In March of 2015, the Board suspended outside watering and set in place an additional overall use reduction to a total of 35%. You may recall that in April 2014, the water company asked all to reduce the water use by 20%.
A number of questions about the restrictions have come forward. Some have to do with the outside watering suspension, the cost of meters or are meters in our future, pressure washing of a home/deck prior to painting and how can one calculate a reduction if there is/are no meter(s) on their individual line. These same questions were posed at the last board meeting in April and two of the issues: outside watering and the matter of pressure washing was presented to the Board at the May meeting.
In April, in response to the outside watering suspension, I said that we would look to the results of the overall reduction results and any adjustment of the Stage 3 mandates would be reviewed by the Board. Our continuing concern revolves around our overall water supply, over which we have NO control; and its use, which we CAN impact and must do so.
The grants writing firm that we have retained is currently working on searching for funding that will allow water meter purchase and proper installation for all of our customers. Again, as I have mentioned before, we have 1714 residential accounts, 10-12% are full time users and 272 are metered. This process is moving forward.
We are using a random sample of full time users to determine average daily use in gallons per minute (gpm) a standard industry measuring marker. I was asked how we gauged the entire system as to daily usage. The overall delivery of water is tracked from a master meter that measures the output from the company’s treatment plant. This is recorded on a daily basis.
We have suspended any further well search as more and more sites are turning up as non-productive (the gpm is too low and not worth the effort) or dry. We have examined about 9 sites and only two proved fruitful and development continues on both. I would offer that the drought has had an impact on the ground water, as the last appreciable snow pack was the winter of 2009-2010.
A few weeks ago, I met with realty agencies in Arnold, as I wanted to underscore the importance of educating the casual summer time renters on the need for conservation. All were ahead of the curve and had in place policies to address the need for saving water. I want to thank Century 21, Cedar Creek and Realty World for their hospitality and kind attention to this very important issue.
The issue of the use of “graywater” has come up and there was a thought that Calaveras County had a prohibition on its use. The county has no such ordinance. This water product can be re-used on plants and garden products. You would be amazed at the amount of graywater that a home generates. Re-routing graywater is best left to those that do and/or understand plumbing.
Someone asked me about “rebates” for water saving devices. The Board will be reviewing a General Manager’s report and recommendation at the next meeting. You are, however, encouraged to apply for the Residential Toilet Rebate Program. Applications for the rebate program are available on our website at http://blsmwc.com/residential-toilet-rebate-program/.
If you want to learn how to read your meter, visit our meter page at http://blsmwc.com/reading-your-meter/.
I have heard more than once the comment: “The water board is not going to tell me how to use my water!” That’s very true. The water company is in the business of delivering water. The customer is in the business of using it.
The focus of conservation is to alert all that the supply has been affected by the drought and we MUST make better use of what is available.
Conservation is a “we” operation and “we” are in this for the long haul. Working together “we” will control what the drought has thrown at us.
Lastly, thanks once more for being a better water user and not being a water waster.
President of the Board