Calistoga residents face mandatory water restrictions


City leaders say they have no choice but to start making people conserve. They say asking people to conserve voluntarily, wasn't work.

The people of Calistoga know how bad a drought can get. Deputy City Clerk Kathy Flamson remembers how each person was limited to only 50 gallons of water per day back in the late 70s.

"We had our first child in 1977," Flamson said. "Which was lovely, because we not only had a new baby boy, but we also got 50 more gallons of water per day."

Calistoga is not at that point, yet. But starting March 1, residents will face mandatory water restrictions.

Homes with odd-numbered addresses will only be allowed to water their yard Tuesdays and Thursdays, while homes with even-numbered addresses will only be allowed to water on Mondays and Wednesdays.

When asked if this water restriction system is enough to maintain what she has now, resident Terry Goldin said, "Probably not. I'm going to wait and see what happens, how much more rain we get."

Residents must only run appliances when full, and hosing down sidewalks, patios, and driveways will be prohibited. Violators will face fines starting at $50.

"We can pretty much see them driving down the street, so starting March 1, if we see someone in violation we'll give them a warning and if they do it again we'll fine them," Calistoga City Manager Richard Spitles said.

Calistoga relies much of its water from the Kimball Reservoir, which is now filled to capacity thanks to the last storm.

But city leaders say it's still not enough, which means mandatory restrictions will last indefinitely.

Businesses are affected too. They face pretty much the same restrictions as homeowners, but restaurants workers have been told to scrape their dishes prior to rinsing and provide water to customers only when requested.

"And of course I encourage people to have a tasty beverage instead of water if I can provide that for them," said Katrina Negoesco-Mueller with Hydro Bar & Grill

Calistoga hopes the mandatory restrictions will reduce water consumption by 20 percent.

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