Letter: Water woes
October 1, 2001
We are hands-on owners of duplexes in the Ranchos, very involved in the maintenance and upkeep of our units. Gardnerville Ranchos General Improvement District (aka GRID) is actively pursuing water wasting in the area, perhaps to a fault. We are in favor of reducing water waste and of the water ban from 1 to 4 p.m. We have made our tenants aware of the policies.
We have found that the water warden is either inadequately trained or unfamiliar with water management, writing unfair citations. On a windy day, systems that otherwise operate perfectly will end up with water everywhere. Owners should not be cited for such days, but they are. On a rainy day, there should be no citations. We have received several unjustified citations, which, after hours of investigation and document preparation, have been reversed. There should be a means for an owner to meet with GRID personnel to resolve the questionable citations in a simple manner. Perhaps writing citations on sprinkler systems should be abolished, unless there is some type of very flagrant wasting of water. We need written guidelines.
In our case, in June, we were cited for water waste, stating that there was a 4-inch-wide stream for one block. A neighbor, who saw him issue the citation, said there was very little water in the street, and it was not a “block” long. We are the second lot from the intersection on a 10-lot street. Because of our location, we seem to be blamed constantly. While on vacation, on Sept. 4, we were cited. We asked the tenant to turn off the system and hand water until we returned home. On return, Bruce found no water running into the street from our system. There are other properties in the neighborhood that water just before us that do contribute water to the street.
After several hours and many trips and pictures, we were able to get GRID to waive the citation, albeit reluctantly. Of approximately 10 citations that we have had, nine have been due to other properties’ water accumulation in front of our lot. It seems that we are being unfairly harassed. We discussed GRID with other property owners and each of them had a similar story of woe. We believe that GRID is actively pursuing water meters in the area, and are unjustly writing citations toward that end. We have replaced sprinkler heads to alleviate potential water waste. The topography of the unit slopes, which causes a gravity feed situation to occur when the sprinklers are shut off, causing the water in the lines to run out. The amount of water is less than a gallon.
On Oct. 3, we will address some of our concerns at the GRID meeting and would ask anyone who has had a problem with unfair citations on water waste to come to the meeting.
We are hoping that if they are thrown in the spotlight of public awareness, perhaps they will realize the need for change.