The City of St. Helena is offering tips on how to conserve water as the city remains under a Phase II water emergency, requiring all customers to limit their water use.
As of Monday, Bell Canyon Reservoir elevation was 400.11 feet, which is equivalent to only 40.0% capacity and very low compared to last year’s 70.2% capacity for the same time period.
The city strongly encourages residents and businesses to conserve water, particularly water used for outdoor irrigation. The more proactive customers are now at conserving water, the better the city will be able to manage long-term if the water shortage becomes an extended situation.
Below are some water-saving ideas you can use at home:
- Limit Outdoor Water Use. Turn off sprinklers before and after rain events and reduce amount of watering time. Consider installation of drought tolerant landscaping. Do not water between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m., otherwise some of the water will be lost to evaporation. Early morning is better. Adjust or deactivate automatic sprinklers on cool, overcast days.
- Fix leaky faucets, toilets, appliances, and sprinklers. Leaks vary in amount, but they can account for a lot of wasted water over time.
- Fill the dishwasher. Wait until you have a full dishwasher to run the machine.
- Take a shower instead of a bath and take shorter showers. As reported by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, if you shower for 5 minutes or less you will use about 10 to 15 gallons of water compared to baths, which use up to 70 gallons of water.
- Turn off the water when brushing your teeth. According to the EPA, this simple act may save more than 200 gallons of water in a single month.
All water customers who have not yet taken the brief Phase II Water Emergency survey are encouraged to complete it by March 15 at cityofsthelena.org/watersurvey. To learn more about the St. Helena’s Phase II Water Regulations, including flyers, water saving tips, and links to more resources, visit cityofsthelena.org/phase2 or review Municipal Code Section 13.04.240.
The City Council is scheduled to review penalty options associated with water use in excess of Phase II regulations at their March 23 meeting.
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