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June 2011 Water Conservation QuarterlyGeneral Information: 503-635-0270 Water Conservation Information: 503-675-3747 380 A Avenue, PO Box 369 Lake Oswego, Oregon 970344 Free Water Audit: Save Up to 30% on Your Water Bill For more information about the Lake Oswego Tigard Water Partnership, please visit lotigardwater.org Tigard and Lake Oswego are partnering to share drinking water from the Clackamas River starting in a few years. The Clackamas River is one of Oregon’s highest quality drinking water sources. To help preserve the river for wildlife and people, the two communities are joining forces to make water conservation a way of life. The joint “Beat the Peak” campaign is sponsored this year by the Lake Oswego Tigard Water Partnership. Water conservation is a top priority for the Partnership. Customers in Lake Oswego and the Tigard Water Service Area are asked to help ‘Beat the Peak’ by keeping daily water demand under 12 million gallons. For Lake Oswego, 12 million gallons of water per day (mgd) is a level at which the system can reliably provide water, even with a pump out of service. Summer water demand in Lake Oswego can quadruple the average winter consumption of 4 mgd. Outdoor watering pushes Lake Oswego’s treatment plant up to its 16 mgd capacity. During hot summer days, the City’s key water facilities, including the aging water intake and treatment plant, operate 24 hours per day at maximum capacity. Find out each day’s water demand at the Lake Oswego Tigard Water Partnership Web site, lotigardwater.org, and check out our Beat the Peak water meters, posted on the lawn at the West End Building on Kruse Way and downtown on State St., between E Ave. and Terwilliger Blvd. Let’s Talk Water: How to Manage Stress (for You and Your Lawn) Top Three Ways to Beat the Peak Kevin McCaleb, Water Conservation Coordinator Lake Oswego’s summer water demand can quadruple our average winter water use. Much of our consumption is due to lawn over-watering which stresses our distribution system, our supply source: the Clackamas River, and our wallets. This happens at a time when available water supply is diminished due to natural low summer flows in the river. The good news is that we have strategies that can help manage all that stress! Adjusting your watering habits will save water, which saves you money. “Managed Stress” is a process that gives plants (in this instance, grass) just enough water to prevent dormancy. Dormancy in turf grasses is a natural summertime hibernation that protects the plant during times of extended drought. Turf “goes to sleep” if it is not watered. Brown can be beautiful, but beauty is often in the eye of the beholder. Keep in mind that the deeper the shade, the higher the cost. These tips can keep your turf functional and save you money. During outdoor family functions or events, many residents like to enjoy the ambiance of cool green grass. A problem with full dormancy is that it takes two or three weeks for a lawn to be brought back to green. By stressing the grass, we never allow it to go completely dormant so it can be brought back in a week or less. That means for most of the summer your water usage will be reduced substan- tially and you can still enjoy a “lush” lawn when you need to. Give it a try this year. The managed stress approach encourages deeper roots for a hardier, more drought resistant lawn. So you’ll want to put more water at a time on your lawn, fewer times per week. Start by setting your timer for one cycle per week for the same amount of time you used last year. For example, if you watered 7 days a week for 6 minutes per day, you watered 42 minutes per week. Divide that by two for 21 minutes per day, your new watering time. If you watered 7 days per week last year, divide that in half and water 3-4 days per week. This amount of water will be sufficient until probably the middle or end of June. Watch your lawn and adjust as needed. It will turn off-color but will do little else until daily temperatures are consistently over 80 degrees, typically in July and August. Keep monitoring your lawn which may pale, but will never go completely dormant. Use a hose with a shut-off nozzle to wet any abnormally dry areas. When an outdoor event is planned, add a day or two of water for the week prior and you’ll have the lawn you need. Afterwards return to the reduced water schedule. As time goes by, your lawn will put down deeper roots and you will be able to reduce water even further. I have seen turf that is only watered once a week do fine in the summer. Yours can too. It just takes a little patience and commitment. If you need help figuring it out, send me an email with your current watering schedule. I’ll send you a “ball park” schedule to use. Have a “water wise” summer, Kevin McCaleb 503-675-3747 kmccaleb@ci.oswego.or.us www.lowaterconservation.com June 2011June 2011June 2011 “Managed Stress” is a process that gives plants (in this instance, grass) just enough water to prevent dormancy. For examples of Managed Stress savings, see page 2. Schedule a free