.  

3.   Required Findings for Variance.  An application for a variance shall be denied unless the approval authority finds, based on the information provided in the application, supporting documents, or such additional information as may be requested, and on water use information for the property as shown by the records of the City or its Agent(s), all of the following:

(a)          That the variance does not constitute a grant of special privilege inconsistent with the limitations upon other residents and businesses;   

(b)         That because of special circumstances applicable to the property or its use, the strict application of this ordinance would have a disproportionate impact on the property or use that exceeds the impacts to residents and businesses generally;

(c)          That the authorizing of such variance will not be of substantial detriment to adjacent properties, and will not materially affect the ability of the City to effectuate the purpose of this Chapter and will not be detrimental to the public interest; and

(d)         That the condition or situation of the subject property or the intended use of the property for which the variance is sought is not common, recurrent or general in nature.  

4.   Approval Authority.  The City Manager shall exercise approval authority and act upon any completed application no later than 10 days after submittal and may approve, conditionally approve, or deny the variance.  The applicant requesting the variance shall be promptly notified in writing of any action taken.  Unless specified otherwise at the time a variance is approved, the variance applies to the subject property during the term of the mandatory drought response.

5.   Appeals to the City Council.  An applicant may appeal the City Manager’s decision or any conditions on the approval to the City Council within 10 days of the decision. Written request shall be submitted stating the grounds for the appeal.  The City Council shall review the appeal de novo and pursuant to the appropriate variance procedures provided for in this Section.  The decision of the City Council is final. 


Sec.  12-4.01.10.  Penalties and remedies.

(A)       Any person, who uses, causes to be used, or permits the use of water in violation of any section of this chapter is guilty of an offense punishable as follows: 

1.   The first violation of any Section herein shall constitute an infraction whereby a written warning shall be issued to the party or parties witnessed committing the infraction; and

2.   The second violation of any Section herein shall constitute an infraction punishable in accordance with Title I, Chapter 2 (Penalty Provisions) of the Lomita Municipal Code.

 
PART 2.  CONSERVATION RETROFIT PROGRAM

Sec. 12-4.02.01. Purpose. 

The purpose of this Part 2 of Chapter 4 is to reduce wastewater flows and decrease the use of potable water in the City by establishing water conservation plumbing standards which would be required upon change of ownership.

 

Sec. 12-4.02.02. Applicability.

The provisions of this Part 2 of Chapter 4 shall apply to all residential, commercial and industrial buildings and structures in the City of Lomita that use water in showers, toilets, urinals and faucets.

 

Sec. 12-4.02.03. Definitions.

(A)       Existing Structure. A structure currently available for use or occupancy which is equipped with one or more existing plumbing fixtures.

 (B)      Fixture Retrofit at Purchase or Resale Program. A program sponsored by the City of Lomita, West Basin Municipal Water District, and Metropolitan Water District which offers a financial rebate to water customers who replace an existing non-ultra-low flush toilet with a high-efficiency flush toilet.

 (C)      Non Water-Conserving Plumbing Fixture. Any toilet using more than 1.6 gallons of water per flush, urinal using more than 1.0 gallons of water per flush, showerhead with a flow capacity of more than 2.5 gallons of water per minute, faucet that emits more than 2.5 gallons of water per minute, or residential reverse osmosis system not equipped with automatic shutoff valves.

 (D)      Purchase, Sale or Change of Ownership. A purchase, sale or change in ownership of real property includes any purchase, sale or change in ownership of real property, except as follows:

1.   The purchase, sale or transfer of real property between spouses, including, but not limited to, transfers to a trustee for the beneficial use of a spouse, or the surviving spouse of a deceased transferor, or by a trustee of such a trust to the spouse of the trustor; transfers to a spouse which take effect upon the death of a spouse; transfers to a spouse or former spouse in connection with a property settlement agreement or decree of dissolution of a marriage or legal separation; the creation, transfer or termination, solely between spouses, of any co-owner’s interest; and the distribution of a legal entity’s property to a spouse or former spouse in exchange for the interest of the spouse in the legal entity in connection with a property settlement agreement or a decree of dissolution of a marriage or legal separation;

2.   The purchase, sale or transfer of real property between parents and their children (as defined by Probate Code Section 26), including both voluntary transfers and transfers resulting from a court order or judicial decree; and

3.   The purchase, sale or transfer of real property pursuant to foreclosure proceedings under Civil Code Section 2924 et seq. or Code of Civil Procedure Section 725a et seq.

(E)       Retrofit or Retrofitting. Replacement of existing plumbing fixtures with water-conserving plumbing fixtures.

(F)       Water Conservation Certificate. A form provided by the City verifying that installation of water-conserving plumbing fixtures has been completed.

