SAN ANTONIO - The San Antonio Water System has hired additional off-duty police to patrol the streets looking for water wasters seven days a week now that the customers are under stage two restrictions
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"Dry spring weather combined with increased water demands across the Edwards region, especially agricultural use, have caused the Edwards Aquifer level to drop quickly," said Robert R. Puente, SAWS President/CEO. "The Edwards Aquifer is hitting the Stage Two level a month earlier than it did last year during the driest year on record."
"The biggest thing we see is people who haven't checked the sprinkler timer or don't know how to," said SAWS spokesperson Sarah Gatewood.
Watering days stay the same in Stage Two as in Stage One, however the hours during which watering is allowed are shortened. Watering with a sprinkler, soaker hose or irrigation system is allowed only during the hours of 3 to 8 a.m. and 8 to 10 p.m. on your designated day, as determined by the last number of your street address:
0 or 1 - Monday
2 or 3 - Tuesday
4 or 5 - Wednesday
6 or 7 - Thursday
8 or 9 - Friday
Last month under stage one Gatewood said SAWS issued about 500 warnings.
"Not issuing warnings anymore. We are going into tickets. So make sure you learn your watering day and watering hours," said Gatewood.
Last summer, SAWS issued nearly 4,000 citations for illegal watering. Many of those people showed up in municipal court earlier this year after being slapped with a $100 fine and 90 days probation -- even if their sprinklers went off accidentally.
Gatewood encourages people to hand water anytime to avoid trouble. And stick to restricted times when using the hose to wash the car at home or visit a car wash facility. And when it come to officers checking for water violations, what's behind the gate isn't private.
"Our officers can access any neighborhood, those with guards or gates with codes," said Gatewood.
Linda Brown thinks it is important to conserve water and hopes people follow the rules for the sake of future generations
"You have to think, gosh we need to have drinking water. That's the main thing. I think ahead because of my grand kids," said Brown.
Gatewood said SAWS homeowners can make an appointment with SAWS to have a worker check around your house for leaks or show people how to reset their sprinkler systems. Gatewood says many people wind up with water citations because of the sprinklers operating on the wrong day.CLICK HERE
for more details on watering days and hours; and restrictions on swimming pools, fountains, and washing cars.