Keep Water Savings Going

Check for leaks

With the new water meters, Purissima Hills Water District is finding that leaks are very common, If you have one of the new meters, here are two ways to check:

On the web:
To see reads from your meter, set up your private PHWD account at http://beasonama.net/
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In the "hourly" view, make sure there are some hours with zero water consumption.

On your meter:
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With all water uses off, see if the detailed reading changes or the flow indicators rotate.

For more information about PHWD's smart water meters, contact PHWD via their website: www.purissimawater.org

Adjust irrigation for the season

In the fall and winter your plants are dormant and it is raining. You can turn off your irrigation completely.

Plant water needs vary through the year. In the spring and fall, plants can beneficially use only a fraction of the water they need in the height of the summer.

Month
Reference Evapotransipration (ET0)
Inches/Month
Percent of Maximum
(July)
January*
1.5
24%
February*
1.8
29%
March*
2.8
45%
April
3.8
61%
May
5.2
84%
June
5.3
75%
July
6.2
100%
August
5.6
90%
September
5.0
81%
October
3.2
52%
November*
1.7
27%
December*
1.0
16%
Source: CDWR Model Water Efficient Landscape Ordinane, 2015 Update; ETo for Palo Alto
*
Rainfall usually exceeds ETo; no irrigation required.

"Reference Evapotransipration" is a way to describe plant water needs for the climate inour area. The water a plant can beneficially use is expressed as a percent of ETo.
Water Need Category
Abbreviation
Percentage of ETo
Very Low
VL
<10
Low
L
10-30
Moderate
M
40-60
High
H
70-90
You can look up the water need of individual plant species in our area at: http://ucanr.edu/sites/WUCOLS/Plant_Search. Select "North Coast Central Coastal" region, scroll down to Los Altos Hills, and Click "Submit"." From there you can search plants by type, botanicalname, or common name.

Continue limiting irrigation to no more than two days per week

Even lawns need a few days off to dry out between watering. Trees and shrubs, with deeper roots, prefer many more days off than that between watering.

If you have to replace your lawn or any landscaping, consider non-turf alternatives and local native plants

Click here for a list of trees, shrubs, and grasses native to our area prepared by the Environmental Design and Protection Committee. These plants do well here and they like they "belong."

Consider upgrading your irrigation system

Old-fashioned overhead spray irrigation loses water to overspray, evaporation and wind, and applies water at far too great a rate for our clay soil to absorb before runoff. Consider low-precipitation rate alternatives such as drip or subsurface irrigation.

Also, modern irrigation controllers can accommodate long intervals between watering days, long run times for drip irrigation, different "programs" for lawn and trees and shrubs, and automatically adjust for seasonal weather changes.

See the Santa Clara County Water District's website for free home/landscape water audits, and landscape equipment rebate programs: http://valleywater.org/programs/ConservationAtHome.aspx