Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Tour CCWD Water Facilities Sept. 18 & Oct. 9

Curious to see how your water gets to you, where it’s pumped from or how it’s treated?

CCWD offers four tours of its facilities to its customers each year, and two of these popular tours are coming up this fall.

These bus tours are educational outings that include visits to a water treatment plant, an intake facility and Los Vaqueros.

The tour on Friday, Sept. 18 has many seats available, and the Friday, Oct. 9 tour has a few.

The tours depart from the Concord District Center (1331 Concord Ave., Concord) at 8 a.m. We aim to return by 3:30 p.m. and lunch is provided.

Sign-ups are on a first-come, first-served basis. If you can’t make these fall dates, but are interested, we’ll put your name on a list for the spring.

There is no cost, and only CCWD customers may attend. These tours are offered for adults over 18 only. Please send an e-mail, or call (925) 688-8175.

Shorter Days Mean Less Water Demand

Your lawn and landscape plants will begin to demand less water during August. This is because the time between sunrise and sunset is getting shorter. By the middle of August, reduce your watering run times by a couple of minutes on each station. Alternatively, you can reduce the weekly watering schedule by one day.

Mulch Program Continues To Grow

We now have 21 stores that offer discounts on buying mulch through our "Mulch, Mulch, Mulch" program.

Mulch is a great way to save water, especially around shrubs and trees, and prevent weed growth.

Different stores have different discounts, but we're sure you can find one that meets your needs.

Water Matters This Saturday

NBC 11 will air "Water Matters" on Saturday, Aug. 29 at 3 p.m.

The show features a segment on CCWD that includes how one family has transformed their front and back yard into low-water gardens, and what's involved in a CCWD home water survey.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Free High-Efficiency Toilets Available in Antioch

A company in Antioch is using CCWD's high-efficiency toilet voucher program to make free toilets available to District customers.

Southwest Environmental is making the 1.6 gallon per flush toilets available for free, and has a selection of models, including some with the dual flush feature that is gaining popularity and saves even more water.Here is more information on their web site:

You need to get a voucher from CCWD to get
the toilet, and still need to have it installed.

One Customer Is Saving 1,633 Gallons of Water Per Day!

Take a look at this video of a Concord family that has made some simple changes, and are now saving a lot of money and an average of 1,633 gallons of water per day. The video is not even three minutes long.

Now Pay Your Water Bill With A Credit Card Online!

You can now pay your Contra Costa Water District bill online with a credit card.

It's an easy and fast way to pay your water bill. Take a look here.

You will need you account number to complete the transaction.

"Beat The Drought" Kiosks Now At Martinez, Brentwood Libraries

Our 'Beat the Drought' electronic kiosks have moved again, and are now at the Martinez and Brentwood libraries.

Stop in and take a look, both kiosks have water saving quizzes and games. You can even test your knowledge of Hollywood movies with water themes.

Classes Coming Up In September

The Ruth Bancroft Garden in Walnut Creek is a great place to visit and get ideas on ways to save water, and still have a beautiful garden.

There are a bunch of classes coming up in September, including one on ways to remove your lawn.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Wow!!!! CCWD Customers Have Saved 19%

In the first three months of CCWD's Drought Management Program, customers have saved 19 percent, exceeding the goal by a healthy margin.

“Our customers in Central and Eastern Contra Costa County are doing an outstanding job of conserving water,” said General Manager Walter J. Bishop. “The focus of the program is reducing outdoor water use and the data so far shows our customers have responded in a positive way. Their efforts are appreciated. We also know that our customers are seeing conservation benefits in their pocketbooks because at the same time they’re saving water, they’re saving money, too.”

The District’s 15 percent drought management program started May 1. The program did not raise water rates. The District sent proposed water budgets to all customers and informed them that excess-use fees would be applied to customers who increase water use or consume more than 1000 gallons per day. The excess-use fee was designed to give customers a financial incentive to conserve water.

Read CCWD's News Release

Our Surveyors Track Down A Hot Leak

A "hot leak" might be a great source of newsworthy information for a news reporter, but in the water industry a hot leak is NOT what you would expect.

One of our water surveyors was working at a customers' home helping them save water, and was puzzled by an apparent leak. The water meter's "low flow" indicator kept turning, no matter where he looked at the house. Most leaks reveal themselves after some investigation. The usual suspects of a leaky toilet or sink were ruled out, as was the sprinkler system.

Still, the indicator on the water meter kept spinning.

Finally, he noticed a wet spot next to the side of the house. He touched the ground, and the ground and the mud were warm! Which is really weird, and the last thing he expected outside a home.

It took awhile to figure out, but the warm water was coming from a hot water pipe next to the house. The older home was built on a concrete slab and at some point a hot water pipe buried in the concrete broke. Rather than cut into the concrete, a new hot water pipe was laced through the house and then outside it into the ground.

It was here where the leak was taking place, wasting water and energy at the same time. When our surveyor turned off the water to the water heater, the indicator stopped spinning.

The homeowner called a plumber right away.

A Great Resource For Drought Resistant Plants, and a Super Video

The UC Davis Arboretum's web site is a wonderful resource for looking for drought resistant plants that will thrive in Contra Costa County.

Look for this list of plant "all-stars."

Also, there is a great video on the Arboretum that will give you all kinds of ideas for planting in your yard.

Classes For Professional Irrigators Coming Up

EBMUD is again hosting Irrigation Association classes at its West Oakland facility. Once again SpotWater Management will be conducting the classes and handling all registration (except for the exam registration which the Irrigation Association handles).

There will have an Irrigation Contractor class on Oct. 29 and 30, and a Landscape Irrigation Auditor class on Nov. 9 and 10. The certification exam for both classes will be held at the same location on Nov. 11. Remember that the IA requires that exam registration be completed at least 30 days before an exam, so that is October 11.

Please email SpotWater Management if you have questions about the course content and for registration information at