As California continues to suffer through one of the driest years on record, water conservation is on everyone’s mind, especially now that the governor has issued an Executive Order state declaring a water emergency for the state. This order, which was the first such order in the state’s history, called for a 25 percent reduction in water use starting in June. While many might complain that there were large corporations and farms that were exempt, the fact remains that the average citizen better start saving water as best as possible. This is why we felt it was important to discuss the water shortage and your water heater.
For residents of Riverside, the Western Municipal Water District issued a set of restrictions for residents that severely limits outdoor water use as a way to comply with the governor’s order. These restrictions include:
- Outdoor water budgets reduced by 30 percent
- Commercial customer budgets have been reduced by 10 percent
- All landscape watering is prohibited between the hours of 8AM-8PM
- During the summer, irrigation is permitted three days a week. During winter, irrigation is permitted two days a week
- Trees should be watered once every four weeks and shrubs, young trees and roses should be watered no more than once per week
- A four-inch layer of mulch should be added to all soil areas
- Irrigation run-off should be eliminated
- All hoses are required to have automatic shut-off nozzles
- All leaks, improperly adjusted sprinklers and other water conduits and fixtures need to be repaired within 96 hours of WMWD notification
- There will be no washing down of sidewalks, driveways, patios or other paved areas
- No pruning or fertilizing of plants
- All new plants are to be planted in the cooler fall season
- No landscape irrigation within 48 hours of rain
Also, the Western Municipal Water District will provide two notices of outdoor water use violations and then, if the violations have not been corrected, a penalty will be applied. For all of the information about drought and water restrictions as well as water saving tips, click here: http://www.wmwd.com/index.aspx?nid=391.
The website for the water district also offers homeowners the ability to have them come and give your home an evaluation for free. But you aren’t just limited to their advice and website. There are lots of great websites offering plenty of useful drought-related tips. The LA Times just published a great article with lots of useful tips on how to save water. If you want to read it, just go here: http://www.latimes.com/home/la-hm-drought-tips-20150613-story.html#page=1. The city of Riverside also has a website with some really helpful information about what is being done to help reduce water usage. Just go here for more information: http://www.riversidedrought.com/. On that website, you will find great tips on how to save water at home including water-saving tips regarding your appliances. And speaking of water-saving tips for your appliances…
It’s time to talk water heaters. A water heater that is functioning normally is not going to waste any water since the homeowner or renter is directly responsible for how much water is used. That only changes when it has sprung a leak. So, the first water-saving thing to do is check to make sure that your water heater isn’t leaking. If you see that it is leaking, you can call us for service 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at (951) 688-1175. If you would like to shut off the water to the water heater and need help, we are happy to assist you over the phone while we set up your appointment. Or you can visit our page that explains what to do by clicking here: http://waterheaters-riverside.com/shutdown-instructions/
Make sure to inspect your water heater very closely. If you don’t immediately see water leaking from the water heater, that doesn’t necessarily mean there is no leak. That means you should inspect underneath your water heater (if possible) and look closely for condensation on the top and along the sides of the water heater. Leaks may be big or small, but they all will definitely cause you to use more water than normal and might even be the cause of damage to the surrounding area. One way to help minimize water damage and the wasting of water in general is to use a water leak sensor. These sensors are not very big or expensive and they work like a water alarm. If it senses water leaking, it will emit a sound much like a smoke alarm. While this may not help you if you are out of town, they can be very helpful if you hear it go off in the middle of the night.
One final suggestion is to install a Taco circulation pump. The circulation pump is designed to eliminate waiting for hot water, which, in turn, will save you water. Basically, once you have had the Taco system installed, you simply push the button to turn it on and wait a minute or two for the hot water to reach your shower or sink before you turn on the faucet. This means that cold water will not go down the drain as you wait to take your shower. It also means no more using a bucket to collect the water that runs before the hot water arrives. If you would like to find out more about these circulation systems, we would be happy to schedule a time to come out to your home and tell you what we can do for you. Just call us 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at (951) 688-1175. So, until next time, be water smart and don’t hesitate to give us a call with any questions you might have.