September 2016 – Content Roll Up

No better time than the present to do a content roll up, even if I’m 19 days late.

Lets get straight to it. As normal, 4 articles were written, impressions from twitter were off the charts and international interest from South Africa was on the rise as well. Lets see what went down.

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Recycled Water Fill Station Stats – 2016 Water Year

Found on

Found on

10-13-2016: Updated to include Los Angeles Bureau of Sanitation

We have just begun a new water year, which means now is a good time to close the books on 2016 and talk about it. Lets analyze fill station activity and ask “how much recycled water did <agency name> produce in the 2016 water year?”

As we have learned from the recent State Water Resource Control Board water conservation numbers, California residents are not continuing to conserve as much despite the fact that we’re now heading into a 6th year of drought.  When homeowners are faced with mandatory water conservation requirements, people will do the right thing (conserve), but when rules changed to voluntary participation, so did their water usage behavior.  Continue reading

Pumps for unloading recycled water

pumpsThere are many different manufacturers of pumps that are excellent at unloading recycled water tanks, barrels or bags. They all serve a purpose, but vary by size, weight and capacity. Some pumps may look the same and function the same but are branded differently.

We’ve chosen a few that we’ve seen most often, they’re mostly purchased at Harbor Freight due to price and availability. Many people hauling recycled water wanted to do so on the cheap and Harbor Freight helped to make that possible.

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Combat Carbon Atmospheric Levels With Trees

Tesla posted an article on their Facebook page about Carbon Dioxde (CO2) emissions passing the 400PPM mark, of which they then followed it up with a battery storage post. News flash, batteries don’t store CO2. Tree’s do. We should plant more trees.

As seen in the graphic from NASA above, tree’s should be planted in area’s where the red color is darkest. This is where we’ll have the biggest impact.
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Unlocking your gardens growth potential

Like many of you, I tore out my lawn and put in a California drought friendly garden. Complete with drip irrigation, mulch and drought tolerant plants. Even with this landscape change, I still haul recycled water. As I’ve said many of times before, I do it because its the right thing to do.

Even though the plants don’t need much water, I still irrigate with drinking water through the drip system twice a week for a few minutes each time. On days when I bring recycled water home, I get to choose which plants get it and which don’t,  this has allowed me to perform a test and the results are key to unlocking your gardens full potential.

There are many different flowering plants in my garden, but there are two I want to focus on. Crinum (Cry-num) and Bulbinella (bulb-in-nell-uh).
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Connecting a recycled water tank to an in-ground irrigation system

Recycled water plumbed to above ground irrigation system

Recycled water plumbed to an above ground flexible irrigation system.

UPDATE: 9/23/2016 – This type of connection is illegal for residential customers obtaining recycled water from DSRSD’s fill station. Users will lose fill station privileges by connecting their recycled water tank to any in-ground irrigation. This counts a violation of their use agreement.

It has come up so many times in the past, homeowners want to connect their recycled water tanks to their irrigation system to quickly get water on the plants they want. Even if you’re a DIY-er with irrigation system experience, per your signed user agreement – you are not allowed to connect your recycled water tank into hard-piped or buried irrigation systems.

There is even an article written about it, titled “Plumbing Recycled Water to on-site Irrigation – What you need to know – it is ILLEGAL to do it!

But yet there is still the appeal, hauling and unloading recycled water takes a lot of time, why not just hook it up?

We spoke with Ben Glickstein, Community Affairs Representative at East Bay Municipal Utilities District (EBMUD) about their stance when it comes to homeowners wishing to plumb recycled water to their irrigation system.

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August 2016 – Residential Recycled Water Fill Station Stats

Photo borrowed from

Photo borrowed from

For the monthly fill station stats article, I’d like to focus on the people that make recycled water happen, because recycled water isn’t created by magic. It’s made by possible by thousands of people who believe in protecting the environment. Be it operating equipment, troubleshooting electrical, mechanical and instrumentation problems, and maintaining the pipeline infrastructure buried in our communities.

Many of these employees are members of the California Water Environment Association and are responsible for cleaning California’s water and returning it safely to the environment. CWEA’s members’ play an important roll at every residential recycled water fill station in California. Thank you, CWEA members by supporting this drought conscious program and continuing to protect public health and the environment. Interested in a career in water? Visit

In addition to sharing how much recycled water was hauled away by users at each fill station, we’d like to praise the public employees who make it all possible!

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August 2016 – Content Roll Up

Another amazing month has come to a close, we’re just that much closer to the summer recycled water hauling season (and fill stations) to lock their gates as we all prepare for winter rains. With winter rains comes rainwater harvesting articles. Yippee!

During the past month, 4 articles were written for, I was named as one of the top “Five surprising winners of the California Drought” (by WaterDeeply) and an article I wrote was also published by WaterDeeply – “How to get free recycled water in California“. If you haven’t signed up for their weekly E-mail newsletter, I highly suggest it.

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Above Ground Irrigation with Recycled Water

Use a wand when hand watering.

Use a wand when hand watering.

As repeatedly written, it is illegal to plumb recycled water to an existing irrigation system, especially if there is a possibility for recycled water and drinking water to mix. Recycled Water Fill Station users who decide to use their existing in-ground irrigation systems with recycled water risk losing their access to the free resource and could face fines or penalties for taking such steps.

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Shade Balls – A Year Later

Damian Dovarganes | AP

Damian Dovarganes | AP

You might remember around this time last year, millions of plastic “shade” balls were being unleashed on reservoirs in Southern California. Much to the chagrin of arm-chair quarterbacks everywhere, news about using plastic spheres to prevent evaporation and algae growth at reservoirs seemed like a very strange idea.

We followed up with David Pedersen, General Manager at Las Virgenes Municipal Water District about how well these 4″ plastic balls have held up in the year since.

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