"Nuisance Water" Ordinance Surprises Many Odessans

by Kristen Lowe
NewsWest 9

ODESSA - Not a lot of people know that water flowing on your street could cost you big bucks, even if you have a well.

"People who have well water think these ordinances don't apply to them," City of Odessa Community Development Director, Merita Sandoval, said. "But even if well water is getting out into the public streets, then yes, the nuisance water ordinance does apply to them."

It all started because the city was getting several complaints about water runoff into the streets.

"So we've had inspectors who are now working at night, so they can see where the water is coming from," Sandoval said.

Sandoval says the first three nights the staff worked, they found 143 violations, and they only worked for four hours each night.

Violators have five days to fix the problem. After that, they can be issued fines. It is $200 for the first offense, $350 for the second, and $500 for the third.

"It can be that every day you're in violation of the ordinance, you can get a citation," Sandoval said. "It could amount to quite a bit of money if you don't repair it.

But for Sandoval, it comes down to one thing.

"I would rather brush my teeth and take a shower, then have a green yard," she said.