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: To see reads from your meter, set up your private PHWD account at the EyeOnWater website.
In the "hourly" view, make sure there are some hours with zero water consumption.
On your meter:
With all water uses off, see if the detailed reading changes or the flow indicators rotate.
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.
Reference Evapotransipration (ET0)
Percent of Maximum
Source: CDWR Model Water Efficient Landscape Ordinance, 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 in our area. The water a plant can beneficially use is expressed as a percent of ETo.
Water Need Category
Percentage of ETo
Less Than 10
10 to 30
40 to 60
70 to 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
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.