Homes & Land improvement
The Idyllwild Town Crier’s Annual Guide to Better Living
2011 Edition Plant an Idyllwildperfect ﬂower garden .. 5 Improve your curb appeal: Easy homesell ﬁxes ...... 3 Keep your ﬁreplaces & woodstoves clean ...... 4 The virtues of a tankless water heater ........ 10 Chief Walker’s perspective of life on the Hill ........... 5 Water conservation is a constant must .............. 11 What is a Disaster Aid Station? ....................... 8 Cartoon by Ernie Maxwell, published in the July 23, 1949, edition of the Town Crier
Page 2 - Idyllwild Town Crier, Homes & Land 2011
Homes & Land Improvement 2011 edition
Index Grace’s greetings ............... 2 By Grace Reed, Idyllwild Town Crier Publisher
Low cost tips to sell ......... 3 By Marshall Smith, Town Crier Staff Reporter
Clean your ﬁreplace and wood stove .......................4 By Jerry Holdber, retired chimney sweep
Chief’s Corner: Fire Abatement on the Hill ........................................ 5
Whether you are visiting for a weekend or live here year-round, Jerry’s warnings about cleaning your chimney and how to dispose of ashes and Chief Walker’s abatement admonition need to be heeded. By Grace Reed Living in a forest, as we do, is quite special, and Idyllwild Town Crier Publisher Harold’s tips on how to plan a ﬂower garden will make your verdant green view spectacular with the Homes and Land is one of our added color. special publications. Special in Disaster Aid Stations, not decorations. Veronica exthe sense that its content is not plains their purpose and use. Idyllwild Water District news. Long-time residents may be incorporates a sewer district. Terry discusses that and very familiar with these ideas and the future septic systems. suggestions. New residents and Conservation — energy and water — is important prospective residents will learn something about our special life on the Hill. And the on the Hill. Marshall has investigated the tankless contents’ value will not fade with time. This informa- water heaters and Vicki discusses water conservation. Remember, when in doubt, hire a professional. tion will be just as important next month as next fall. Finally, I’d like to thank our contributors and The real estate market may be gradually improvadvertisers that make special publications like this ing, but Marshall’s tips on preparing your home for possible. sale will help.
By Norm Walker, Idyllwild Fire Protection District
Planning a Hill ﬂower garden ........... 6-7 By Harold Voorheis, Idyllwild Garden Club
What’s in a DAS? ............................ 8 By Veronica Alt, Mountain Disaster Preparedness
Sewers and septics in Idyllwild .............................. 9 By Terry Lyons, Idyllwild Water District
Virtues of tankless water heaters ..................... 10 By Marshall Smith, Town Crier Staff Reporter
Pine Cove Water District PO Box 2296, 24917 Marion Ridge Rd., Idyllwild CA 92549 When buying or selling a house in Pine Cove, please contact Becky or Vicki at 951-659-2675 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org, so we can help with a smooth transition of water service. Visit us on the web at www.pcwd.org and you can read more at www.pinecovewaterdistrict.blogspot.com.
