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Stage 2 Water Use Regulations

City of Santa Barbara
Stage 2 Drought Regulations & Waste of Water Prohibition

On May 20, 2014, the Santa Barbara City Council declared a Stage Two Drought Condition in response to the driest consecutive three years on record, triggering drought related water use regulations. Click here to read the full language of the Stage Two Drought Water Use Regulations.

For a printable version of the language below, click here.
Para reglamentos en Espanol, haga clic aqui.
To report water waste or violations of the regulations below, click here. 
To learn more about water use regulations, read our Regulation FAQs.

The Stage Two Water Use Regulations are Summarized as Follows: 

  • Hoses must be equipped with an automatic shut-off nozzle.
  • Washing of pavement and other hard surfaces is generally prohibited. Exception: preventive maintenance of buildings and other facilities if accomplished by means of a pressure washer and when it is the only feasible means of correcting a potential threat to health and safety, provided it is accomplished by use of a pressure washer, mop, bucket, or brush.
  • Irrigation is limited to evening and early morning hours between the hours of 6:00 p.m. and 8:00 a.m. If manually operated, such irrigation is allowed only between the hours of 4:00 p.m. and 10:30 a.m. 
  • Cars and boats must be washed at commercial facilities that recycle the water, or by hose with shut-off nozzle.
  • The use of water in ornamental water features and fountains is prohibited except: if located indoors or on residential properties; for fountains that have a total water surface area less than or equal to 25 ft.²; or as of May 20, 2014 are home to aquatic life.
  • Pools and spas must be equipped with a cover when not in use. Rebates available.
  • No draining or refilling of pools by more than one third, unless authorized.
  • Drought notices required in restaurants and hotels; water served on request only.
  • Gyms, pools and other businesses providing showers must post drought notices and promote limitation of shower use.

Santa Barbara Municipal Code Prohibits Waste of Water at All Times:

Waste: "Waste" means any excessive, unnecessary or unwarranted use of water, including but not limited to any use which causes unnecessary runoff beyond the boundaries of any property as served by its meter and any failure to repair as soon as reasonably possible any leak or rupture in any water pipes, faucets, valves, plumbing fixtures or other water service appliances. 

Prohibition Against Waste of Water. It shall be a violation of this Chapter for any consumer or account holder to waste any water obtained from or through the distribution facilities of the City.

Wasting Water - Repairs - Required.  Each and every consumer shall maintain in good order all his water pipes, faucets, valves, plumbing fixtures or any other appliances, at all times, to prevent waste of water. 

Violations

A.    Any failure to comply with a provision of this Chapter shall constitute a violation of this Code, regardless of whether the failure to comply is caused by an account holder, a consumer or any other person or entity.

B.    Where the failure to comply with this Chapter is continuing and reasonably preventable by the person or entity failing to comply, each successive hour of such failure to comply shall be a separate and distinct violation.

Enforcement Process:

1st Violation: Door hanger and Warning letter

2nd Violation: $250 fine per violation

3rd Violation: $250 fine per violation and possible flow restrictor

4th and Subsequent Violation: $250 fine per violation, possible flow restrictor or shut off water service.