Oakland Athletics executive Billy Beane blames leaky pipes for his profligate water use during California’s drought.
In a statement issued through the baseball team Friday, Beane suggested he had been unaware that he was pumping 6,000 gallons of water per day at his home in Danville’s exclusive Blackhawk subdivision.
That’s more than 20 times what the average customer uses.
“Three irrigation leaks were recently discovered and corrected,” Beane wrote, according to the Associated Press.
“We were more than displeased and embarrassed by the usage.”
Beane was the district’s third-biggest customer in the two months since the East Bay Municipal Utility District enacted a new ordinance that imposes fines for using too much water. Beane faces an “excessive use penalty” of about $800.
The utility has released the names of 1,100 customers who were hit with fines for overuse during the past two months.
The district still refuses to identify its biggest users, including an unidentified customer who lives in the wealthy enclave of Diablo in Contra Costa County, near the Diablo Country Club.
Records obtained by Reveal show that this customer pumped 3.5 million gallons of water for the year ending April 1. That’s about 10,000 gallons per day for a year – far more than Beane, and tops in the district.
The utility refuses to name this customer, saying he’s entitled to his privacy because his mega-use did not break any rules.
Meanwhile, the San Jose Mercury News reported that Beane’s neighborhood in Blackhawk, called Saddleback, has lots of other mega-users.
Correction: A previous version of this story incorrectly stated the amount of water used daily by a customer who pumped 3.5 million gallons in the year ending April 1. The customer used about 10,000 gallons per day.