(G)       Water-Conserving Plumbing Fixtures. Any toilet using a maximum of 1.3 gallons of water per flush, urinals that use a maximum of .5 gallon of water per flush, showerheads with a maximum flow capacity of 2.5 gallons of water per minute, faucets that emit a maximum of 2.5 gallons of water per minute, and automatic shutoff valves for residential reverse osmosis systems.

 

Sec. 12-4.02.04. Retrofit Requirements. 

(A)              On or after April 1, 2009, no structure shall be purchased, sold or ownership thereof changed unless all existing plumbing fixtures in the structure are retrofitted exclusively with water-conserving plumbing fixtures. Compliance with this Section shall be included as a condition of escrow.

(B)              On or after April 1, 2009 any residential structure with a proposed addition exceeding 250 square feet shall have all existing plumbing fixtures in the structure retrofitted exclusively with water-conserving plumbing fixtures as part of the proposed addition to the structure. Compliance with this Section shall be included as a condition of the certificate of occupancy. Additionally, a note shall be included on all building plans that existing plumbing fixtures shall be retrofitted with water-conserving plumbing fixtures with a list and number of fixtures to be replaced.

(C)              On or after April 1, 2009 any development projects on commercial/industrial structures, or tenant improvements at commercial/industrial structures, exceeding $20,000 in valuation that require a building permit shall have all existing plumbing fixtures in the structure retrofitted exclusively with water-conserving plumbing fixtures. Compliance with this Section shall be included as a condition of the certificate of occupancy. Additionally, a note shall be included on all building plans that existing plumbing fixtures shall be retrofitted with water-conserving plumbing fixtures with a list and number of fixtures to be replaced. Should the proposed improvements be exclusively for one tenant in a commercial/industrial building having multitenant spaces, the retrofit requirements will only apply to the one tenant space receiving said improvements.

Sec. 12-4.02.05. Exemption from Retrofit Requirement. 

If or when the City Manager, or his or her designee, or any State agency finds that the existing sewer grades are insufficient or incompatible with the ultra-low flush toilet grade specifications (i.e., areas where sewer lines have a relatively flat grade), the property shall be exempt from these requirements.

 

Sec. 12-4.02.06. Verification of Compliance.

(A)       Upon retrofitting with water-conserving plumbing fixtures, the transferor, prior to a change of ownership, shall contact the Lomita Neighborhood Preservation Department to request a Water Conservation Certificate.

(B)       Water Conservation Certificates shall be issued upon presentation of satisfactory documentation of installation of water-conserving plumbing fixtures, or upon physical inspection of the building for which a Certificate is requested.

(C)       Water Conservation Certificates shall be maintained by the Water Department in order to provide future verification that water-conserving plumbing fixtures have been installed.

 

Sec. 12-4.02.07. Penalties for Violation and Enforcement.

(A)       It is unlawful for any person, firm, partnership, association or corporation, to violate, to cause, or to maintain a violation of this Section.

(B)       It is unlawful for any person, firm, partnership, association or corporation to remove, or to cause the removal of water-conserving plumbing fixtures contrary to the provisions of this Section.

(C)       In addition to any other remedy provided by the Lomita Municipal Code, any provision of this Chapter may be enforced by injunction issued by the Superior Court upon a suit brought by the City of Lomita.

(D)       In addition to any other remedy provided by the Lomita Municipal Code, any provision of this Section may be enforced by an administrative order issued pursuant to any one of the administrative processes set forth in the Lomita Municipal Code.

(E)       No liability shall arise, nor shall any action be brought or maintained against, any agent of any party to a transfer of title, including any person or entity acting in the capacity of an escrow officer, for any error, inaccuracy, or omission relating to compliance with this Section. However, this Section does not apply to a licensee, as defined in Section 10011 of the California Business and Professions Code, where the licensee participates in the making of the certification required to be made pursuant to this Section with actual knowledge of the falsity of the certification. Except as otherwise provided in this Section, this Section shall not be deemed to create or imply a duty upon a licensee, as defined in Section 10011 of the California Business and Professions Code, or upon any agent of any party to a transfer of title, including any person or entity acting in the capacity of an escrow officer, to monitor or ensure compliance with this Section or to notify any person of requirements to comply with this Section.

(F)       Every person, firm, partnership, association or corporation that violates, causes or maintains a violation of any provision in this Section is guilty of a misdemeanor and subject to penalties imposed by Chapter 2 (Penalty Provisions) of the Lomita Municipal Code.

(G)       The Neighborhood Preservation Department and Los Angeles County Sheriffs Department are authorized and empowered to enforce the provisions of this Section.

 

Sec. 12-4.02.08. Effective Date.

The ordinance codified in this Section shall apply to any escrow opened on or after April 1, 2009.