Valley Drought 2014: More People Reporting Water Wasters in Fresno

One day after the state called on cities to put in place tougher watering restrictions, people across the valley are taking note.

Fresno Water Conservation Workers say they are getting more calls, of people reporting water wasters.

"We've prepared for this," says Don Wells, a Water Conservation Representative for the City of Fresno.

He spent Wednesday afternoon making his fifth visit to a Northwest Fresno home, where there had been a leak in the sprinkler system.

"It was leaking from the attachment here," he said, pointing to the unit. "It's not leaking any more. As far as we're concerned it's repaired."

This is just one of stops he made throughout the day, following reports of excessive watering, and other hazards that come with it.

In the case of the Northwest Fresno home, the excess water sent mud onto the sidewalk, and water into the street that then, led to algae growth.

It became a public hazard.

Wells is one of ten so-called "Water Cops" that are making sure families aren't wasting water.

His department has received about 100 calls and emails on both Monday and Tuesday, from people reporting water wasters.

The issue has received more attention following Tuesday's directive from the State Water Resources Board for cities to tighten restrictions.

And the crackdown, isn't just on homeowners.

"Absolutely, every water customer. Apartments, commercial, industrial. Even the city of Fresno," Wells said.

"These are all today," says Nora Laikam, going through a stack of documented calls for the day.

Laikam is the Water Conservation Supervisor for Fresno.

"People are concerned, furious, emotional. They're trying to make a difference, and others do not," she says.

Laikam points out Fresno homes already have meters.

Restrictions have been in place since 1994, limiting homeowners to three watering days a week.

"We're analyzing what came down from state, looking at current conditions and where we are in the water shortage contingency plan," she says.

She adds that this could include hiring more so-called "water cops."

"We do appreciate these calls, but we can't be in so many places at one time," Wells said.

If you want to report a water waster, you can call the City of Fresno at (559) 621-5480, 24-hours a day, seven days a week.

Laikam says the city also offers free water audits, to help people track down leaks inside and outside their homes.

Workers are also available to help people set their sprinkler timers.

You can call the same number, (559) 621-5480.