To report pollution or water waste violations use Report It! or call Public Works 760-839-4668.
In response to the extreme drought conditions impacting Southern California, on November 17, 2021, the Escondido City Council declared a Response Level 1 - Water Shortage Drought Watch Condition. Escondido water customers can do their part and increase their water savings by taking full advantage of water-saving rebates, incentives, classes, and resources available through the City, the Water Authority, and the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California.
Escondido encourages everyone to be Water Smart by using only what you need, especially when facing statewide drought conditions. The City and its water suppliers have planned for hot, dry weather to ensure a stable local water supply, but individual actions can also help preserve and extend our resources. The City offers water use evaluations, rebates, and incentives as well as landscape workshops to help your business or household conserve. Water waste can be reported through Report It! or by calling Public Works at 760-839-4668.
Actions Required by Municipal Code at all Times for Escondido Water Customers:
- Eliminate excessive runoff from over watering. This includes irrigation water leaving your property.
- Irrigate landscapes between the hours of 6 p.m. and 10 a.m.
- Leaks and line breaks must be repaired as soon as they are discovered.
- Fountains must re-circulate the water.
- Washing any vehicle with a hose not having a water shut-off nozzle is prohibited.
- Washing hardscape with a hose or other pressurized source is prohibited.
- Watering or irrigating outdoor landscaping with potable water during rainfall or within 48 hours of rainfall is prohibited.
- Hotels or motels must provide guests with the option not to have towels and/or linens laundered daily.
- Restaurants or other places where food is served will not serve drinking water to customers unless requested by the customer.
From Escondido Municipal Code, Article 5, including Section 31-230 and Section 31-232
Conservation Reduces Our Demand for Water
Located in a dry and semi-arid climate where only 14 to 15 inches of rain fall each year, Escondido imports approximately 80 percent of its water from northern California and the Colorado River. Water from the local San Luis Rey River accounts for approximately 20 percent. Water transportation, treatment and storage is an energy intensive process. The energy needed to transport water long distances accounts for more than 20% of energy consumption statewide (California Energy Commission, 2005).
It is imperative that we learn to use water efficiently both indoors and outdoors. Numerous resources are available to help you achieve long term conservation goals:
The bathroom accounts for 65% of the total water use inside the home.
- Install a high efficiency toilet, which uses 1.28 gallons or less per flush.
- Don't use your toilet as a trashcan.
- Check for leaks. To test for a leak, place a couple drops of food coloring in the tank. Do not flush the toilet. After about 15 minutes check the bowl. If you see any food coloring in the bowl, then you know you have a leak.
- Install a low-flow showerhead, which uses 2.5 gallons a minute or less.
- Take shorter showers.
- Filling the bathtub only halfway significantly reduces water usage.
The Laundry Room
- Washing machines typically use about 45 gallons of water per load. You can reduce this amount by setting the dial on your machine to the appropriate load level. If your machine does not have this option, then wash only full loads.
- Purchase a high efficiency washing machine.
- Wash only full loads in your dishwasher.
- If you do not have a dishwasher, rinse your dishes in a sink of water instead of under running water.
- Wash your vegetables in a bowl of water instead of under a faucet of running water.
- Repair all leaks. Replace washers on leaky faucets. Leaks can waste up to 190 gallons per month.
Small leaks can add up to big losses. See how much at Water Conservation Tips & Resources.
- Become a water manager by learning how to read your meter.
- Implement best practices for a watershed approach to landscaping.
- Water only between 6 p.m. and 10 a.m., and avoid watering when it is windy.
- Use mulch in your garden or landscape to retain soil moisture.
- Modify your irrigation schedule to reflect the changes in seasons.
- Landscape Watering Calculator Creates a watering schedule for the different areas of your landscape. To generate a more efficient water schedule, you will need to input the application rate of your irrigation. The application rate is how much water in inches/hour your system applies onto your landscape. The City of Escondido can assist you in determining your application rate. Call the Water Conservation hotline at 760-839-4658 to schedule a free home water survey.
- The Watering Index explains how to adjust your irrigation schedule without having to re-program your controller.
- Use a soil probe to test the moisture depth.
- If you notice water running off your landscape before the end of your irrigation run time, try cycling your run times or shortening the times you irrigate. Cycling means you irrigate for half of the runtime, wait for about an hour for the water to soak into the ground, and then water the rest of your runtime.
- Check your irrigation system on a monthly basis. Turn on each station and check for broken and misaligned sprinkler heads.
- Harness the value of the rain! Install a rain barrel to capture runoff from your roof and use it for watering landscaped areas including lawns and trees.
- Use a positive shut-off nozzle on your hose.
- Use a bucket of water when washing your car.
- Use a broom to clean off your driveway and sidewalks.
- Use a cover for your pool or spa.
- Consider whether a "laundry-to-landscape" graywater system is appropriate in your home.
- Use low-water or drought-resistant plants (the Nifty 50). Hydrozone your yard by grouping plants with similar water needs together.
- Attend a free residential landscape workshop.
- Repair all leaks.
- Schedule a FREE home water survey to identify ways of using water efficiently in and outside your home.