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Over the last few years, California, and in particular the Central Valley, have experienced widespread drought-like conditions. As such, the City and County of Fresno are currently updating their Water Shortage Contingency Plan and aspects of this plan affect the water use of swimming pools and spas and other type water features. The new plan establishes four stages of water shortage and increases the level of water use restrictions for each stage. Stage 1 is designed to achieve 10% water use savings; Stage 2, 10%-25% savings; Stage 3, 25%-35% savings; and Stage 4, 35%-50% savings.

The good news is the new water use restrictions are relatively mild for swimming pools and spas; however, pool builders, service personnel and remodelers working in the Fresno area will need to pay attention to requirements to obtain permission and/or a permit for certain repairs, filling and re-filling of pools. The bad news is these restrictions apply in all four stages of water use savings, except for mandatory covers for swimming pools and spas in Stage 4.

For swimming pools, the City and County of Fresno adopted water conservation requirements in Stages 1-4 which: 

  1. Prohibits draining swimming pools more than once every three years, except as necessary to complete structural repairs or to comply with public health standards as determined by the County Health Officer;
  2. Prohibits filling of a new or refurbished swimming pool without obtaining a pool fill permit from the City; and
  3. Prohibits filling (topping off) swimming pools, except during times when outdoor irrigation is allowed according to the Outdoor Water Use Schedule.

For Water Conservation, Stage 4: 

  1. Requires covers for swimming pools when not in use.
  2. Prohibits the use of outdoor misters

For Water Features, Stages 1-4:  

  1. Prohibits the use of potable water to clean, fill or maintain decorative fountains, lakes or ponds, unless such water is recirculated.

Fresno City and County will impose fines for violation of these water use restrictions ranging from $25 to $100. After multiple violations, the City or County may restrict or terminate the user’s water.

We will keep you updated as more information is available.  

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