Surveys show that single-family homes in Agoura Hills use nearly 70 percent of their water outdoors. Reducing usage from this large category can help reduce your water bill and help the region meet its conservation goal.
· Reduce or eliminate lawn areas. Replace lawn with gardens and attractive “California Friendly” plants. It takes five feet of water to sustain a square foot of turf through the course of a year. This is not a sustainable practice.
· Install drip irrigation. It is especially effective for bushes, trees and shrubs. There is no restriction on the use of drip irrigation. Most home improvement stores carry “drip conversion kits” that make it easy to convert one or more of your irrigation zones into drip irrigation outlets.
· Using drip or hand watering, be sure to sustain trees. A deep watering once or twice per week within the drip line is adequate. There is no restriction on hand watering.
· Consider a pool cover. Pools evaporate water at about the same rate as lawn areas. Shading your pool or covering it will greatly reduce its water loss and reduce the amount of energy needed to maintain a comfortable temperature. There are less costly “bubble wrap” types or hard covers for pools and spas where children or animals may be present.
· Check for leaks around hose bibs, irrigation control valves and make sure the auto-fill valve for a pool or spa is working properly. Here’s an easy test. Turn off all water uses in your home. Then go look at your water meter, usually adjacent to the sidewalk or street. If you see movement on the meter’s flow indicator, you have a leak.
· Be sure all irrigation spray heads are aimed properly. Check to be sure there is no runoff from your property.
· Install the new high-efficiency toilets if you haven’t already done so. They use 1.28 gallons per flush or less and some models qualify for a $100 rebate.
· Replace an older washer with a new high efficiency model. Save 30 gallons per load.
· Be sure your shower head is a newer model. The latest versions provide a good flow and save water. Keep showers to 5 minutes or less.
· Water used for washing fruits and vegetables can be used to water your plants.
· Turn off the water while brushing teeth or shaving.
· Repair any leaks you may find. Those small drips are costly!