On Tuesday, July 29th, an emergency regulation by the State to increase conservation practices for all Californians went into effect. The new conservation regulation targets outdoor urban water use. With this regulation, all Californians are expected to stop:
· washing down driveways and sidewalks;
· watering of outdoor landscapes that cause excess runoff;
· using a hose to wash a motor vehicle, unless the hose is fitted with a shut-off nozzle; and
· using potable water in a fountain or decorative water feature, unless the water is recirculated.
The regulation makes an exception for health and safety circumstances.
The City of San Leandro gets its potable water from the East Bay Municipal Utility District (EBMUD). According to an advisory notice posted on EBMUD's website, starting in August, all customers will be expected to:
· Water outdoors in a way that prevents runoff in gutters, patios, walkways, driveway or streets (with a recommendation to also limit frequency of irrigation);
· Use a hose with a shut-off nozzle when washing vehicles at home;
· Use only recirculated, and preferably recycled water in fountains;
· Refrain from using potable water to wash sidewalks and driveways. If hard surfaces must be washed for sanitary reasons, a hose with a shut-off nozzle should be used.
EBMUD’s notice further states that at the next regular Board of Directors meeting on August 12, a public hearing will be held to consider declaring a water shortage emergency and adopting changes to EBMUD’s regulations to implement the State’s new mandatory outdoor water use restrictions.
The City of San Leandro has also instituted the following measures to address the State’s drought issue.
· Well water will be used for irrigation at the following parks –
o Halcyon Park
o Washington Manor Park
o Farrelly Pool
o Thrasher Park
o Cherry Grove Park (which also feeds Muir School fields)
o San Leandro Ball Park
o Pacific Ball Fields
o Bonaire Park (currently closed for maintenance, but reopening soon)
· Reclaimed water from the Water Pollution Control Plant will be used for 95% of the golf courses’ irrigation needs
· Lawns on City properties/parks/ball fields will be mowed at a longer length, which helps the soil retain more moisture
· Parks and medians will be irrigated during evening/night hours to decrease the effects of evapotranspiration (water evaporation by the sun)
· Pressure on sprinkler heads will be reduced, minimizing 'misting’ effect and associated run-off
· ‘Smart’ irrigation clocks will be installed at Marina Park, Toyon Park, Pacific Ball Fields, the Senior Community Center, and new San Leandro Boulevard landscaping improvements
· Changing out annuals/lawn areas to Bay Friendly plantings, which are drought resistant and require less watering
· City vehicles will be washed less frequently
Given the State’s recent emergency regulation, what additional changes will the City make?
· Although City fountains presently use recirculated water, all City fountains will be shut off to save water that would otherwise evaporate
· Where feasible, well water will be utilized in street sweepers, saving approximately 66% of potable water usage
· 100% well water shall be utilized for for graffiti abatement, including pressure washing of streets and buildings
If the public sees irrigation leaks/issues such as a broken sprinkler head on City property (including parks and street medians), please call Public Works at 510-577-3440 weekdays from 7:00 AM to 3:30 PM. Water breaks or hydrant problems should be referred to EBMUD at 510-287-0600.
More information can be found on the State of California and EBMUD advisory websites.