LA County recently issued a Drought Alert, which contains new mandatory watering restrictions. The restrictions provide instructions for commercial and residential users and do not address parks or turf for recreation purposes specifically.

In light of these new restrictions, the City seeks to conserve as much water as possible while meeting the recreation needs of the community. As severe drought conditions persist locally and statewide, many cities and agencies have activated stages of their drought shortage contingency plans.

“I know residents are curious about irrigation at parks and recreational facilities,” said Lancaster Mayor R. Rex Parris. “The City Council and I want to assure residents that we are doing everything we can to maintain our beautiful city while complying with these necessary water restrictions.”

The State is also banning irrigation of non-functional turf in the commercial, industrial, and institutional sectors. “Non-functional turf” is defined as turf that is ornamental and not otherwise used for human recreation purposes such as school fields, parks, and sports fields. Non-functional turf may include turf areas around buildings, adjacent to sidewalks, or in areas within parks that see very little or no use by the public. 

Turf for recreation purposes includes all turf within parks, except where it is deemed non-functional. Since the turf at most of our parks and sports fields is considered functional, the city is already in compliance with the latest restrictions.

The following parks have implemented sustainable watering options that help the city further comply with the State’s drought-friendly water restrictions:

•  Sgt. Steve Owen Memorial Park uses recycled water for all irrigation.

•  Tierra Bonita Splash Pad uses recirculated and treated water.

•  Lancaster National Soccer Center uses well water for all purposes.

In additional efforts to conserve water in Lancaster, the city has taken proactive steps to reduce water usage by implementing the following restrictions at local parks and facilities:

•  Watering of recreational turf occurs as needed between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m.

•  Watering of non-functional turf occurs twice per week or is reduced by 30 percent between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m.

•  In order to inspect and repair our irrigation systems, staff will turn on certain water stations during work hours. Water will only run while staff are present and inspecting.

•  Staff frequently perform inspections to find and mitigate water run-off, over-spray, irrigation breaks, and identify adjustment needs.

•  During extreme heat, the city may irrigate athletic turf during the day to support player safety and prevent health issues on turf.

 For more details on the Drought Alert issued by LA County, visit https://pw.lacounty.gov/wwd/web/Conservation/DroughtInfo.aspx.

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