Have you seen it in your Pleasanton neighborhood? Green grass, wet sidewalks, sprinklers on at noon and even an occasional pooling of water run-off from sprinklers?
Drive down residential streets in Pleasanton and you will likely notice that the curbside appeal of most homes has evolved to parched, brown grass becoming the necessary trend of the season but what do you do if you see a yard that looks lush as a rainforest?
According to city water officials, most Pleasanton residents are taking the drought seriously and say reporting those who are choosing not to comply is simple.
Pleasanton Water Conservation Manager Rita Di Candi said, "Since Council’s declaration of 25 percent mandatory water reduction in May, the community’s water use decreased 27 percent in May compared to 2013, and between June 1- 16, 35 percent compared to 2013 use. The City-wide 2014 reduction year to date is 20 percent. So, the community is definitely responding."
Daniel Smith, the Director of Operations for City of Pleasanton, says there are two easy ways for residents to report those who are not doing their part to reduce water usage in observance of the city-mandated reduction.
According to Smith, residents can either call a city hotline at 925-931-5504 or use the free "Mobile Citizen" phone application to report water violations.
Related article: City of Pleasanton Launches Mobile Phone Application
On June 17, the San Francisco Chronicle reported that despite warnings from the governor and water officials about the statewide drought, Californians have cut water usage by a mere five percent overall, with residents in the Bay Area being the worst offenders, reducing usage by meager two percent, according to a recent state survey.
Earlier this year, Gov. Jerry Brown declared a drought state of emergency and called on all Californians to reduce their water usage by 20 percent. According to the numbers reported to the city council Tuesday night, Pleasanton seems to be meeting that goal.
Smith offers tips to help residents reduce their water usage overall:
- Set your irrigation controller to water your landscaping 1 or 2 times a week maximum.
- Only water between 6pm and 9am to prevent up to 25 gallons of water loss from evaporation and wind!
- Check your sprinklers and watering run time to make sure you are only watering your landscaping, instead of the sidewalk!
- Add a 2 or 3 inch layer of mulch on exposed dirt to help keep the soil cool and reduce water loss from evaporation.
- Have a pool? Make sure to cover it when it’s not in use. Pool covers drastically reduce the rate of evaporation, reducing the need to add more water to maintain the water level.
- Check all your valves and outdoor faucets/hoses for leaks, and fix any you find right away!
- Replace old water-guzzling top-loading washers with an Energy Star Most Efficient clothes washer (Rebates available)
- Run the dishwasher and clothes washer only on full loads.
- Use a dishwasher to wash dishes, instead of washing them by hand.
- The majority of indoor water use is from toilet flushing. Replace larger flush volume toilets with a High-Efficiency Toilet that uses only 1.28 gallons per flush. That’s a water savings of about 19 gallons per person/day!
- Use the wastebasket for trash, rather than the toilet to reduce the number of flushes you do each day.
- Install water-efficient shower heads and aerators on faucets
- Check your whole house for leaks: use dye strips to check for toilet leaks and sink faucets for drips. If you find any, get them fixed right away!
- Take shorter showers. Challenge yourself to showering in under 5 minutes!
- Don’t forget some easy behavioral changes too: turn the tap off while brushing teeth or shaving, and collect water while rinsing fruit and vegetables to use on your house plants!
What steps are you taking to save water? Have you seen residents committing water violations in Pleasanton? What did you do about it? Tell us in the comments section.