Over the last five months (June 2015 to October 2015), Fountain Valley residents have conserved more than 393 million gallons of drinking water, when compared to the same five-month period in 2013.
“This equates to 16 percent points of our state-mandated 20 percent goal,” said Public Works Director Mark Lewis.
But October was a little too close for comfort, Lewis said. Up until now, residents have been saving more than the required 20 percent monthly, but October was 20 percent on the dot, meaning if we fall behind in future months, it could make it challenging to finish the overall goal.
“While we are on target for a 20 percent water use reduction, we have no flexibility to ease up on our water-saving measures. Now more than ever, it is important for us to continue our efforts to sustain us through the fall and winter months.”
With the recent start of Daylight Savings, the city will allow hand watering within one hour of sunrise and sunset. For example, if sunrise is at 7 a.m., residents can hand water until 8 a.m. Similarly, if sunset is at 5 p.m., residents can begin hand watering at 4 p.m. Lewis reminds residents that watering is still limited to the assigned days of the week based on address.
The city also is also encouraging residents to cut back on outdoor watering even further during the fall and winter because trees, plants and turf need less water in cooler temperatures.
Given the severity of the drought, city officials ask residents to consider going to a voluntary one-day-a-week watering schedule from Nov. 1 2015 through March 12, 2016.
California is experiencing the worst drought in history, so it’s crucial that outdoor watering is curtailed and indoor water is not wasted, Lewis said. Many people don’t realize that more water is used–and wasted–outdoors than indoors and sprinkler systems are the biggest culprit. Stopping leaks and setting sprinkler timers correctly will save a significant amount of water, helping stretch the state’s supply during this water crisis.
Here are some steps for checking your sprinkler system:
· Replace the battery, if there is one, in the sprinkler timer and reset it, if needed, to adjust for the time change.
· Check the timer settings to determine the number of days and minutes the system is watering lawns and gardens. Remember that outdoor watering is limited to a maximum of 15 minutes per station per assigned watering day. Even numbered addresses can water on Sunday and Thursday. Odd numbered addresses can water on Tuesday and Saturday.
· Take advantage of the lower evaporation rates by watering before 7 a.m. or after 7 p.m. when temperatures are cooler. Watering during the cooler parts of the day can save approximately 25 gallons each time you water.
· Run the sprinkler system to ensure all the sprinkler heads are working and spraying the lawn – not the house, sidewalk, driveway or street. Resetting the sprinkler heads to deliver the water where it is needed can save 12 to 15 gallons each watering cycle.
· Look for perpetually damp spots in the yard or places where water pools because these could be a sign of a leak in the sprinkler system.
· If a leak is suspected, check the water meter before and after a two-hour period, when no water is being used. If the meter doesn’t read exactly the same, a leak is likely the cause for the change.
“Small changes like these can make a big difference in attaining our 20 percent target reduction,” Lewis said.
The city of Fountain Valley offers rebates for turf removal, rotating sprinkler nozzles, weather based irrigation controllers, and more water-efficient devices through the Municipal Water District of Orange County (MWDOC).
For a full list of rebates offered go to www.ocwatersmart.com.