Water Authority sees increase in complaints and violations since 2017

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With more than 80 percent of the state in a severe drought, it’s important this summer not to waste water. However, not all people in the metro are following the rules.

“Since mid-May we’ve been experiencing air conditioning leaks at this property,” says Denise Rumley.

Rumley is a Water Use Compliance Specialist with the Water Authority. She says about 15 inspections have been completed at the El Sol Apartments on 12th and Iron, with the fixes being temporary.

“A malfunction is a really big waste of water and it’s in everyone’s best interest to repair them as quickly as possible,” she said.

Malfunctions aren’t the only violations the Water Authority sees.

“It’s sad it has to be abused because some people have to have their lawns looking green and they over water,” said Ricardo Martinez.

Martinez and his wife say they do their best to keep their lawn green. They admit, no rain and restrictions have made it difficult.

The Water Authority recommends watering three times a week and not between 11:00 a.m. and 7:00 p.m.

“We barely make it. We’d like to over-water, but we don’t,” said Martinez.

Wasting water because of a malfunction, or watering plants outside of that time frame can earn you a citation.

“In terms of violations for water waste, we’re actually up significantly from last year, about 83 percent more than the same period last year,” said David Morris with the Water Authority.

Since last year, complaints have gone up 15 percent and violations have gone from 54, to 99. That means, neighbors are watching and turning people in.

“Just be a little conscientious of how you water,” said Dinah Martinez.

Property and homeowners are given warnings first. After that, fines are given. They start at $20 for the first fine and can reach $2,000.

To report water waste, you can call the Water Authority’s hotline at: 842-WATR (9287) or report it on their website.

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