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Rancho Ortega Blog discusses matters of public interest in South Orange County, including the communities of San Juan Capistrano, Ladera Ranch and Rancho Mission Viejo.

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SMWD Likely to Amend Swimming Pool Restrictions on October 17

Although no official action has been taken or announced yet, we have been told that the Santa Margarita Water District was sufficiently persuaded by the feedback it received that it will likely amend its Stage 2 drought mandatory water conservation measures to modify the swimming pool filling restrictions when the SMWD Board of Directors next meets on October 17th.   The following is a statement we received from the Water District:

“We are happy that our work with residents and the pool and spa industry resulted in an ordinance that allows pool construction and filling to continue, yet ensures that customers are using water as efficiently as possible,” said SMWD spokesman Jonathan Volzke. “Not only was that positive experience, but the issue raised awareness of the seriousness of the drought throughout the region as well.  A key lesson for all of us is how truly important it is to use a pool cover to preserve water – pool evaporation is more than 48 inches a year. Even the circular lily pad solar covers (about 5 feet in diameter each) help prevent evaporation and are easier to use than a traditional bubble cover.”

The full restrictions on pool filling will be moved to the Stage 4 measures, and may reappear if the severity of the drought worsens.  Stage 2 will still require new pools to include high-efficiency pool equipment so as to ensure that swimming pools use less water than landscaped alternatives.

Thank you to the Santa Margarita Water District for listening to public opinion and weighing both the policy objectives with the economic and practical impact on residents and local businesses.  This is a good outcome.

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