Given the severe drought conditions, the City has launched a comprehensive outreach program to educate water customers about new restrictions and ways they can cut back on their water consumption, particularly outdoor watering. Conservation efforts are not the responsibility of residents and businesses alone. The City of Beverly Hills is doing its part by taking the following actions:
- Reduced watering at the parks to 2 days per week.
- Turned off water to the Sunset Boulevard and Burton Way medians.
- Utilized drought tolerant plants and landscaping throughout City Hall.
- Converted planters from spray to drip irrigation system.
What are the restrictions as outlined in the Stage D conservation efforts?
30% reduction in potable water use is required.
Except Tier 1 single-family and multi-family residential customers, all other users shall reduce water usage to 70% of the amount in the baseline period as determined by the City Council.
Restaurants shall serve water upon request only.
All public restrooms in the City and private bathrooms in hotels shall notify patrons and employees of water conservation goals.
Plumbing and irrigation leaks shall be repaired as soon as practicable.
The City may issue notices to repair visible leaks.
Complete refilling of swimming pools, spas, or ponds are prohibited unless required for health and safety reasons. Topping off pools in order to maintain filter effectiveness and prevent standing water with breeding of insects shall be considered a refilling of a pool for health reasons.
Operation of water fountains shall be prohibited unless the water is recirculated.
Landscape irrigation shall be restricted to selected days and times as determined by the city manager, unless such irrigation uses reclaimed wastewater.
All public and private fountains are allowed to operate if they have re-circulating systems
Exterior washdown of buildings and washdown of vehicles shall be prohibited, unless:
The washing is done on the immediate premises of a commercial car wash or commercial service station or with reclaimed wastewater; or the health, safety and welfare of the public is contingent upon frequent vehicle cleaning, such as the cleaning of garbage trucks and vehicles to transport food and perishables;
Water usage from fire hydrants shall be limited to firefighting, related activities or other activities necessary to maintain the public health, safety and welfare.
Violation by any person of the stage D mandatory requirements shall constitute a misdemeanor and, upon conviction, shall be punished by a fine not to exceed one thousand dollars ($1,000.00). Continued excessive use may result in a termination of water supply through irrigation water services and/or restriction of water supply through domestic meters. The violation of each element, and each separate violation thereof, shall be deemed a separate offense, and shall be punished accordingly.
How will the City calculate the 30% reduction in water use?
Except for single-family and multi-family residential users in tier 1 who will remain in tier 1 for the next billing cycle, the 70% water use baseline will be established by comparing your 60-day billing cycle to the same 60-day billing cycle from year 2013. For example, your water allocation for your April-May 2015 billing cycle will be 70% of your April-May 2013 billing cycle usage.
How long will these watering restrictions last?
These watering restrictions will be in place until the City Council chooses to rescind the restrictions.
Penalties and Surcharges [UPDATED]
When do the penalty surcharges go into effect? [UPDATED]
[UPDATED] Customers who consume more water than the 2013 baseline consumption target can expect to pay the following amounts:
-For customers who use between 71% and 87% of their 2013 baseline consumption target, the penalty is 0.25 times the base water rate.
-For customers who use 88% or more of their 2013 baseline consumption target, the penalty is 1.85 times the base water rate. This includes the first level penalty for usage between 71% and 87% PLUS an additional 1.60 times the base water rate for water usage that is 88% or more.
Your utility bill will include your water conservation goal for the following billing period. In addition, the City's Water Tracker has a feature in which customers can look up their baseline information. You can access Water Tracker at water.beverlyhills.org.
This reduced penalty surcharge went into effect on March 1, 2016 and will remain in place until the emergency drought situation ends and the City Council votes to lift them.
Is there an appeals process for me to state my case? [NEW]
[NEW] At its June 30, 2015 Formal meeting, the City Council approved a penalty surcharge appeals process to address customer circumstances which may make it difficult to reduce water use by 30%. As part of the process, the customer will need to submit an application form identifying the circumstance(s). Some of the conditions may be as follows:
-additional members living on the property
-unique property qualities requiring an adjustment to the conservation target, such as recent replacement of garden
-fire hazard zone or slope stability
-significant water savings from Year 2011 to Year 2013 (Please note that the City is taking efforts to make adjustments for eligible accounts; an appeals form will not be needed for this particular circumstance)
Additional details will be forthcoming. It is anticipated the appeals process will be available starting August 1, 2015. It is anticipated that the process will be in place so water customers may file an appeal prior to the penalty surcharge assessments.
For more information, a copy of the submitted City Council report (Item C) can be found here:
When do the fines for non-compliance with watering restrictions go into effect? [UPDATED]
[UPDATED] The City will continue to educate the community about the watering restrictions and will use progressive enforcement to correct the behavior. Issuance of fines will begin on August 1, 2015.
