As indicated in a CPSA Alert published on October 17th, the California Pool and Spa Association is far from done responding to potential drought restrictions on filling new and existing swimming pools and spas during certain water emergencies. Even though the drought in California is over, cities must periodically file update their Urban Water Management Plans and Water Shortage Contingency Plan as part thereof.
The City of Lathrop, just South of Stockton in Northern California, was in the process of doing just that when the CPSA received notice that the proposed Ordinance contained a prohibition on filling swimming pools and spas in Stage III, 30% Water Use Reduction. This prohibition applied to both new and existing swimming pools and spas.
CPSA’s Executive Director John Norwood attended the City Council meeting on Monday, October 16th to object to the proposed fill prohibition. Additionally, the association contacted City staff that afternoon to discuss its concern. The Ordinance had actually been through its first reading at the City’s meeting two weeks earlier and was scheduled for the consent calendar. After Mr. Norwood’s presentation, City Council Member Martha Salcedo moved to vote on the consent calendar, absent the proposed water emergency ordinance. She asked that the water emergency ordinance be put over so discussions could occur with staff and CPSA until the next City Council meeting on Monday, November 6th.
Discussions with city staff did occur and CPSA was notified this week by the City’s Director of Public Works that the Ordinance was being revised and the prohibitions on filling new and existing pools were being removed. The only provisions that remain in the Ordinance are in Stage II, 20% Water Reduction, requiring swimming pools and spas be covered when not in use.
The City of Lathrop is just the most recent example of why CPSA and the industry must remain steadfast in its response and opposition to proposed laws and ordinances that would potentially shut down the swimming pool and spa industry in certain drought or emergency water situations. Swimming pools and spas are not water wasters, a fact confirmed by numerous local water districts, the state Department of Water Resources, and the California Water Quality Control Board. However, nobody is going to make this point for the industry. Unless the industry continues to speak up and fight against such restrictions, the construction as well as the servicing of swimming pools will be adversely affected by such proposals.