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Drainage problems prompt accusations of water waste

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Drainage problems prompt accusations of water waste

By Michael Lopardi. CREATED Oct 8, 2013

Las Vegas, NV (KTNV) -- Water draining from one community into another has created a water war in part of the southeast Valley.

People living in the Bermuda Springs community are accusing their neighbors of over watering and water waste because of a constant stream of water running through their neighborhood.

"They've created a river through our neighborhood," said Bermuda Springs homeowner John Fitzgerald.

The community near Warm Springs and Bermuda roads said this is more than a puddle problem; they say the water has been an issue for years.

"Anytime I back in and out of my drive way, I have to go through a river," said Fitzgerald.

When you live in the desert, water is valuable.

"It's a waste of water and we're supposed to be conserving water," said Bermuda Springs homeowner Nita Gee.

Just follow the trail to see the water is coming from the Monarch Estates community across the street. Neighbors accuse homeowners there of over watering and wasting water on lawns and gardens. 

The Las Vegas Valley Water District confirms it has fined 18 homeowners and issued 44 notices to people in Monarch Estates for over watering since December, 2012.

"If it is truly a waste of water, like I think it is, it needs to be stopped," said Gee.

Action News asked Monarch Estates homeowners association board member James Baker if homeowners in his community share the blame for the problem because of over watering.

"Any water that runs off your lawn you're responsible for but I don't think it's primarily on the homeowners," Baker responded.

Baker said the problem goes beyond water. He said the community was built without a drainage system before most current owners arrived. Baker said the homes and lawns are elevated from the street on a slope causing the water to run down to the street, through the main gate and into Bermuda Springs. Baker said the HOA board is meeting with a contractor looking for a solution.

"We recognize that's a problem," said Baker. "We just can't figure out how to stop it completely."

The water district blames the slope of the land and over watering for the problem.

Action News asked the water district if it has done enough to address the concerns of neighbors.

"I can assure them that we've been doing everything within our capabilities to go out and do our water waste investigations," said water district spokesman Bronson Mack.

Neighbors in Bermuda Springs are tired of waiting.

"I would love for somebody to take action and do something," said Gee.

Monarch Estates plans to change landscaping near its entrance to a desert terrain in hopes of alleviating some of the problem, Baker said. A contractor should have some possible solutions to the drainage issue within a week.

Baker said the idea of building a drain in front of the community has been floated but such a project would likely be very costly and need county approval.

Mack said a first time violation for water waste is $80; the fine doubles for each violation after. 

Michael Lopardi

Michael Lopardi

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Michael Lopardi is the featured reporter of the You Ask. We Investigate. franchise at Action News.