Did you know that some sprinkler nozzles can emit just as many gallons per minute as a showerhead? Running your sprinklers too long is like having an entire football team taking a shower on your lawn!
Use WaterSense This Summer
for a Beautiful Yard
Every summer, outdoor water use rises with the warmer temperatures. This summer, Ventura Water is partnering with the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) WaterSense program to provide customers with more water-efficiency tools and resources. Water Conservation Specialist Jill Sarick offers watering tips and advice from WaterSense that will help ensure a healthy, beautiful landscape that uses less water, takes less time to maintain and protects our watershed.
Control Your Controllers
Jill finds that customers are simply unaware of how much water their irrigation systems use. “Once you learn that some sprinkler nozzles can emit just as many gallons per minute as a showerhead, then running your sprinklers too long is like having an entire football team taking a shower on your lawn!”
Jill recommends homeowners learn about their irrigation controllers. California Contractors Association (CLCA) and the Irrigation Association are certification bodies that list certified irrigation auditors who can help you tune up your system. Alternatively, you can replace an existing timer with a WaterSense labeled, weather-based model that adjusts based on climatic conditions. In Ventura, if you live within the Casitas Municipal Water District service area, you may qualify for a rebate for a weather-based irrigation timer.
Spy on Your Sprinklers
No matter how much you water it, you can’t grow pavement. “It’s a waste of money and water when runoff hits an impermeable surface. Moreover, dry weather runoff is a major contributor to ocean pollution,” Jill said. She suggests watching your sprinkler system run through each watering zone at least once to see if concrete is inadvertently being watered. Then you can fix misaligned or broken sprinklers.
Grass doesn’t always need to be watered just because it’s hot outside. “Perform a ‘step test’ on the lawn early in the morning or late evening. If the grass springs back, reduce the watering time. Look at corners and shady areas too. If moss is growing, you are overwatering.”
Go Native with Water-Wise Plants
Jill supports replacing small areas of turf with native or drought-tolerant plants that use little to no additional water once established because they are adapted to the local climate. Check out the Ventura Water Wise Plants website for ideas, plant selection and hydro-zoning information.
For more information on summer outdoor irrigation use, please visit saveourh2o.org and home-water-works.org. Ventura Water also sponsors classes and hands-on workshops on Ocean Friendly Gardens throughout the year. Stay updated on the latest class schedule and event information at facebook.com/venturawater or twitter.com/venturawaterCA.
To read the full version of this article, please visit Ventura Water's new blog.
Last week, nearly 50 stakeholders met to discuss options to reuse the highly treated water currently released by Ventura’s Water Reclamation Facility into Santa Clara River Estuary. Now entering its third year, this meeting was the start of the second phase of studies which are intended to answer the question … “What is the best use of the treated water resources from the Ventura Water Reclamation Facility to protect the health of the Santa Clara River Estuary?”
These studies were required by the Los Angeles Regional Water Quality Control Board in 2008 by the terms of the City’s discharge permit which allows the treated water to be released into the Estuary. The first study phase scientifically evaluated the potential impacts on the Estuary’s habitat, water quality and recreational opportunities of:
Santa Clara River Estuary
Special Studies Stakeholder
Small groups discuss the reuse options of Ventura's reclaimed water.
Completed last year, the first phase concluded that continuing to release some water is more beneficial to the Estuary than completely removing it. It was also determined that a second study phase was needed to decide how much water, what quality water, and at what time of year should water be released to optimize support for the aquatic environment. As part of this analysis, the stakeholders worked in small discussion groups during the meeting to identify pros and cons of reusing water for agriculture or urban uses, diverting the water to a wetlands, or using it to recharge groundwater.
Releasing different volumes of reclaimed water
Treating the reclaimed water to a higher water quality level and
Combinations of both factors.
These studies are part of the process laid out by the settlement agreement between the City, Heal the Bay and the Wishtoyo Foundation’s Ventura Coastkeeper Program, finalized in December 2012. The new Estuary Protection charge, reflected in customers' bills starting in July, will financially support the development of this program, but to offset the cost of the second phase, Ventura Water recently received two grants totaling $225,000.
Another stakeholder meeting is tentatively scheduled for late October but customers are encouraged to visit cityofventura.net/water/screstudies to read the completed studies and for ongoing updates on the program.
Lydia Holmes of Carollo Engineers explains that the studies are intended to answer the question... “What is the best use of the treated water resources from the Ventura Water Reclamation Facility to protect the health of the Santa Clara River Estuary?”