Streamline - Summer 2012 - (Page 11)

BY NANCY CARR, SOURCE WATER PROTECTION SPECIALIST Considerations SUMMER IS MET Summer Conservation with trepidation by utilities large and small. Water supply plans are in place across the Commonwealth. Contingency plans for supplying water when a source has a problem – decreased supply or contamination – are part of source water protection plans that many water providers have written. Included in this issue is a sampler of some simple household behavior changes that save water. They are presented in a friendly flier that can be mailed with the water bill. In addition, there are some more complex practices that may apply to your utility. The best strategy for voluntary, and even mandatory, restrictions will not work unless the water users are educated about the supply side, and the need to conserve. An educational program could be a series of articles in the paper along with inserts in the water bill. The Fire Department could sponsor Saturday workshops that include conservation tips. Master Gardeners may demonstrate gardening with native, nonthirsty plants (xeriscaping). An effective way to engage the public in conservation is to have them “buy in” to the problem. Literally, show your customers how money can be saved through conservation. All of the ideas in the following list will save cash for homeowners and businesses. The consumer has to “buy in” first to the long-term money-saver. Other suggestions include incentive payments and rebates for water saving devices. Merchants often offer these as promotions. These options are taken from the American Water Works Association Journal, (Levin et al, February 2006, p. 105). Most require pre-planning. Please read this list and see if you can plan ahead to get your customers through summer dry spells without complaints and with a heightened awareness of the limits of their water supply. Provide: • • • • • Water budgets for large landscape areas Public information programs Commercial water audits Home leak detection and repair program Xeriscape education (landscaping with plants with low water requirements) • Free installation of restaurant spray rinse nozzles • Rebates to businesses that replace inefficient water-using equipment high-efficiency residential clothes washers commercial ultra low-flush toilets (ULFTs) and urinals residential ULFTs high-efficiency multifamily clothes washers The best strategy for voluntary, and even mandatory, restrictions will not work unless the water users are educated about the supply side, and the need to conserve. Require: • 1.6-gall/flush toilets be installed at the time of sale of existing buildings • Submetering multifamily units • O.5-gal/flush urinals in new buildings • Dedicated irrigation meter for new nonresidential accounts Offer: • Incentives for replacement of clothes washers in coin-operated laundries • Incentives for retrofitting submetering multifamily units • Financial incentives for complying with water use budgets Sponsor: • Homeowner irrigation classes • Award program for water savings by businesses Promote: • Water-efficient plantings at new homes (again, xeriscaping) Enforce: • Landscape requirements for new landscaping systems (turf limitations/regulations) Create: • Water utility/city department water reduction goals 11

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Streamline - Summer 2012

From the President
From the Executive Director
Summer Conservation Considerations
Emergency Communications
Asset Management
Southampton County: A Story of Progress
Board Members Quiz
Conference 2012 Highlights
The Town of Lebanon-One Small Step for Man
Drakes Branch Distribution System Upgrade
A Proper Rate-Virginia RATES Program
Missing Water Found
Wastewater Math
Throwing My Loop
eLearning Benefits
Membership Application
Do You Know What Your VRWA Benefits Are?
VRWA Mailbag
Welcome New Members
Training Calendar
Board of Directors
VRWA Committees
Index to Advertisers/

Streamline - Summer 2012