SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - A hotline number and a website to report water wasters in Santa Barbara has been a pipeline of information in the last few months.
The city says it has received 450 reports of water misuse, or at least something that looks like wasting water during Stage Two drought conditions.
As promised, every tip gets a follow up. The city says that often includes a knock on the door of a resident or a business.
Water Conservation Manager Madeline Ward says, "We're very nice." She points out, any offender gets a one time warning.
So far, no one has been hit with a fine.
"It's usually something people aren't realizing, that their sprinklers are going all night into the streets," said Ward. "Everyone's been able to fix their problem on their own without having to pay."
The most common problem is the over spray from sprinklers. That creates a runoff down the sidewalks and driveways into the gutters. It's easy for someone to spot, and follow up with a call to the city.
So far it has not become a neighbor vs. neighbor "watchdog" type of enforcement.
There's not a lot of animosity. They just inform their neighbor on their own,(if there's a water waste occurring) "but we will get involved if you don't want to," said Ward.
On the city's website is the link to report a water use concern. It will ask for a location, time and date. If you have pictures you can also upload them as well.
"We can't be everywhere at all times and sometimes it happens when we aren't working," said Ward.
The water waste and conservation hotline is : (805 564 5460
The water waste form can be found at : http://www.santabarbaraca.gov/gov/depts/pw/resources/conservation/reportwater/default.asp