City's Conservation Efforts
What the City Has Done to Conserve Water
Parks & Recreation:
In 2014, staff reduced water consumption by over 20% of 2013 levels by taking a hard line on water conservation, turning off water for established and ornamental landscaped areas, and reducing the amount and frequency of water irrigating parks areas.
In the first quarter of the 2015 calendar year, staff further reduced water use by an additional 53% over 2014 levels, which amounted to a 47% reduction compared to 2013.
Staff continues to regularly monitor these reports to ensure that the city is responsibly managing water use and exceeding the mandated restrictions. Furthermore, Parks and Facilities staff members are working with representatives from other departments to envision a long-term strategy for the city with regard to water conservation protocols.
For the Parks division, conservation strategies will include:
· Identification of water thirsty public landscapes and development of a priority list for replacement of these areas with drought-tolerant landscape materials;
· Incorporation of rainwater harvesting techniques, such as bioswales and bioretention areas into public landscapes;
· Consideration of potential alternative materials, such as permeable hardscape surfaces, soil penetrants, and mulches to keep water which we do use in the landscapes and returning to the local soil;
· Additional training of our staff in sustainable landscape practices;
· Development of a list of water-conservation classes (i.e. drought tolerant landscaping, sheet mulching, installation of rain barrels, etc.) which we will run through Parks and Recreation, or partner with other agencies to promote, in order to educate our residents and other community members;
· Commitment to examine alternative sources for water with which to irrigate the landscaping we identify as worth retaining and maintaining.
Conservation strategies in the Facilities and Recreation divisions have also been implemented as follows:
· Continue to prioritize water saving plumbing fixtures in building repairs and renovation projects, such as at Orange Pool;
· Installation of new technology at Orange Pool requires less frequent draining and replacement of pool water;
· Staff are using educational signage to remind patrons to conserve water, such as taking short showers at the pool, as well as placing signs explaining why landscapes may be brown;
· Monitor water usage to detect spikes in use and leaks;
· Inspect HVAC steam lines, plumbing fixtures, water lines, drinking fountains, and water-using appliances routinely in order to catch problems early and to keep devices operating efficiently.
A project to allocate $100,000 for Water Conservation upgrades has been included in the proposed 2015-2016 Capital Improvement Program. This project would fund improvements to the irrigation infrastructure in city parks and civic landscaping. Staff would identify and implement high-priority replacement of broken or inefficient irrigation equipment at various sites, specifically targeting obsolete irrigation controllers and inefficient spray heads, replacing them with “smart” or weather-based controllers and high-efficiency irrigation emitters and/or drip irrigation systems. High-priority sites would include the following types of examples:
· Upcoming ballfield renovations (example: Brentwood Park ballfields);
· Sports field sites that have already identified issues with water waste (i.e. Hillside School ballfield);
· Sites which are lacking automatic controllers or which have antiquated, non-weather based controllers (i.e. City Hall);
· Sites where renovations from high-water usage landscapes are being converted to drought-tolerant landscaping, which will require conversion to drip or high-efficiency systems (i.e. various medians);
· Conversion of some ornamental turf areas to drought-tolerant landscaping;
· Adjusting irrigation lines on medians where turf is not to be watered to insure that trees will survive.
· In the Water Quality Control Plant Division, the sewer treatment plant has changed operations from using fresh water to reclaimed water
o Savings: 32,000 gallons per day, which equates to the amount of water used by 581 residents/day
· The Public Works department currently uses potable water for sewer cleaning and flushing. Staff has formulated a plan to help conserve more potable water by using the Plant’s reclaimed water to fill the City’s Jetter Trucks’ flush water tanks. These trucks are used to clean sewer lines.
o Savings: By using potable water for sewer cleaning, this will save roughly 6,000 gallons/day, which equates to the amount of water used by 109 residents/day
· The Public Works department also plans to coordinate with Cal Water to recapture fire hydrant flush water and reuses this water throughout the City.
o Savings: By recapturing flush water, this will save 2,500 gallons per month, which equates to the amount of water used by 45 residents/day