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S U MMER ' S ALMOST HERE Smart Ways to Save Money and Prevent Water Pollution The most effective way to keep water bills down is to check for leaks in your irrigation system and to follow a reliable irrigation schedule. Irrigation overspray and runoff not only cost you money, but they are some of the leading causes of water pollution during the dry season.

L ANDSCAPING INSPIRATION IS A CLICK AWAY Looking for help designing a beautiful drought-tolerant landscape for your home or business? Visit the SLO County Water Wise Landscaping website.

The website, www.slowaterwiselandscaping.com, has a tool that allows you to browse hundreds of beautiful landscape photos and zoom in on a selected plant.

A lot can happen to your irrigation system during the winter

season while it has been shut down. So now is the perfect time to check for leaks.

Detailed plant photos and plant information are then

displayed, enabling you to select and print a customized plant list. The website’s resources section provides

additional tips on landscape design, soil preparation,

Use the chart below as a guide to help make sure you’re not overwatering this summer. For a typical system, we suggest dividing the watering time over three or four days. Be sure to monitor

watering to avoid runoff. If water runoff occurs, use multiple start times a day to allow your soil to soak up the water.

planting, efficient irrigation techniques, and watering

guides for the county’s different climate zones. A video tutorial even shows you how to use the website.

For more information, contact Ron Munds, Utilities Services Manager, at 781-7258 or rmunds@slocity.org.

For more information, please call (805) 781-7213.

S PR IN G /S U M M ER L AWN IR R IG ATI O N G U ID E Month

Irrigation Minutes per Week

June

60 minutes/week

July

60 minutes/week

August

60 minutes/week

September

45 minutes/week

HIGHLIGHTS IN THIS ISSUE: Whale Rock: A Local Hidden Gem | Smoke Testing Begins New Sewer Cap Improved Utility Billing | Rainy Season is Coming

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Summer 2014 Volume 18, Issue 3


S E WER SYSTEM S MOKE TESTING PILOT PRO J ECT B EG IN S

S U MMER C LE ANING WAS NE VER SO E ASY

The Utilities Department recently performed the first

Nothing feels better than shedding junk or unused items from

detect sources of water, other than sewage, flowing

Week – June 30 to July 4.

in a series of sanitary sewer system smoke tests to into the system. Water sources can include open

drains, illegally connected rain gutters and cracked

or faulty connections which allow rainwater into the sewer pipes.

The excess water that flows into the sewer system

may cause sewer overflows, which can lead to health and water quality concerns. Reducing the inflow of unwanted water helps control operating costs.

Smoke testing helps identify problems by placing

a high-capacity blower on top of a sanitary sewer manhole and forcing nontoxic, non hazardous

smoke down into the sewer system. The smoke

travels through the pipes and escapes through any

Cleanup Week: June 30–July 4 your home. So start planning now and prepare for Cleanup

During Cleanup Week, San Luis Garbage Company picks up

additional items on your regular trash and recycling day. Look for more information in the coming weeks.

Either 12 standard trash cans (32 gallons each) or the equivalent in other containers, or 12 bundles (each four feet or less in

length and 75 pounds or less in weight) are allowed during the special pick up.

Special prices for bulky items are valid during Cleanup Week.

Additional items must be on the curb to qualify for these special prices, and you must schedule the pickup in advance.

Please call (804) 543-0875 two days before collection day to schedule the pickup.

connections, cracks, leaks, etc. along the way. This quickly reveals problem areas and will help the City

create a plan to reduce impacts of the unwanted water.

Additionally, it will allow City staff to work with property owners to make needed corrections.

BULKY ITEMS: Bulky items can be picked up during cleanup week for only $10 each. This includes: •

Televisions

Box Springs

Water Heaters

Mattresses

Couches

Refrigerators

Washers

Overstuffed Chairs

Dryers

Metal Items

system or the smoke testing program, contact Bud Nance

Small Appliances

at 781-7033 or bnance@slocity.org.

Chairs

Passenger Car Tires (no more than four)

The Utilities Department will continue to perform smoke

tests during the course of this year in an effort to identify and reduce the amount of unwanted water that flows into the sewer collection system.

