Thursday, March 10, 2011

Water Rules

Don't freak out, but Pasadena's outdoor watering rules are about to change for the remainder of March.

I know, I know, it gets complicated. But Pasadena's Public Information Office (PIO Ann Erdman, Assistant PIO Linda Centell and Graphic Designer Zack Stromberg) has me on a mailing list so I've got the poop.

Beginning tomorrow (Friday, March 11th) you can water your lawn any day you want to, as much as you want to, for a week--because for ten days after that, from March 18th-27th, you are not allowed to water your lawn at all.

It's only ten days, and it's only March, so like I said, don't freak out. I haven't watered my back yard for over a year and I still haven't been able to kill it.

On February 28th, the Pasadena City Council declared a Level 4 Water Shortage Emergency during the temporary shutdown of a major regional water pipeline from March 18th-27th. "The Metropolitan Water District of Southern California (MWD), which supplies about 60 percent of Pasadena’s water, is planning a seismic retrofit of the F.E. Weymouth Water Treatment Plant in LaVerne and will stop all water deliveries to Pasadena and neighboring cities through its upper feeder pipeline during the project. For those 10 days, Pasadena must rely solely on its groundwater and reserves."

Those reserves (about 150 million gallons) are sufficient if everyone does their part. Outdoor watering is Pasadena's largest use of water. Under normal circumstances we use about 250 million gallons under normal circumstances. It shouldn't be too hard to cut that back. Established plants can go a good ten days or more without water (especially now, when it's not too hot), but horticulturalists recommend waiting to plant anything new until after the watering ban.

More information here, including tips about pre-watering, storing water ahead of time for hand-watering and how the ban will be enforced.

I hope this won't be a problem for you. It doesn't change a thing for me. I'll water the front yard once or twice this coming week, and I've got a couple of jugs of water set aside for the potted plants. The back yard will thrive, even if I take a flame thrower to it.

14 comments:

Trish said...

wow. lol on the flamethrower concept!

though, you know there will be some TV crew out somewhere during the ban week and someone with tap wide open and nothing running from it. "But I didn't know it was *this* week!"

altadenahiker said...

We're on restriction up here, too. But I'm with you, I haven't watered my yard in months -- not with all the rain we've had. Think I'll stock up on some bottled water though.

Bellis said...

Can we still use hand-held hoses and drip hoses? My husband planted tomatoes on Sunday (despite the advice) and yesterday the gardener, thinking he was being helpful, tipped out all the rainwater I've been collecting in wheelbarrows.
So now it'll have to be jugs full of dirty dish and bathwater for the plants. Eeeugh.

Petrea said...

Yup. This week, Trish!

I think the bottled water is a good idea for the vegetables, Hiker. But the yard sure doesn't need it.

No hoses of any kind for those ten days, Bellis. I'd think dish and bathwater would be absolutely fine, though.

JF said...

I hope that the official wording of the order is clear enough to specify that watering from city supplied water is not allowed. There are a growing number of people who use rainwater collection systems to water their property. We have an overflow from our water filtration (acidic water) that we use on plants and there are systems that let you collect grey water (used tap water from sinks). All of these sources do not "tap" into the city water supply or are using "used" city water.

TheChieftess said...

Hmmmm...sounds like an entrepreneurial opportunity for us in Mammoth to bring truckloads of snow down to the lowlands....Do I hear a bid???

Petrea said...

JF, at the link "More information here" you'll get a full description of the restrictions. I see the language there "all methods of watering with city tap water." If you have questions, there are more links and phone numbers for details.

No, Chieftess, but you might get a few visitors!

Pasadena Adjacent said...

I'll just cut out bathing. So when are we going to get together for lunch?

pasadenapio said...

Thanks for posting this, Petrea. Please note it's 150 million gallons (not 150 gallons).

Margaret said...

JUst heard about it on the radio too. I think we can water all we want here, but our rates went up by 30%

Petrea said...

PA, how about a fish 'n chips place, in Chicago, under an El stop, at 1:00 AM?

Thanks, Ann! I made the edit in the post.

Margaret, I think all this: higher rates temporary cutbacks in use, is a precursor of our water future. We'd best go ahead and practice now.

Trish said...

LOL...I just presumed it was 150 gal per household...;-)

Petrea said...

We'd have had to stick to PA's "no shower" rule.

Susan Campisi said...

It doesn't change a thing for me either. I'm a terrible steward of my lawn, yet it always sprouts back no matter how much I neglect it.