Santa Clara Valley Water District Inspectors Aim to Provide Conservation Tips

Got a broken sprinkler head?

You may get a knock on the door from Susana Cabrera Mariz -- one of five new water waste inspectors with the Santa Clara Valley Water District.

Mariz may leave you a flier or provide advice on how to fix your sprinkler. But what you won't get is a fine.

"These inspectors are strictly educational," said Jerry Delapiedra of the Santa Clara Valley Water District. "They will talk to the homeowner about the violation and the restrictions in the service area at that site."

For the past two weeks Mariz has been paying visits to homes in the South Bay, following up on tips phoned or e-mailed in to the water district.

"Most are anonymous like a broken sprinkler head," Mariz said. "It's a non-confrontational way to remind people to conserve water."

User have only managed to cut back water usage by 11 percent despite a call for a 20-percent water use reduction from the district's board earlier this year.

Residents said if an inspector knocked on their door they would be OK with it.

"I would hope my neighbor would ask me first, but I have no problem having a water district person tell me how to fix it," San Jose-resident Sean Toomey said.

The district hope the efforts from water waste inspectors will prevent hundreds of gallons of water from flowing down the drain.

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