How will the fines be applied?
Re-occurring violation(s) by any person of the stage D mandatory requirements will trigger progressive fines not to exceed one thousand dollars ($1,000.00). There will be a progressive penalty schedule of approximately $100*, $200* and $500* for violations. Continued excessive use may result in termination of water supply through irrigation water services and/or restriction of water supply through domestic meters. The violation of each element, and each separate violation thereof, shall be deemed a separate offense, and shall be punished accordingly.
(*Please note: Administrative citation fine amounts vary each year and are referenced in the City's Schedule of Taxes, Fees, and Charges.)
Can I appeal if I receive a fine?
Yes, there is an appeals process in place if you choose to appeal your fine. Additional details are forthcoming.
Swimming Pools and Spas [UPDATED]
I need to drain my swimming pool in order to repair it. Can I re-fill my pool after the repairs have been completed?
Complete refilling of swimming pools, spas or ponds is prohibited unless required for health and safety reasons. Permit applications to drain and repair shall be accompanied by a written statement from a licensed pool contractor stating the nature and duration of the repairs/safety issue to be made and the date and method of which the pool shall be drained.
Can I re-fill my swimming pool on an as-needed basis in order to maintain it?
Continue using pool and spa covers to prevent evaporation. You can top off your existing pool, but will be subject to all water costs associated with water use at that time. Topping off existing pools in order to increase filter efficiency and avoid standing water is deemed for health reasons. Complete refilling of swimming pools, spas, or ponds shall be prohibited unless required for health and safety reasons.
Can I move forward with plans to construct a new pool? [UPDATED]
[UPDATED] At its June 30, 2015 Formal meeting, the City Council approved a policy on the filling of newly constructed pools. Prior to the issuance of a permit to construct a new swimming pool, a permit applicant must demonstrate water savings equivalent to the estimated amount of water used during the first year of the pool's operation. The permit applicant could explore a combination of water-saving measures such as higher efficiency fixtures and appliances, rainwater capture and reuse, more water efficient landscaping, and the use of greywater and other alternate sources of water. Alternatively, if the permit applicant cannot demonstrate water savings equivalent to the amount of water used during the pool's first year of operation, the applicant can pay a fee towards the City's conservation effort. The approximate cost is $0.056 per gallon.
For more information, please contact the City's Community Development Department at (310) 285-1141.
A copy of the report submitted to the City Council can be found here: http://beverlyhills.granicus.com/MetaViewer.php?view_id=2&clip_id=4467&meta_id=266117
Is it allowed if a resident drains and stores their private pool water, then refills their pool using the same water?
Yes, residents can drain their pool (assuming they have the necessary permit), store their water, and refill using the same water. However, residents should keep in mind of any water quality and safety issues.
Can I operate my water fountain?
Fountains using recirculating water may continue to operate.
I am a property owner of a multi-family complex. How can I better monitor water use amongst my tenants?
The City is looking into technologies that may assist property owners of multi-family complexes. Please continue to check the City's conservation webpage regularly for updates.
I am a property owner of a multi-family complex. Can I install submeters so I can monitor usage by individual units?
Property owners can certainly install submeters to track usage by individual units. Related costs are borne by the property owner.
The City is also looking into technologies that may assist property owners. Please continue to check the City's conservation regularly webpage for updates
What are my watering days under the City's 2-day outdoor watering schedule?
Monday and Friday: North of Santa Monica
Tuesday and Saturday: South of Santa Monica
No watering on Sunday, Wednesday and Thursday
Outdoor watering is limited to before 9 a.m. and after 5 p.m.
I currently have a drip irrigation system. Does the 2-day outdoor watering schedule and watering time of 8 minutes apply?
Water customers that have a drip irrigation system are exempt from the 8-minute watering limit. The reason is that a drip irrigation system uses significantly less water, but requires more time to appropriately water gardens.
Is artificial turf allowed in the City? [UPDATED]
[UPDATED] Currently, artificial turf is only allowed in backyards. At its June 30, 2015 Study Session, the City Council directed staff to return with proposed guidelines for the use of artificial turf on residential front yards for consideration. Guidelines will be reviewed in early August 2015. Please be advised that artificial turf is still not allowed in residential front yards at this time. In the interim, you may want to consider drought tolerant landscaping and water efficient irrigation systems (such as smart irrigation or drip system) to water your landscape.
A copy of the June 30, 2015 City Council report can be found here: http://beverlyhills.granicus.com/MetaViewer.php?view_id=2&clip_id=4466&meta_id=265963
Artificial turf shall not be allowed in parkways. Plant materials no more than 6" is allowed on parkways.