By Vicki L. Jakubac, Pine Cove Water District
Town Crier staff who compiled “Homes & Land” are: Publisher Grace Reed; Editor J.P. Crumrine; Staff Reporter Marshall Smith; Production Manager Halie Johnson; Advertising Sales Rep Shane Fender; Production Assistant James Larkin; and Copy Editor Beth Nottley. Cover image and cartoons throughout: Ernie Maxwell; cover design: Halie Johnson PADGETT DESIGN & CONSTRUCTION
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Stitch says “Conserve Water”
Idyllwild Town Crier, Homes & Land 2011 - Page 3
Low cost ﬁxes
“Don’t spend much, because there is no guarantee that you will get it back,” he said. Taylor believes that exterior “curb appeal” ﬁrst impressions may be most important with many buyers. “I feel most buyers make up By Marshall Smith their minds before they get in the door,” he Staff Reporter observed. Taylor notes curb appeal ﬁxes may also be the most cost effective — shutters In normal housing markets, there is conventional wisdom about what “ﬁxes” can help on a plain house, decorative split rail fences, hanging ﬂower baskets, and staining of woodsell a home. There are also generally agreed en front porches or front decks. Taylor talked approaches on how best to stage or prepare about the psychology of a buyer. “Even in the your home to create a positive emotional remost high-end house a buyer will rememsponse in potential buyers. In housing markets in which prices are static or falling, how ber that chip in the bathroom sink or that small hole in drywall,” he said. “Get rid of all much a seller spends to make a home more attractive to buyers becomes a carefully calcu- distractions. No one notices a clean ﬂoor or carpet, only the dirty ﬂoor or carpet.” lated decision. Veteran real estate broker Marge Muir According to real estate agents, the ﬁrst step in selling a home is to set a competitive price. agrees. “It doesn’t hurt to do a few things,” said Muir, “but putting a lot of money into it Recent comparable sales within a speciﬁc — no!” geographic area are used by banks to deterWhen considering a home’s interior, Taymine market value of a home for purposes of how much a bank might lend. Your home lor recommends installing new light ﬁxtures. might be worth more in your eyes because of “It makes a house look new and they’re not high-end features, but comps may not support [comparably] expensive,” he said. Muir said that if one is selling in the low your price. end of the market, they should just do minor “Generally Idyllwild and Pine Cove are maintenance. If selling in the higher end of considered one market,” said Steve Taylor, real estate agent and current president of the the market, she recommends maximizing the emotional appeal of both exterior and inteIdyllwild Board of Realtors. Once a price is set, the seller needs to look at rior. For exterior ﬁxes, clean windows, paint or what likely proﬁt they will get from the sale replace a front door and install new hardware; before deciding how much money to spend to facilitate the sale. Taylor cautions restraint. replace older exterior light ﬁxtures, espe-
cially those near the front door; power spray the house to remove dirt and cobwebs; and hang baskets of yellow ﬂowers (why “yellow”? Because it is a motivational color that supposedly sells, according to Elizabeth Weintraub, About.com). For interior ﬁxes: thoroughly clean the house before putting it on the market — clean carpets, they may not need to be replaced; dust tops of doorways and window frames; polish all interior wood and ceramic ﬂooring; wash or clean all light ﬁxture coverings and ceiling fan blades. Because a kitchen is the “heart” of a home, and if one has the budget: re-grout kitchen counter tiles; strip and re-stain or paint kitchen cabinets; replace all cabinet knobs or pulls with new hardware; replace worn kitchen faucet and hardware; buy new sink basket strainers; consider new and up-to-date lighting in the kitchen over counters and sink. Real estate professionals agree that it is important to eliminate clutter and make the house “neutral” when staging it for sale. Remove family photographs so that a buyer can imagine the home as theirs; pack up your bookcases (you’re hoping to move anyway); clean your closets, make them look orderly, and store non-essential items; tidy up kitchen pantries and cabinets. Muir has some encouraging words for sellers. The Idyllwild market is unique.“We’re a jewel in the world,” she said. “The desire to live here may not be quantiﬁable.”
