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‘Sod Squad’ Patrolling Neighborhoods For Careless Water Use

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Denver Water Savers hope to educate homeowners about the proper use of water this season. (credit: CBS)

Denver Water Savers hope to educate homeowners about the proper use of water this season. (credit: CBS)

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DENVER (CBS4)- They’re called the “Sod Squad” by some, Denver Water calls them Water Savers, but whatever the term they’re hitting the sidewalks to cut down on irresponsible water use.

Water Savers began patrolling the streets of Denver this week. They’re checking yards to make sure customers are following the rules of responsible watering.

Denver Water said the Denver metro area is in a Stage 1 Drought, which means watering only three times a week, no watering between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m. Denver Water also requires that broken sprinklers be repaired.

The goal of the drought declaration is to preserve reservoir storage going into 2013, in case next year’s snowpack is also below normal. Prolonged dryness may lead to a more severe drought declaration or Stage 2.

“Even though it might just be one individual watering, our collective use really adds up,” Bradley Sheehan with Denver Water said.

Patrols start just before 10 a.m. on weekdays. Water Savers will be driving in a marked Toyota Prius or riding a bicycle. Their goal isn’t to ticket residents but to educate them about watering rules.

They will take a picture of the irresponsible watering behavior and if the homeowner isn’t home, leave a notice about wasted water.

Denver Water is urging everyone to conserve because it can make a difference in what’s already started out as a hot and dry watering season.

“Everyone doing their part for water conservation is crucial. Even though it might just be one individual watering our collective use really adds up,” said Denver Water Saver Bradley Sheehan.

Denver Water serves 1.3 million people in the Denver metro area.

Here are the guidelines for Stage One Drought Declaration:

  • Water during cooler times of the day — lawn watering is NOT allowed between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m.
  • Water no more than three days per week.
  • Do not allow water to pool in gutters, streets and alleys.
  • Do not waste water by letting it spray on concrete and asphalt.
  • Repair leaking sprinkler systems within 10 days.
  • Do not irrigate while it is raining or during high winds.
  • Use a hose nozzle with a shut-off valve when washing your car.

*Please note, there are some exceptions to watering rules and how the rules apply to gardening.

Rules for watering new seed and sod:

  • With the dry conditions, think twice about laying new seed and sod. If you do need to plant, please note these rules.
  • Denver Water customers with newly planted seed or sod may water new turf as necessary, for up to 21 days.
  • After 21 days, routine watering is limited to no more than three days per week and not between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m.
  • To submit your request for a 21-day watering exemption, call 303-628-6343, option 3, or email conservation@denverwater.org.

These rules are mandatory. Penalties are:

  • 1st violation — warning.
  • 2nd violation — $50 fine.
  • 3rd violation — $100 fine.
  • Continued violations can result in suspension of service.

RELATED LINK: denverwater.org

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