Local man takes on role as ‘water police’

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NORTH PARK, Calif. -- He’s not out to stalk you...but he is watching.

“I see it more as just being a second eye out there. I keep my eye out as I go to the grocery store,” said Travis Pritchard as he looked for water waste Wednesday evening.

“Drives me nuts,” said the man some have nicknamed “the water police.”

Pritchard is taking it upon himself to find water waste and report it.

“The city needs to be proactive, really finding the water wasters,” he said.

FOX 5 followed him during one of his patrols near Maryland and Lincoln Streets in North Park and within minutes he came across a leak.

“It has saturated this whole median strip,” said the San Diego native and member of San Diego Coast Keeper, an environmental watchdog group.

“There’s a lot of just waste that comes from either leaks like this or poor irrigation practices,” he said.

Just down the block he spotted a wet sidewalk, which is an irrigation violation under new drought mandates.

The 33-year-old man also has video of a broken sprinkler near Ace Hardware in North Park.

He said it’s the type of thing water officials should be paying more attention too.

“You can have all the mandatory rules that you want but if there’s no enforcement then those aren’t mandatory rules,” said the North Park resident.

FOX 5 reached out to San Diego water officials who told us they have 17 workers patrolling city streets looking for water use violations and are in the process of hiring more.

Pritchard said he has yet to see them in his neighborhood and is worried of just how much water is being wasted across the city.

He’s also concerned about how long city workers will take to respond to his water waste complaints.

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