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Page 4 - Idyllwild Town Crier, Homes & Land 2011
Clean and maintain your ﬁreplaces and woodstoves
house. They will help the soil to retain moisture and add vital nutrients as they compost down into the soil. A qualiﬁed chimney sweep or a licensed There is nothing like sitting around a toasty, heating contractor should inspect all woodwarm ﬁre while the snow gently falls outside. burning appliances yearly. Don’t wait until winHowever, it is imperative that you keep your woodstove or ﬁreplace in peak operating condi- ter weather has arrived to have your inspection done. The warm weather, when you are not tion so that you can enjoy the warmth of a using your appliance, is the best time to have it wood ﬁre safely. inspected. The two most important tasks to perform Below are some key indications that your when using a woodburning appliance are to properly dispose of the ashes you remove from woodstove or ﬁreplace needs to be cleaned. • You smell smoke or your ﬁreplace stinks. the appliance and to have yearly inspections • It is hard to start a ﬁre. done. • When you do start a ﬁre, it continues to When disposing of ashes, always remember to discard them properly. Never use paper bags, smoke back into the room. • Smoke comes out of the woodstove when wood or paper boxes to remove ashes. Use a good quality metal can to place ashes into and you open the door. • The ﬁre just doesn’t seem to get hot or then put it outside. It is best to wet down the ashes with some water. Do not place a can full put out much heat. • Black stuff comes out of the stove pipe of ashes on a wood deck. They can stay hot for days, so you must be careful storing them. joints. • When outside, you can see ashes falling on After the ashes have cooled, the best way your deck or you can’t see thru the spark arto dispose of them is to properly mix them into the soil in the planting areas around your restor screen. By Jerry Holldber Retired Chimney Sweep of 25 Years
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• You see sparks coming out of the top of your stove pipe or chimney. All these points are signs and indications that your chimney or woodstove needs to be cleaned. Once your stove or ﬁreplace has been inspected and cleaned, you are ready to start using it. However, it is very important to burn good, dry, seasoned ﬁrewood. Use a softer wood, such as pine or avocado, during daytime operations and then load up at night with harder woods such as oak, citrus or eucalyptus. If your ﬁrewood is not seasoned, you can create problems in your ﬁreplace or woodstove within weeks or even days. It is also very important that all installations are properly and legally done to meet ﬁre safety codes and manufacturer’s recommendations for safe operations. Only use qualiﬁed heating contractors to install, replace or repair heating units as well as pipe and/or spark arrestors. You can now enjoy your woodburning appliance with peace of mind. After all, wood heat is the best heat to have when the weather turns cold.
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Idyllwild Town Crier, Homes & Land 2011 - Page 5
Chief’s Corner: Living on the Hill
ers and ﬁre engine 10 feet away from when trying to all structures. This decide if your home is something the is defendable or not. homeowner should Are you considering purchasing a house in The key to success expect to do reguthe beautiful San Jacinto Mountains? Whether is that all of the larly (or pay to have you move up here permanently or purchase survivability factors done) whether you a weekend cabin, you won’t be disappointed. must be in place are a full-time or This mountain is a sparsely populated island Town Crier file photos before the wildland part-time resident. surrounded by a sea of humanity in Southern The difference between a property that has not been abated (left) ﬁre starts! On this mounCalifornia. The air is clean here and the scenery and has been (right). In my career, I compares to the Sierra Nevada Mountain Range. tain, the risk of a large wildland ﬁre is real and presents itself ev- have literally seen people destroying their entire Mountain communities have a different lifestyle than the cities have. In the winter, residents ery year. Even with three ﬁre agencies here, the yard with a chainsaw just prior to evacuating in front of an oncoming ﬁre. This effort does no survivability of any home is mostly dependent should be ready to shovel snow, drive in snow good and puts your life in danger in the proand ice, be prepared to spend some time with- on the owner. cess. There will never be enough ﬁre engines to out electricity and generally live in very cold It may seem like odd timing to be talking station one at every house during a wildland winter weather. For most folks who have lived about ﬁre season when the San Jacinto Mounﬁre. Therefore, the more preparation the owner up here for a while, this is part of the fun and tains are covered in snow, but the wildland ﬁre takes in advance, the more likely the structure not the burden it may appear to be at ﬁrst will survive a ﬁre. Wooden shake shingles should agencies are already preparing for the 2011 ﬁre glance. be replaced with composition, cement shake or season. Fire Management Teams are ﬁlling their In the spring it’s cleanup time in the comvacancies and seasonal ﬁreﬁghters are being munity. Fire abatement is very important to all tile rooﬁng. Old-style vents should be replaced selected. with new ember-proof vents. properties and inspectors from Idyllwild Fire Being prepared for ﬁre season is part of the If you are in the market for a home in the Protection District, Riverside County Fire Delifestyle for people living in the wildland or wildland urban interface (WUI), be on the partment and the U.S. Forest Service will be the WUI. The ﬁre departments and the Mouncoming around (in their jurisdictions) to enforce lookout for these and other ﬁre resistant featain Communities Fire Safe Council are here tures: Is there room for a large ﬁre engine to PRC 4291 (ﬁre abatement) requirements. to help you be successful. The extra steps that After passing an inspection, the home owner access your house and is there anywhere for it is still responsible for keeping pine needles and to turn around? An engine captain will certainly must be taken are a small price to pay for the leaf litter off of the roof, deck, rain gutters and be considering the safety of his or her ﬁreﬁght- privilege of living on this beautiful mountain. By Norm Walker Idyllwild Fire Chief
