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Mickey Ds is fast & loose with city water
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How hard is it for businesses to adjust timers for irrigation systems?

Apparently pretty hard for concerns such as the McDonald’s at Airport Way and Daniels Street according to two readers who would like to nominate the restaurant for flagrant water waster honors.

Stephen Breacain passed the fast food joint in the 1 o’clock hour on Monday and noted sprinklers on the Airport Way side were on with water running across the sidewalk and into the gutter all the way to the drain.

John Taylor, who said he stopped by to grab lunch, noted water was running into the gutter for the entire 10 to 12 minutes he was there.

That’s three violations of the city’s water rules in one location. Manteca’s water conservation rules clearly states no one — and that includes businesses and schools — can irrigate landscaping on Mondays. No one can water landscaping any day between noon and 6 p.m., since wind factor and heat makes it the biggest time for evaporation losses and misdirected spay. And the third rule is water may not run into a gutter for more than five minutes.

The last rule is a nod to the fact it is next to impossible to water lawns with sprinklers without water running off onto the sidewalk and into the gutter. That said the rules clearly state homeowners and businesses alike should monitor sprinklers from time-to-time to make sure they aren’t spraying parking lots, streets, driveways and sidewalks. The firm that handles the Second Harvest Food Bank lawn was doing just that over the weekend.

It may sound nitpicking to some but a gallon or two of water each time you irrigate the lawn that is lost needlessly multiplied by 22,000 plus homes and businesses adds up pretty quick.

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A way to reduce lawn sprinkler water use

Stephen Breacain, besides pointing out the obvious need for city enforcement of Manteca’s extremely basic water conservation rules, offered up the following water saving tip:

“Last summer, I replaced all of my sprinkler heads, irrigation valves, and timer, and in the process learned a few things about my 25-year-old sprinkler system. Mine, and I assume all or most other systems, has a valve with which you can shut of the water supply to service it, without shutting off the water to the house. This valve in my system is located near the base of the outside faucet in the front yard. It might be buried under a few inches of soil as mine was. If you can’t find it, a gardener might be able to help since most are experienced with installing and repairing these systems.

“You can use this supply valve to regulate the amount of water available to the sprinkler system without adjusting each sprinkler head, which can be a time consuming and drenching process. With the sprinklers running, simply adjust the valve like you would a faucet, and reduce the flow until the system is covering the area adequately. Mine had been cranked wide open since it was installed when the house was built, and I managed to reduce the pressure and volume dramatically while still maintaining sufficient coverage to water the landscaping. Lowering the supply pressure also has the side benefit of preventing water from being blown everywhere on windy days. Easy, peasy.”