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Water waste patrol scans Henderson neighborhoods for multiagency conservation event

Published: Jun. 12, 2022 at 4:08 PM PDT
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LAS VEGAS, Nev. (FOX5) - Henderson city officials, Las Vegas Valley Water District and North Las Vegas joined forces to scan neighborhoods in Henderson Sunday for their community-wide patrol day. The goal is to ensure the community members are following ordinances to preserve our most precious resource: water.

The community-wide event in Henderson marked the first time that all three agencies have come together to enforce water waste ordinances in Southern Nevada.

“Just checking out a couple neighborhoods to see if there’s not any water waste,” said Clint Wharton, Conservation Awareness Assistant, City of Henderson.

FOX5 rode along with Wharton during his monitoring of neighborhoods Sunday morning, where he spotted a violation.

“I see some water runoff coming from this person’s desert landscaping,” he said.

He wrote them up a warning, and planted a flag in their front lawn describing the ordinance they were breaking.

“Restricted day watering-- cause it’s a Sunday,” said Wharton. “They’re watering their yard, plus it’s a water runoff overspray, because water’s running off their property.”

Wharton said he usually averages around twelve to fifteen write-ups per day, but on this special “blitz” event, several more officials are helping with the enforcement.

The idea is to conserve water, because water waste like described above on people’s lawns isn’t recycled; we cannot get it back.

“Only rainwater should go in your gutter,” said Wharton.

We spoke with an analyst with the city about their processes.

“Every violation always starts at a warning,” said Juliana Castiblanco, Senior Utility Business Analyst, City of Henderson. “Now if the violation continues, and we go back out and it’s the same violation, then we move on to what’s called the ‘enforcement process,’ where we do issue notices of violation, and there can be fines eventually involved in this process.”

Fines can go up to $2,560, a spokesperson with the City of Henderson said.

“Out of our water use in Southern Nevada, about 60 percent of it for single family residential is outdoor. We have to be water smart,” said Castiblanco.

Patrolmen scanned all of Henderson’s commercial and residential areas throughout the day Sunday, including gated communities.

In return, the City of Henderson will assist the cities of Las Vegas and North Las Vegas in their water waste patrols throughout the summer.

“We’re hoping that this is an annual event,” said Castiblanco. “We started last year, with the pilot of this event, and we noticed that we were able to discover twice the amount of cases to investigate for water waste.”

But they can’t do it alone.

“We are always asking our residents and members of this community to help us by reporting water waste, you can download the City of Henderson app and walk through the prompts, it’s very simple -- it only takes a few minutes and you can help us make a difference,” she said.

The link to that app is here.

In effect now through August 31, the mandatory summer watering schedule limits watering to no more than six days a week, never on Sundays and never between 11 a.m. and 7 p.m.

Those who live or work in Henderson can learn more about water waste, conservation and assigned watering days here.

According to a city spokesperson, common examples of water waste include:

  • Irrigating, including drip irrigation, on any day other than a property’s assigned watering days
  • Irrigation systems that allow water to spray or flow off property
  • Draining a swimming pool or spa into the street rather than a designated sanitary sewer port where water is recycled
  • Allowing the loss, escape, or excess use of water through a break, leak, or other malfunction.