GRINER CONSTRUCTION I
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Page 6 - Idyllwild Town Crier, Homes & Land 2011
How to start a ﬂower garden Practical tips from the Idyllwild Garden Club
By Harold Voorheis Idyllwild Garden Club Starting your ﬁrst ﬂower garden or a new ﬂower bed can be a little challenging to some of us, but it is both an exciting and positive experience. Here are some practical guidelines for where to put it, how to begin and what to plant. First, your ﬂower garden does not exist in a vacuum. It grows in and as a companion to your landscape. It should serve a function and complement existing features so it ﬁts seamlessly into the scene. For example, plant ﬂowers to: • provide a focal point adding curb appeal • bring fragrance and beauty to a seating area • pretty up a blank garage wall • highlight an entry area • surround a ﬂag pole, bird feeder or bench • soften the edge of a path, walkway or driveway California The ﬂower garden should be integrated into the landscape so it seems to belong there naturally.
Size, location and preparation The ﬂowerbed size and shape should echo or balance the dimensions and proportions of the dominant features in your landscape. For example, a ﬂower bed along the garage should run the length of the garage and the
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bed along your patio should extend the entire length of it. If the patio is huge, make your ﬂower bed deep enough to visually balance the expanse of patio. A ﬂower bed along a walk should be wide enough to look pleasing. Too narrow and it will look skimpy, like a skinny row of marching soldiers. Its size should be appropriate to the proportions of the overall space, so it neither overwhelms nor looks so tiny it is lost. If you are just starting out on your very ﬁrst ﬂower garden, a modest sized ﬂower bed is probably better than too big. An area about three or four feet wide and eight or 10 feet long is manageable yet will give you lots of room to play with. Equally important, how much time do you have weekly to maintain your ﬂowers? (Even low maintenance plantings require regular care.) Think carefully about where you locate your ﬂowerbed. It will draw the eye both winter and summer. In winter, bare soil topped with mulch can Fuschia look bleak. In summer, colorful ﬂowers will pull the eye right to a not so-attractive storage area or log pile. Existing plantings can suggest a ﬂower bed. For example, if you have a small tree or shrubbery, plant ﬂowers beneath or in front. Select ﬂowers that reﬂect a quality or characteristic of the woody plants, perhaps a woodland theme or a color theme. They could all bloom at once, or extend the display by using only
ﬂowers that peak at a different season than the shrubs. For your ﬁrst beginning ﬂower garden, try to pick a spot that is in full direct sun. It should be sunny all day long or for at least half the day including noontime. Shady gardens can be terriﬁc, but for a ﬁrst garden with lots of ﬂowers, a sunnier spot is better. For a beginning gardener, a relatively ﬂat area of ground is best because it is the easiest to manage. A slight slope will also work, but the steeper it is the more difﬁcult it is to garden on. First, remove any existing grass or weeds, including the roots. The more thoroughly you do this chore now, the better your results will be later. Next, loosen the soil and mix organic matter into it. Organic matter is a catchall term for decomposed materials such as compost, old rotten leaves, well-aged stable manure/bedding, spent mushroom soil, or
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WAIT!! THERE’S ANOTHER ROOM AT YOUR HOUSE … IT’S OUTDOORS — AND IT’S THE GARDEN YOU ALWAYS WANTED! Let The Idyllwild Garden Club Show You How To Do It! • We’ve got the experts, educational programs and experience to help • Monthly meetings on many topics including: • What grows best here and why • The “science” of soils • Water-saving plant, shrub and tree irrigation techniques • Easy garden design • Winning plant cultivation tips, and much more! • Hands-on activities for every “energy” and “ability” level At the same time, you have the option to learn by participating in many community beautiﬁcation projects we have in progress! Community residents are welcome as guests to any 3 luncheon/program meetings before deciding to join. We meet on the1st Tuesday of each month (April-December) at Fellowship Hall, Idyllwild Community Presbyterian Church. For more information, visit www.idyllwildgardenclub.net or call (951) 659-3598
Idyllwild Town Crier, Homes & Land 2011 - Page 7
Mediterranean varieties) or native Californian varieties that are already adapted to our type of soil and dry summers. You’ll have the best chance for success if you start by understanding the concept of Right Plant, Right Place and select plants accordingly. This means you should match your plants to the growing conditions that exist in your garden, rather than vice versa.
