The city of Lodi has started enforcing its water conservation ordinance at the beginning of this month, which limits the times when people can water their lawns.
The city is also giving out rebates for residents and businesses who buy appliances that save water.
Lodi residents may only water their lawns, flower beds, landscaping, gardens or ornamental plants between 6 p.m. and 10 a.m. from May 1 through Sept. 30. Residents with an even-numbered address may water on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday, while people with odd-numbered addresses can water on Wednesday, Friday and Sunday.
If a Lodi resident waters on the incorrect day or at the incorrect time, the city will give them an information sheet telling them how to fix the problem. For a second offense, the city will give a notice requiring corrective action. The third offense will be a written notice and a $35 charge added to the resident's utility bill, while a fourth offense will be a $75 charge.
City spokesman Jeff Hood said the ordinance has been in place since 1977 and has resulted in residents using less water.
Hood listed five ways Lodi residents can reduce their water bills, which he found on H2House.org, a conservation website.
Stop any leaks: Homes can waste up to 10 percent of their water because of leaks. Those with water meters should turn off all water in their home and then see if the dial is still moving up, because that indicates a leak. Irrigation systems often leak too, so residents should look for puddles or water in the gutters.
Buy a new washer and dryer: Energy Star appliances with a water-saving factor of 9.5 or lower save both water and electricity. They use 35 to 50 percent less water and 50 percent less energy per load. Another option is to only wash full loads of laundry.
Put in new plants: Having a 100-percent grass lawn uses significant amounts of water; consider planting drought-tolerant plants, which use 40 to 60 percent less water.
Lodi residents use 60 percent of their water on outdoor landscapes. The city's website has a Lodi Lawn and Garden Watering Guide at www.lodi.gov with additional tips.
Get a new toilet: Consider installing a low-flow, water-efficient 1.6 gallons per flush toilet, which the city offers $44 rebates on. The city also offers $100 rebates for pressure-assist, ultra low-flow toilets that use 1.6 gallons or less.
Limit your water: People often overwater their gardens, resulting in waste. Adding 4 inches of wood chips will keep the moisture in the soil.
Rebates of up to 50 percent are also available for low-flow shower heads, insulated hot water blankets for a water heater tank and hose bib manual timers for outside water hoses to control irrigation.
Residents must purchase the item within 120 days of the application date. To apply for a rebate, visit www.lodi.gov or contact Kathryn Garcia at 209-333-6740.