Code enforcement: illegal pot growers stealing water in Butte County

Butte County is seeing a troubling trend of water thefts and most of that water is being used for illegal pot farms, according to Code Enforcement.

Posted: Jul 30, 2021 10:21 AM
Updated: Jul 30, 2021 10:22 AM

BUTTE COUNTY, Calif. - Butte County is seeing a troubling trend of water thefts and most of that water is being used for illegal pot farms, according to Code Enforcement.

It's not uncommon for code enforcement to see thousands of plants at one site.

Each one needs on average 5 gallons of water a day to survive, according to Chris Jellison, a manager at Butte County Code Enforcement.

So if for example, someone stole water for their 2,000 marijuana plants - they would be wasting 10,000 gallons of water.

"It's not right especially the grows that we came across because cannabis is so heavy and we're out there doing full enforcement, they're taking from other people's wells," Jellison said.

Jellison says some of the ways thieves steal the water are by siphoning creeks or even pulling off fire hydrants; they even transport it with their own water tenders.

Code enforcement is urging everyone to call if they see this type of activity happening.

The department is also worried about illegal pot farms when it comes to fire danger.

So far this year it has received at least 600 complaints regarding illegal cannabis growth, according to Jellison.

Enforcement has already been underway since April and right now there is an uptick of these illegal farms.

The department is worried these grows can potentially spark a fire.

"The fire danger is out there we come across cannabis grows where there are generators running 24/7," Jellison explained, "there are extension chords that are exposed it's just crazy."

To learn what is legal when it comes to cannabis growing in Butte County and how to file a complaint, CLICK HERE.

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