Environment & Science

LA City Council sends watering plan back to DWP commission

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After an engineer's report linked Los Angeles’ yard watering rules to water main breaks, the city may impose new rules this summer. That didn’t happen Tuesday.

Amid a statewide water shortage, Los Angeles tightened watering restrictions last summer. Homeowners may run yard sprinklers two days a week for no more than 15 minutes before 9 in the morning and after 4 in the afternoon.

But after several water main breaks, a USC engineering team investigated and found that those rules worsened pressure on aging pipes. So the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power has backed a fix.

DWP's plan would divide four watering days among even- and odd-numbered street addresses. But the L.A. City Council voted instead to recommend spreading yard watering guidelines over even more days.

Councilman Greig Smith has advocated allowing homeowners to water their yards three days a week for shorter periods of time. The council has sent that recommendation back to water and power commissioners. The commission and the council will have to okay the new watering rules; that could take until the end of this month.