Water Vigilantes Strike in East Sacramento

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SACRAMENTO—

Some East Sacramento residents are uneasy over incidents of trespassing and vandalism apparently aimed at curbing water use.

Stephanie Matulich’s home was targeted on her designated watering night, during the time when she is allowed to water under drought restrictions.

Matulich told FOX40 she set her sprinkler to run for only 20 minutes, then went to bed.

“I got up at about five in the morning to use the restroom and found that the toilet wouldn’t flush,” she explained.

After investigating further, Matulich discovered that somebody had turned the main water shut-off valve outside her home to the off position.

“You know, I was kind of incensed,” she said regarding the trespasser’s actions.  “I mean, you don’t know who lives here, you don’t know if it’s an elderly person or somebody that needs water to maintain medical equipment. And it scares me that they probably walked all around my property to find the shutoff.”

The incident happened not far from a 33rd street home where somebody repeatedly toppled a front yard fountain this summer.  The fountain used recirculated water, which is allowable under drought rules.

“They could’ve come and knocked on the door and said, ‘Look, this really bothers me,'” said homeowner, Kathy Haberman who ultimately decided to dismantle the fountain instead of continually reconstructing it.  “But they just decided that they should knock it over.”

Matulich expressed a similar opinion, wondering why the water vigilante didn’t simply leave her a note.

The City of Sacramento prefers that people call 311 if they have issues with somebody’s watering habits.  The city employs water investigators who make house calls.  But in both cases in this report, the homeowners were playing by the rules.

Additional information about Sacramento’s watering rules can be found here.

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