whatever materials you have available locally at reasonable cost. For a ﬁrst ﬂower garden try starting on the small side. This way you are less likely to become overwhelmed by the preparation phase and won’t be swamped by the maintenance as the season progresses. You can always build on your success and expand it later!
Plants have needs: hot, cool, dry, wet, humidity, sun, shade
Experienced gardeners recognize that plants have needs. If you meet their needs, they will be healthy and grow well with few problems and minimal care and maintenance. Here are some examples: Lilacs and peonies need a certain amount of cold winter chilling in order to bloom, so it’s not surprising they don’t Selecting flowers to grow grow well in the valleys but love our moun“What should I plant?” is the big question tains with a winter season. and every gardener will have their own perSome ﬂowers need a long, hot extended sonal answer to it, depending on the growsummer season. Tropicals that grow in the ing conditions where the garden is and other valleys such as mandevilla may not bloom in practical considerations, plus the style of a cooler clime with a short summer season. A garden, and of course based on personal taste. semi-tropical plant like lantana is not going to Do you like a formal or informal style? What make it through an Idyllwild winter outside. color(s) do you like? What mood? What kind Plants that need a rich organic soil with of backdrop will it have? steady soil moisture and high humidity won’t Practical considerations suggest that we thrive in the dry, warm summer months. A should select low-water usage plants (like plant that requires “perfect “drainage and
loves a sandy soil, such as lavender or penstemon or sages, will not accept an area that holds too much moisture.
Research your plants With a little research and observation of gardens near yours, and an awareness of the growing conditions in your garden, you should be able to make educated guesses about what will thrive for you. Look for plants that grow well in a spot similar to where your ﬂower garden is located. Visit web sites of native garden plant nurseries or search for draught tolerant varieties. Your local garden club’s website will offer many suggestions about what works well here (www. idyllwildgardenclub.net). Don’t hesitate to ask more experienced successful gardeners about how they select, site and nurture their plants.
Have fun! Growing ﬂowers and ﬂower gardening is fun and healthy for the mind and body! For some, it is so much fun that it can even become addictive. It’s even good California Buttercup exercise. Most of all it is a creative endeavor and rewards both the beginner and expert gardener year after year. Photos courtesy of the Idyllwild Garden Club
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Page 8 - Idyllwild Town Crier, Homes & Land 2011
What is a Disaster Aid Station?
