Water Cops to Patrol New Mexico for Excessive Use

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. --

The water police are on the lookout in Bernalillo County for homes and businesses that are using too much water.

“A lot of times, people have no idea that their sprinklers are shooing up 10, 20, 30 feet in the air, depending on the size and the pressure of the irrigation system,” water inspector Brian Harvey said.

Water leaks and out of control sprinklers are water violations.

“We actually have to video and document the system being on in order to enforce it as a violation,” Harvey said.

Improper drainage of pools, washing cars and letting water flow into the street are more examples of water violations. Inspectors said the right way to drain a pool is to dump the water into the sewer so it can be treated and re-used.

In Bernalillo County, violations run anywhere from $20 to $2,000.

“You get one violation that stays on for 5 years. And that count is going to continue to go up even if it's 6 months later or a year later,” Harvey said.

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