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Officials in Ripon take measures to save water

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Officials in Ripon take measures to save water

The water used in the interactive feature at Mistlin Sports Park is hardly wasted as the system used is similar to that of a swimming pool where water from the fountain is stored and re-circulated ...

VINCE REMBULAT/The Bulletin


POSTED June 23, 2014 11:43 p.m.

From irrigating the yard to daily indoor uses, the average person consumes between 88 to 100 gallons of water per day.

Tidbit information such as this is what the City of Ripon is hoping to make folks aware of as part of an ongoing water conservation effort.

At last week’s City Council meeting, Public Works Director Ted Johnston indicated landscape irrigation accounts for nearly half of the residential water consumption. That’s followed by traditional appliances and fixtures, toilets and washing machines.

“Flyers went out in the June utility bill informing residents of the new water conservation measures,” he said in his report to the council.

The City’s water-saving measures officially went in effect at the beginning of this month, and will continue to do so through June 1 unless elected leaders say otherwise.

Public Works received several phone calls from the public requesting assistance with their irrigation controllers, said Johnston.

To date, they’ve helped out 17 residents with making those modifications.

Public Works also received several reports from residents of over watering and watering on off days.

“We’ve placed friendly reminder flyers on the doors of those violators as an education piece,” Johnston said.

Other than the water-conserving ordinance, residents can do more to help out, including installing low-flow toilets and checking for leaks.

For example, a faucet dripping one drop per second can waste up to 2,700 gallons of water per year while a leaky toilet can waste away 2,700 gallons.

A low-flowing toilet – engineered with higher velocity flushing to better clear away the waste – not only saves water but money as well based on the monthly bill.

Thirty percent of the state including Ripon gets its urban and agricultural water supplies from groundwater pumping. Reliance on groundwater increases during drought conditions due to the reduced availability of surface water.

Drought or not, people of all ages kept cool on Monday by playing in the interactive water feature at the Mistlin Sports Park.

Johnston said the fountain here operates similar to a swimming pool in which an underground tank (about 600 gallon) is located beneath the feature, where water is stored and re-circulated through a filtering system consisting of eight swimming-pool type filters and then chlorinated before reuse.

“The tank is emptied into the sewer once each evening and refilled with fresh chlorinated potable water,” he added.

Other agencies are doing their part to conserve water around town.

Take Caltrans, which, according to Johnston, cut back on watering to about 50 percent on the Jack Tone Road interchange.

“(Caltrans) is watering only three days a week – Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays – at just 15 minutes per station,” he said. “This is not enough to keep the plants alive.”

Johnston added that staff is looking to work with Caltrans, which is provided water from the City free of charge, on developing a watering plan.

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