Updated: May 2
Update: April 26th, 2022: The Metropolitan Water District of Southern California begins a program that will cut outdoor watering to one day a week in parts of Los Angeles, Ventura and San Bernardino counties, affecting about six million people.
While it's wonderful California got some more rain recently, we still have drought conditions to face. For a second year in a row, Governor Newsom said more needs to be done in California, calling for cities and water agencies to now implement their second level water contingency plans to further reduce water usage and implement tougher rules. He stopped short of mandates statewide, in favor of letting local agencies figure out what is best for their areas. Restrictions would not affect agriculture either, but he did ask agencies to consider banning irrigation of lawns.
Californians did not conserve more water over the last two years, rather they used more. According to CalMatters.Org, "In January, the State Water Resources Control Board adopted emergency regulations allowing water providers to bar certain wasteful water uses, such as hosing down sidewalks with drinking water.
But water use nevertheless ticked up statewide in January compared to January
2020. The biggest increase was 19% in the desert region that includes the Palm Springs area and the Imperial Valley. The South Lahontan region, spanning the Sierra Nevada, mountain communities of Southern California and Death Valley, had the second highest increase, at 9%. Residents of the Los Angeles basin and San Diego County used 1.8% more water, while those in most of the Central Valley used 6 to 7% more.
The only regions that slightly reduced water consumption were the San Francisco Bay Area, which used 1.4% less, and the southern San Joaquin Valley, which used 0.2% less. Overall, Californians from July of last year through January conserved about 6.5% statewide compared to 2020, according to state data — falling far short of Newsom’s requested 15%."
A letter to water right holders from the State Water Board states "Despite record-breaking storms in October and December 2021, most of California is experiencing a severe drought due to the driest January and February on record. These conditions are worsening quickly and can threaten water supplies, impair critical habitat, reduce recreational opportunities, and create uncertainty for all water users.
We are experiencing historic dry conditions: February is usually California’s wettest month, but January and February 2022 were the driest we’ve seen in recorded history. Statewide, precipitation is less than half the yearly average, and dry conditions are forecast to continue through spring."
While more might be added, these are the State Water Board Emergency Regulations Requirements that went into effect on Jan 18, 2022:
Turn off decorative water fountains
Turn off/pause your irrigation system when it's raining and for two days after rain
Use an automatic shutoff nozzle on your water hose
Use a broom, not water, to clean sidewalks and driveways
Give trees just what they need: avoid overwatering
If you would like help with removing your lawn or updating your irrigation system and adding a smart controller, contact us! We are experts in turf removal, installing new irrigation systems or updating existing systems. There are even rebates to help with the costs, depending on where you live. Let us help make it easy!
Updated: Dec 1, 2021
Diminishing water supplies is a world-wide problem. In the United States, with population increase and an increasing decline in water supply, the best current solution is a reduction in water use. To address this problem, many states and communities are imposing water use restrictions. Restrictions to landscape watering is the most common. A great solution to reducing water use in landscaping is greywater irrigation! Using water twice makes sense!
WHAT IS GREYWATER?
Greywater is all wash-water waste generated by a home or business. This is water from the washing machine, the sinks, bathtubs and showers and can be reused! Blackwater, on the other hand, is toilet waste and waste from garbage disposals and dishwashers and contains high levels of nitrogen and pathogens and cannot be used in irrigation.
GREYWATER CAN BE USED FOR IRRIGATION:
Yes, greywater can be used for irrigation; but the codes and regulations on this process varies from state to state. Californians, for instance, have used greywater irrigation systems illegally for many years. Due to these practices, the California Greywater Code was re-written with significant changes. This code designates three types of greywater systems:
Clothes Washer System: This is probably the most commonly used as it is the easiest to implement, but there are restrictions on its use. It can use only a single washing machine in a family dwelling, and must be a domestic, not a commercial machine. This system may only use gravity or the pump from the washing machine itself to irrigate the desired areas in the yard or garden. The washing machine system may use up to 15 gallons per day per person in the household. It does not require a construction permit as long as it does not require cutting of the pipes that exist.
Simple System: This system also serves a one or two family residence. The discharge of greywater is greater than the clothes washer system, and discharges up to 250 gallons per day. A construction permit is needed for a simple system.
Complex System: This is a greywater system that uses over 250 gallons per day, and also requires a construction permit. The simple and complex systems are subject to inspection and possible percolation tests until they are approved.To install a whole-house system is a fairly simple matter in new construction, but is difficult in existing buildings.
BASIC REQUIREMENTS FOR USING GREYWATER:
Two inch covering regulation: The irrigation system using greywater must be covered by 2” of material to avoid contact with the greywater.
Drip system of greywater irrigation: The drip system works the best with greywater irrigation. Spray irrigation is not to be used with greywater. Also, greywater is not to have run-off or ponding, and cannot reach any body of water or storm drain.
No irrigation of crops intended for human consumption: Greywater may not be used for this; and, in addition, human contact with the system should be minimized.
GREYWATER IN THE GARDEN:
Plants can respond better to greywater and the nutrients within than potable water
Don't store greywater for more than 24 hours
Distribute graywater evenly across the garden, don't over water any one area, drip systems are perfect for greywater
Avoid any cleaners containing Boron or high levels of salt, this is toxic for plants.
If using a water softening system, opt for adding potassium instead of salt.
CALIFORNIA'S GREYWATER CODE:
California’s greywater code is found in Chapter 15 of the California Plumbing Code (CPC). (You can download it here: https://greywateraction.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/12/Chapter-15-CA-Plumbing-Code-2016.pdf)
It includes regulations for both “HCD” – the residential code, and “BSC”- the commercial code.
Pacific Vista Landscape Services is focused on water conservation. Re-using your greywater to irrigate your landscape can not only result in water reduction, but is a great way to keep a beautiful garden during drought conditions. Our professional team are experts with the latest irrigation technology and can implement a greywater system for your property. We will even evaluate your current system for free! Contact us and see how we can save you water AND money now AND in the years to come!
Native to Southern California and other southern states of North America, as well as Central and South America, Agave plants are a unique plant that can provide many benefits with its existence, whether naturally occurring or newly planted.
One of the Agave's best characteristics is its ability to grow in dry conditions, making it perfect for xeriscape landscaping. 'Xeric' means drought tolerant and agaves are a welcome addition to any landscape in the arid conditions of Southern California.
Part of the monocot genus, agaves are distinctive with their succulent leaves forming rosette shapes. While they can look similar to aloe, which are also monocots, they are not closely related. Growing much larger and with more substantial thorns than aloe, agaves can be bright green to grey and silvery in color. They store water in their leaves and the leaves are fibrous with thorny teeth to protect them from being eaten. When they flower, they send off a tall, singular shoot, up to forty feet, with tubular blooms, pictured to the left.
Easy to take care of, agaves are super low maintenance. Their roots require air and water so they need good drainage, and can even do well in pots with a cactus or succulent soil mixture that has organic porous materials that helps trap air and keep the soil from suffocating the roots. They grow slowly, but once established, they are very hardy.
In addition to growing from seeds, most agaves produce 'pups' or young plants from runners. They are easy to propagate making them fun to grow.
Agave is edible and is used to make tequila, which is made from blue agave. Also harvested from agave is the syrup, a sweetener which is sweeter than sugar, requiring less for the same sweetness.
Adding agave is a natural choice for a Southern California garden. Having a variety of shapes and textures can make a xeriscape garden more visibly appealing and agave certainly delivers!
If you want help to plan your landscape project, let us help. We have experts in all areas of landscaping, and can handle projects any size. We also offer maintenance programs for commercial and private properties. Contact us today!