Please continue to check the City's conservation webpage for updates on this item.
I currently have artificial turf installed on my front yard and/or parkway. Will I be penalized for doing this? [UPDATED]
[UPDATED] The current regulations restricts use of artificial turf on front yards and parkways. Enforcement on these items is currently on hold. At its June 30, 2015 Study Session, the City Council directed staff to develop guidelines for use of artificial turf on residential front yards. Artificial turf is not allowed on parkways. Proposed guidelines for artificial turf is scheduled for review by the Planning Commission at its July 2015 meeting. Please be advised that artificial turf is still not allowed in residential front yards at this time. Continue to check the City's webpage for updates.
Where can I find information on plant alternatives for my front yard or parkway? [UPDATED]
[UPDATED] During the May 18th Study Session, the City Council discussed artificial turf and live plant alternatives. Part of the presentation includes a discussion of various live plant alternatives. The link to the May 18th meeting can be found here: http://beverlyhills.granicus.com/GeneratedAgendaViewer.php?view_id=2&clip_id=4414 (Item 2 of the meeting agenda).
The City is currently developing a Beverly Hills garden handbook which will outline the various plant alternatives which could be used to match your home. The handbook is expected to be made available in late July 2015 via the City's conservation website and limited hard copies will be made available in the library.
Here are some useful links that has information about drought tolerant landscaping:
What if my gardener does not follow the City's 2-day watering schedule?
If you have an irrigation controller system, you can set it so that it waters your yard on the allowed watering days. If you want to upgrade to a smart irrigation controller system to improve your water savings, rebates are available for water efficient systems at www.bewaterwise.com or at www.socalwatersmart.com.
Does the City offer individual garden coaching programs to assist with reducing outdoor water use? [NEW]
[NEW] Effective July 1, 2015, the City currently has partnered with Green Gardens Group (G3) to provide 90-minute on-site landscape consultations to all Beverly Hills water customers. The customer pays $50 and the City covers the remaining cost. To register, go to the City's conservation page at www.beverlyhills.org/conservation, then go to "Rebates and Landscape Coaching." This program is available on a first-come, first-serve basis and subject to funding availability.
I live in a fire hazard zone. What can I do to reduce my overall water use?
There are plant alternatives that both conserve water and are suitable in fire hazard zones. Please visit the website below.
Programs and Resources
I like to monitor my water use. How can I do that?
Water Tracker is a free online tool is available for City water customers to track their water use. You will need to have your customer account utility bill account number when you sign up with Water Tracker for the first time. Water Tracker shows your water use on a daily, weekly, monthly and annual basis. You can log on to Water Tracker at http://water.beverlyhills.org.
I have questions about my water bill. Who do I call?
For any questions related to your water bill, please contact the City's Utility Billing Customer Service at (310) 285-2436.
I have questions about water conservation. Who do I call?
For any questions related to water conservation, please contact the Public Works Customer Service at (310) 285-2467.
Does the City offer rebates on things like appliances and water saving devices to help me conserve water?
The City partners with Metropolitan Water District to offer rebates on water saving devices and appliances.
Visit www.bewaterwise.com or www.socalwatersmart.com for more information. Please note the rebates are available on a first-come, first-serve basis.
You can also contact the City's Public Works - Customer Service at (310) 285-2467.
Does the City offer rebates for turf removal?
The City partners with Metropolitan Water District to offer rebates on water saving devices and appliances.
Please visit www.bewaterwise.com or www.socalwatersmart.com for more information. Please note the rebates are available on a first-come, first-serve basis.
Where can I find the latest information about City conservation requirements and programs?
Please regularly visit the City's webpage at http://www.beverlyhills.org/conservation for the latest information. Or you can also contact the Public Works Customer Service at (310) 285-2467.
If there is a water leak on my property, who do I call?
If you notice there is a leak on your property, please contact a plumber who is certified to do leak detection.
Washing of Vehicles and Exterior Buildings
Is washdown allowed for exterior of buildings and vehicles?
No. Any type of washing (including power washing and/or bucket with water) is prohibited.
Is washdown of vehicles prohibited?
Yes, washdown of vehicles is prohibited, unless:
a. The washing is done on the immediate premises of a commercial car wash or commercial service station or with reclaimed wastewater; or
b. The health, safety and welfare of the public is contingent upon frequent vehicle cleaning, such as the cleaning of garbage trucks and vehicles to transport food and perishables.
Please continue to check the City's conservation webpage regularly for updates on this item.
| beverlyhills.org/conservation | Public Works Dept | (310) 285-2467 | Beverly Hills, CA 90210 |