If you have any questions regarding the sewer collection

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FISHING AND FUN AT THE OTHER ROCK … WHALE ROCK RESERVOIR A hidden jewel located just inland of the community of Cayucos, Whale Rock Reservoir offers great opportunities for a quick getaway from the hustle and bustle of the daily grind. State law prohibits direct body contact with the reservoir water since it is a drinking water source for the Men’s Colony, Cal Poly and the City, but visitors can fish, picnic, watch birds and wildlife and hike along the shore.

Access to the public area is located off Old Creek Road with new expanded hours of 6 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesday through Sunday and legal holidays. Fishing season is April 26 to November 23. If you’re looking to relax and get away for a couple of hours or hone your fishing skills, visit the other rock, Whale Rock Reservoir. If you have any questions regarding the reservoir, call the operations office at 995-3701.

R EMEMB ER THES E TIPS WHEN WOR KING ARO U ND THE HO U S E

YOUR DOLL ARS AT WORK

As the daylight hours get longer and the weather warms, you may be

WATER TANK MAINTENANCE PROJECT

ready to start those projects you’ve been thinking about all winter.

Project Cost: $179,700

summer, remember that proper cleanup and disposal of the waste is just as important.

Three water tanks are being cleaned and structurally repaired to ensure the delivery of high quality water to the community. Project is currently underway.

Here are some handy tips to keep pollution out of gutters, storm

JOHNSON AVENUE 16” WATER LINE REPLACEMENT

While you’re busy crossing those home projects off the list this

drains and creeks: • Start off by not buying more materials than your project needs.

When it comes time for disposal, this will save you time and money. • Landscapers should properly dispose of any yard waste or

debris. Yard waste and dirt should not be washed off into the gutter. • When painting, dispose of water used to clean latex paint off

equipment into the sewer. Oil-based paints and solvents should

never be disposed of in the sewer or storm drains. Excess latex or

oil-based paints can be taken to the Household Hazardous Waste Collection Center at Cold Canyon Landfill free of charge. • Finally, use a broom, not the hose when cleaning up. Visit www.iwma.com for more information about appropriately disposing of household hazardous waste, including paint. Remember: Anything that finds its way into our gutters ends up in

(PHASE 1) Project Cost: $1,015,750 This project will replace approximately 3,000 linear feet of pipe with strong and durable ductile iron pipe on Johnson Avenue between Iris Street and the Bishop Pump Station. Additional pipe work will also be completed on Bishop Street between Johnson and Augusta. Construction will be underway this summer.

SANTA ROSA SEWER LINE REPLACEMENT PROJECT Project Cost: $790,600 This project includes replacement of the existing deteriorated steel sewer pipe that crosses Stenner Creek upstream of the intersection of Santa Rosa and Oak Streets. The installation of the pipe will be completed using horizontal directional drilling. The project includes night work on Santa Rosa Street and is currently under construction.

our creeks and flows untreated to the ocean.

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ECRWSS

R EQ U ESTING A S E WER CAP AD J U STMENT CO U LD LOWER YO U R B ILL The maximum amount you pay for sewer service is based on how much water you used during the average winter water use period, which ran from mid-

November 2013 to mid-March 2014. Since that period was unusually dry, you may have used more water for landscape irrigation, resulting in a higher than normal “sewer cap” on your bill.

That’s why the City Council has decided to allow customers who believe their

sewer cap is too high to request an adjustment. There are two ways to submit your request:

• Send an email to the Utility Billing Adjustment Committee at ubac@slocity.org • Mail a letter to:

Utility Billing Adjustment Committee

San Luis Obispo, CA 93401

879 Morro Street

In your email or letter, please include a brief summary of the billing cycle(s) your irrigation was on during the average winter water use period so the committee

can consider a more representative time period on which to base your sewer cap. If you have any questions, please contact the Utilities Department at

EM ERG EN CY N U M B ER S Water & Sewer Problems 8 am to 5 pm (805) 781-7220 After Hours & Weekends (805) 781-7312

805-781-7215.

O U R FAC EBOOK COMM U NIT Y CO NTIN U ES TO G ROW If you haven’t already done so, check out the Utilities Department’s Facebook page. You’ll get news about the latest projects, ways to save money on your water and sewer bill, interesting facts about your water and sewer utility, and much more. So visit us at www.facebook.com/SLOUtilitiesDepartment, like us and join the conversation.

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Resource, Summer 2014