By Ron Jones

NORTH HIGHLANDS (CBS13) — Residents in a North Highlands neighborhood woke up to find locks on their water spigots after their homeowners association turned off some of its water without warning.

Mike Louden is retired and loves tinkering in his drought-resistant garden. But he says his roses are in jeopardy.

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“I hate to see it die. I spent all these years keeping it going,” he said.

Louden and his neighbors woke up on Thursday to find locks on their water spigots. He says the HOA cut them off without warning.

“There’s no water in there whatsoever. They turned the water off also,” he said.

“If we’re supposed to limit our water use even more then let us know before you lock us out,” said resident Maritza Carouth.

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But the HOA tells CBS13 the residents’ water wasting is sending the association’s utility bill through the roof. It says it had to borrow money from its reserves to pay a water bill that was $65,000 over budget.

Some examples it cites are over-washing cars, filling children’s wading pools and spraying down sidewalks. The association also claims 75 percent of the tenants are renters who are not conservation conscious.

“That’s absolutely nothing to do with me,” Louden said.

He owns his home and says he’s not a water waster. He feels he and his roses should not fall victim to irresponsible neighbors.

“I pay $200 in association dues, and they say not everybody pays,” he said. “I pay.”

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The HOA says the locked spigots are in the outdoor common areas and that water systems inside the homes are not affected.