Hays issuing fines for lack of water conservation

HAYS, Kansas — The effort to conserve water is leading to some costly tickets.

Water conservation has started earlier than usual this year and some residents aren’t doing their part, leading to citations being issued.

“The first time we give them a warning, the majority of people address the issue and we don’t have to go back, but we have given out other violations,” said Don Scheibler, the Hays chief of police.

But the police chief says if you got a warning last year, don’t expect to get another one.

“That’s over a 24 month period, so if you got a water warning last year you won’t get a warning again this year,” said Scheibler.

With the cities recent upgrade to a water warning, outdoor watering has become even more restricted and police are urging people to be more careful with their water usage.

“This is truly a community event. The community understands that water is the future of our community and without water conservation we’re going to have problems in the future,” said Scheibler.

Police say most violations that they see are from people watering during restricted times, over watering and letting their sprinklers run so long that water runs down the street.

However, there is a tool for people with water issues.

“The city of Hays has a water conservation specialist to come out and assist those people with identifying if they have a problem with their lawn or a problem with their sprinkler system but trying to identify the problem and educate them on the importance of water conservation,” said Scheibler.

The city and police are hoping a little extra effort can save a fine and some water in the long run.

After the first warning, residents will get a fine of $50 but each time you’re fined again, the bill will increase up to $250 per violation.

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