Tag: Tips&Tricks (page 1 of 2)

Catch Every Drop to end CA Drought

“Groundwater, the supply of water in underground aquifers that serves as a savings account of sorts during dry years, is still low and getting lower due to overpumping.” – Peter Gleick, chief scientist and president emeritus of the Pacific Institute

Poster from WWD’13 – India

Take it from the experts, despite epic rainfalls with feet of water falling from “Atmospheric Rivers” the west coasts’ equivalent to a hurricane, parts of California will still have to conserve water.

What? How?

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Beautifying an infiltration trench

River rock overlay.

We get it, one of the biggest reasons most people don’t install rainwater harvesting systems is they can be ugly. Who wants a blue barrel or a caged plastic cubed tank in their yard? I wouldn’t mind it, but my wife would go ballistic. This is why putting in an underground rainwater harvesting system like an infiltration basin is so easy because you can put whatever you want on top of it. Win win! 

For the last installment for this series, I’ll show you how easy it is to “beautify” an infiltration trench.

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The Original Residential Recycled Water Fill Station Closes for Expansion Project

DSRSD Recycled Water Fill Station

DSRSD Recycled Water Fill Station

On Tuesday, December 6th 2016, Dublin San Ramon Services District (DSRSD) awarded a contract to upgrade their recycled water facility to produce more recycled water. This project will increase plant production by 70%, leading to an increase from 9.7 MGD (million gallons a day) to 16.2 MGD. Work is scheduled to begin in January 2017 and last 18 months until the fall of 2018. Continue reading

California’s Missed Opportunity

Earlier last week, the National Weather Service in Sacramento held a weather chat on Twitter as an atmospheric river event was going to be barreling down on California. It was open to anyone to ask a meteorologist a question. I asked (on my personal Twitter account):

“When this storm passes, is it possible to calculate how much water fell across the state? #cawx”

@NWSSacramento’s video response:

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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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DIY: Storing recycled water in an IBC tote

Use a wand when hand watering.

Use a wand when hand watering.

Its late in the day, you just picked up a load of recycled water but you don’t have time to water the yard. What can you do? Unload your tank into a temporary storage tank and water the plants when you have time.

In this guide, we’ll show you what one recycled water hauler built to make his life easier.

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DIY: How to hook up an IBC Tote to garden hose

IBC Totes, 275 gallon totes, 300 gallon totes, carboys or whatever you want to call them. These things.

They’re big, they hold a lot of water, and they’re difficult to hook up to garden hoses. Why? Fittings for them are hard to find at the local hardware store.

Fire up your creativity, we’re going to show you how to hook up an IBC tote to a garden hose.

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Are you choking your pump?

Shut-off valves restrict flow.

Shut-off valves restrict flow.

I’ve always used a shutoff valve on the hose to my recycled water bladder so that when I’m done filling up I could have an easy way to seal the bag. When unloading, I would just open the valve when connected to my pump. Little did I know that valve was causing problems. The biggest part was I was choking my pump.

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Oakley resident conserves 30% on water bill, hauling recycled water

Two 55 gallon barrels in a Tacoma.

Two 55 gallon barrels in a Tacoma.

If the headlines are true, “It will take years of wet weather before California recovers from drought, study finds“, then residential recycled water fill stations are here to stay, for a while longer. This is great news for recycled water haulers everywhere. Many have already setup up their irrigation systems and their solution works for them. We can all learn from their mechanical ingenuity.

Take for instance one hauler who lives in Oakley, California, he hauls 1700-1800 gallons of recycled water a month via two 55 gallon drums in the back of his Toyota Tacoma. This is his story.

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DIY: How to Strap Down a Water Barrel

Single barrel strapped down.

Single barrel strapped down.

For every recycled water hauler, there comes a time of uncertainty, especially when it comes to figuring out how to strap down a 55 gallon barrel in a truck. When full of water, the barrel will weigh over 450 pounds.

I had the same reservations when I hauled my first load with a 55 gallon barrel. I thought that by strapping the side of the barrel, the strap would be too low and the barrel would tip over. Honestly, there is so much weight when the barrel is full, it won’t tip – unless you drive like an idiot.

So how do you strap down a water barrel?

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