A DAS has limited capability. It can and will strive to provide certain speciﬁc functions: It serves as a collection point for Recently, concerned residents have raised questions about the contents of our Disaster Aid residents and visitors to “check in.” A DAS is also a deployStations (DAS) located throughout our mounment point for trained Comtain community. From the questions, there apmunity Emergency Response pears to be some confusion about the purpose Team (CERT) search and rescue of DAS units and their emergency contents. teams, damage assessment and mediSo we thought this would be the place to clarify why we do not store enough water, or cal triage and limited ﬁrst aid care. It’s a source of resources for DAS commandother items, for the entire unit area. ers to communicate all necessary information First and foremost, it is important to regarding injuries, power lines, damages, special understand that the DAS units are not subneeds and more, through its own radio netstitutes for our personal preparedness. It will work to its own incident command, then to never be possible for Mountain Disaster Preparedness (MDP) or any of our sister organi- Radio Amateur Civil Emergency Services (RACzations to stockpile water, medical equipment, ES) and to OES (Ofﬁce of Emergency Services) hygiene supplies, food and other materials for and Red Cross and of course the local Idyllwild Fire and Sheriff’s departments. the needs of all of our mountain residents. Supplies such as food, blankets, warm That is our individual responsibility and the drinks, lights, water and other necessary commantra of all the emergency agencies and forts are needed to keep working teams safe, volunteer organizations on the Hill, across warm and rested as best as possible so that the county, and up and down the state and they can continue to perform rescue and asthroughout the nation. By Veronica Alt Mountain Disaster Preparedness President
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sessment work. All DAS units are marked with our MDP logo. This bright red, yellow and black insignia will help you ﬁnd your closest unit and also identify our MDP patrol vehicles. A detailed map of the locations is presented in the Town Crier File glass display case on the Post Ofﬁce. We encourage all residents, innkeepers and other business people to familiarize themselves with these locations. You never know where you will be when the assistance is needed, so if you can drive by each one and check out which is closest to your home, to your kid’s school, and to your business it would be wonderful. We cannot emphasize enough the need for your own particular preparedness. If you need assistance with this please contact us on our website at www.mdp-idyllwild.com where you can ﬁnd emergency preparedness information and more about MDP itself. Our e-mail is email@example.com and we check it often.
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Sewer and septic within Idyllwild Water District By Terry Lyons General Manager Idyllwild Water District The Idyllwild Water District (IWD) provides sewer collection service to 582 customers within our Sewer Improvement District 1 boundaries. Currently our sewer plant receives an average ﬂow of 125,000 gallons per day (gpd) or nearly half of our state-permited use of 250,000 gpd. The current capacity hook-up fee for sewer service is $5,447. A sewer service connection is required within the District 1 boundaries. No new septic systems or replacements are allowed inside the District 1. Locales with septic systems have the potential to affect the quality of groundwater supplies. Some populated areas with septic systems will eventually leach nitrates into the groundwater. This, combined with high ground water levels, may affect
Idyllwild Town Crier, Homes & Land 2011 - Page 9
existing septic systems. IWD is responsible for the existing sewer plant and collection system. The IWD sewer district has worked with the community and suppliers to ﬁnd a solution to address failing septic systems. In the event a property with a failing septic system is not within the IWD Sewer District boundaries there are alternatives. An advanced “Advantex” Residential On-Site Wastewater Treatment Unit is available as a replacement for failing systems. Currently this is the only alternate system approved for use by Riverside County. These packaged systems are expensive and access, terrain or subsurface rock obstacle ﬁxes can add to the cost of installation. In the future, you will see similar sewer treatment packages designated as small community units that can collect and treat entire housing tracts.
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MAKE YOUR HOME SAFE FROM FIRE WE CAN HELP FIRE ABATE YOUR PROPERTY The Mountain Communities Fire Safe Council is a Nonproﬁt Public Corporation formed by residents of the Hill to protect our communities from wildﬁre. We are funded by grants and donations. We currently have programs to ﬁnancially assist property owners in meeting ﬁre safety codes. We can help you pay the cost of bringing your home into compliance with the 100-foot defensible space law. If you would like help, contact our ofﬁce at 659-6208. MCFSC PURPOSE • Educate the community on forest health and safety. • Assist government agencies in ﬁre prevention efforts. • Reduce fuel levels through grant programs and volunteer work.
