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December 31, 2008 > Drinking water in restaurants

Drinking water in restaurants

By Meenu Gupta
Photos By Courtesy of Kathleen Phalen

If one person in every four avoided the free glass of water at a restaurant, we would conserve more than 26 million gallons of water. Needless to say, water is indispensable for us and so it is our responsibility to conserve it for tomorrow. The City of Milpitas' Municipal Code Title VIII, Chapter 6, Section 3.03 does prohibit the service of water by any restaurant except upon the request of customers.

"The City does not currently have staff assigned to enforce this provision of the code due to its limited staff resources," said Kathleen Phalen, Utility Engineer. The City does participate in the water conservation program offered to the public by Santa Clara Valley Water District. "Through this program, the City recently obtained a supply of tabletop signs notifying restaurant customers that water will be served upon request," said Phalen. The signs are 3 inches by 4 inches and are double sided.

"After the holidays, the City will be sending a letter to the full service restaurants in Milpitas notifying them of the code restrictions on service of water and offering these display signs at no cost," Phalen said. "Our water wholesalers continue to ask the public for 10% voluntary conservation as we wait to see how much snow and rainfall this winter brings the state."

This degree of conservation can be readily attained by most people by taking care not to waste water such as through excessive irrigation and by repairing leaking fixtures. These simple precautions can go a long way in conserving water for the future. Fix the leaks in your home with free Water Wise House Calls. A Santa Clara Valley Water District technician will come to your home, check for leaks, and provide customized water use tips and outdoor watering schedules.

The public can call the City's water conservation hotline at (408) 586-2605 to request free water conservation items such as faucet aerators and low flow showerheads. Visit the City's website at for more information on water conservation. Click on "Departments," then "Public Works," then "Water Maintenance Services" and "Water Conservation."

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