water audit! Call 503-675-3747. Audits can save you as much as 30% on your summer water bills. For more information visit: www.lowaterconservation.com Conserve Water This Summer to Beat the Peak! 1 2 3 1-Inch Per Week: One-inch of water is all lawns need to stay green and healthy. Pick up your free lawn water gauge from Lake Oswego City Hall and start saving today. Water Wisely: Trees and shrubs have deep roots and need less water than lawns. Adjusting your watering for each area saves water and money. Consider reducing your lawn area: Reducing the size of your lawn reaps large water savings rewards. Beat the Peak is brought to you by the: 916 10 15 11 14 12 13 LOW WATER USE HIGH WATER USE Managed Stress Examples (continued from page 1)Conservation Incentives Irrigation Class: June 18 Take advantage of these City Conservation Program resources and your water bills could drop as much as 25% annually. Weather Stations: Lake Oswego has installed two state of the art weather stations. Located at the Municipal Golf course and Westlake fire station, these stations provide real-time information including rain fall, wind, soil moisture levels, and temperature. Easily accessed through the internet at http://www.ci.oswego.or.us/weather/ (The following are available at the City Hall 3rd floor reception desk) Faucet aerators: Save as much as 500 gallons per person per billing cycle or 3000 gallons per year. Free. Limit 3 per account. High efficiency shower heads: Saves 650 gallons per person per billing cycle or 3900 gallons per year. Free Shower timers: Help you take shorter showers and save 1500 gallons per person per billing cycle or 9000 gallons per year. Free. Limit 2 per account. Leak detection dye tablets: Help you determine if you have toilet leaks. Free. Soil moisture probes: These devices help you decide if irrigating your planting areas, pots or lawn is necessary. Free. Limit 1 per account. Hose Timers: For those of you that do not use in-ground sprinklers, these timers are an effective way to manage the amount of water used for your landscape needs. Free. Limit 1 per account. Hose Nozzles: Adjustable “pistol grip” spray nozzles that automatically shut off when not being used. These are great to use for car washing and other home activities. Free. Limit 1 per account. Rain sensors: An easy way to prevent your sprinkler system from watering during or immediately after a rain event. An installation brochure is provided with each unit sold. Cost: $5.00 (retail: $25 to $50) For more information on these and other services and incentives, visit: www.lowaterconservation.com 2 3 Elk River Red Flowering Currant Scientific name: Ribes sanguineumScientific name: Ribes sanguineum Plant type: ShrubPlant type: Shrub Height by width: 6-10’H x 6’WHeight by width: 6-10’H x 6’W Growth rate: FastGrowth rate: Fast Growth habit: Upright with vase shapeGrowth habit: Upright with vase shape Sun exposure: Part sun to shadeSun exposure: Part sun to shade Soil preference: Well-drainingSoil preference: Well-draining Water Requirements: Occasional to moderateWater Requirements: Occasional to moderate Flower season: SpringFlower season: Spring Flower color: Rose redFlower color: Rose red The Elk River Red is a flowering shrub that can reach 6 or more feet in The Elk River Red is a flowering shrub that can reach 6 or more feet in height. Large clusters of rose red flowers hang down in spring, height. Large clusters of rose red flowers hang down in spring, attracting hummingbirds. Edible currants follow, attracting many other attracting hummingbirds. Edible currants follow, attracting many other birds. Goes dormant in late summer.birds. Goes dormant in late summer. Water Needs: 1 to 3 days per month Water Needs: 1 to 2 days per week Water Needs: 3 to 4 days per week Water Needs: 5 to 7 days per week 80% savings 30% - 40% savings No savings 20% - 30% cost increase The Golf Course Online Weather Station Multi-stream Rotating Spray Nozzle Rebate: Install these nozzles and save up to 20% on your summer water bill. The rebate will continue until allocated funds are exhausted. The City will refund $3.00 per nozzle up to twenty total per account. These nozzles will fit onto the existing pop up spray bodies and are manufactured by Rainbird, Toro, and Hunter Irrigation. Washing Machine Rebates: New this year. Get $75.00 dollars for purchasing a new water efficient model. For all rebate applications and more details, please visit: www.lowaterconservation.com Read your water meter Calculate your plants’ water needs Adjust your controller to meet those needs Resgister for the Irrigation Class on June 18th. You will learn how to: You will also learn basic skills in troubleshooting, sprinkler adjustment, repair, and strategies to help lower your summer water bills. The class is offered Saturday, June18, from 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. in the Council Chambers at City Hall. Snacks, beverages, and a light lunch will be provided. There is a $10 fee to reserve a seat. Sign up at: www.lowaterconservation.com Conserve Water and Save Money with These Free Tools