Page 10 - Idyllwild Town Crier, Homes & Land 2011
The virtues of tankless water heaters
inches high by 14 inches wide gas-ﬁred storage tank models. and weighs about 50 pounds. That translates into energy Tankless heaters use highsavings of around $70 to $80 per year based on 2008 Tankless or “on-demand” water heaters have powered burners to quickly heat water as it runs through national energy costs. the virtues of being space saving, energy efﬁCR advises that the energy cient (use of less propane or gas), Energy-Star a heat exchanger to the place of use, i.e. a shower or dishsavings could take longer than qualiﬁed, quick to produce a virtually inexwasher. Until hot water 10 years to recoup the cost haustible supply of hot water and have in a shower or appliance differential over standard storfewer corrosive leaks than standard is needed, no water is age tank heaters. CR compared storage tank heaters. They use less enheated. Water is heated average storage tank heaters ergy because the cache of water, stored only on demand. costing from $300 to $500 in the standard water heater, does not A consideration for with on-demand heaters from exist. The supply of 30 to 50 gallons prospective purchas$800 to $1,200. Jim Adams of water is not being heated constantly. ers is that on-demand Tankless water heaters also can funcAppliances have come a long way since at Forest Lumber in Idyllwild this advertisement for a Westinghouse believes the local propane costs tion at a variety of temperatures that A tankless water heaters are also more home freezer was published in the heater expensive than tradiare likely to reduce the recovery an owner can set depending on perTown Crier in August 1949. tional water heaters time to less than 10 years. sonal preferences. They can be installed Forest Lumber, Village Hardware and Comto heat separate parts of a house and different and, as a result, it could take years to recoup the difference in price from energy savings munity Lumber all stock or can order on-desets of appliances. Manufacturers claim they alone. In a 2008 series of tests and a subsemand water heaters and can advise prospective maintain their efﬁciency throughout the lifequently published report, Consumer Reports buyers which models might best suit their needs. time of the unit, whereas storage tank heaters Marshall Smith can be reached at decrease in efﬁciency over time due to mineral (CR) found that on-demand heaters proved, firstname.lastname@example.org. build-up inside the tank. Average unit size is 26 on average, 22 percent more efﬁcient than By Marshall Smith Staff Reporter
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Idyllwild Town Crier, Homes & Land 2011 - Page 11
Water conservation on the Hill is important By Vicki L. Jakubac Conservation Specialist Here at the Pine Cove Water District (PCWD), General Manager Jerry Holldber feels that conservation should be a part of our daily lives, whether or not we are in a drought situation. And this winter has produced a variety of weather patterns that raise the question, “Are we still in a drought?” December brought a signiﬁcant amount of rain in a very short span of time. January brought some warmer, dry weather. February brought a large amount of snow and so it certainly seems like we are having a wet winter. Regardless of what weather conditions we are experiencing at any point in time, the real issue is how long it takes to recharge ground water deﬁcits resulting from years of drought. When you are sitting in your home with snow piled up to your windowsills, it is hard to imagine that we are actually still in a drought situation. But it is important to remember that while the precipitation totals might look impressive, they can be deceiving. Recharging the water table takes more than one wet winter. And Town Crier File just because we may appear to have a sufﬁcient water supply at a particular point in time, it doesn’t mean we should use that supply with reckless abandon. Water conservation, along with tapping
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into alternative water sources such as rainwater harvesting, helps to assure that there will be a consistent supply of fresh, clean drinking water for years to come. Water is a precious commodity everywhere, but especially here on the Hill. By making water conservation part of our daily lives, we are being good stewards of the resources we have available here on the Hill. At PCWD, we believe it is best to practice water conservation on a daily basis, rather than waiting until the situation gets desperate. PCWD has three water conservation stages. Each stage has speciﬁc water-use requirements that Holldber said he feels are important for maintaining an adequate water supply for residents in Pine Cove. Town Crier File We are currently in Stage 1, which is the least restrictive and calls for voluntary compliance. And the simple ﬁxes,
like repairing leaky plumbing, preventing irrigation runoff, and refraining from washing down sidewalks, driveways or parking areas ensure we don’t move into more restrictive conservation stages. Run full loads in the dishwasher and washTown Crier File ing machine. Use PCWD General Manager compost in your Jerry Holldber garden and add wood chips to retain moisture. These are all simple things that we can all do every day. With proper management of our resources, we can assure ourselves an adequate supply of potable water for many years to come. For more information on what you can do to conserve water, please contact your local water district.
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Page 12 - Idyllwild Town Crier, Homes & Land 2011