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 cweawaternews.org

Photo borrowed from cweawaternews.org

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 cawaterjobs.org

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 RecycleH2O.net, 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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July 2016 – Residential Recycled Water Fill Station Stats

Credit: RedwoodCity.org

Credit: RedwoodCity.org

We’re changing things up this time around, the last two articles got ridiculously long – but they were full of tons of important information. This time around, we’re doing a little social media campaign, each agency will be tagged with their data on Facebook and Twitter (if applicable). Like, comment, follow and share the posts with your friends.

Every gallon of recycled water hauled saves a gallon of drinking water. If you haven’t taken the plunge, now is great time to do so. Pro tip: California is still experiencing a drought, do something about it!

I reached out to every residential recycled water fill station in California, 27 in total (DSRSD operates two locations, so really 26), here is the data from those that have responded.

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Preventative Maintenance Increases Utility Pump Reliability

Label on back of pump.

Label on back of pump.

If you bought a Pacific Hydrostar Portable Utility Pump – Model 65836 – from Harbor Freight you may have noticed extra parts in the box and a label on the pump that says “Check brushes after every 100 hours of use and replace as needed.

What does this label mean and why should you care? The motor has something called ‘Carbon Brushes’ inside which help to ‘excite’ the motor to make it spin. These will wear down over time and cleaning them every now and then can keep your pump running smoothly. Read on to find how to perform preventative maintenance on your utility water pump to ensure its reliability in the future.

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July 2016 – Content Roll-up

"Most popular guy in town" - Edwin, Fill Station Attendant

“Most popular guy in town” – Edwin, Fill Station Attendant

What a month! Published 9 articles, spent a lot of time working with some stellar agencies in California and found the next agency I want to write about it. Hint – its in the heart of northern California’s wine country!

This past month, I spent some time analyzing the site and its content. The outcome? Articles about the most searched topics. This new found content stream also led me to a phone conversation with a “California Water news junkie” – Chris Austin, better known for her work on Mavens Notebook. I learned quite a few awesome tricks that I’ve put into use on the blog and honestly, its proven widely popular.

Read on below to see how some of those tricks got put to good use!

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