I think everyone should be aware by now that there is a definite water shortage problem here in California.
It’s the No. 1 topic in newspapers and gardening magazines; these articles tell us how and where we should be looking at home to find leaks and sprinklers that water home hardscapes and other concrete structures, as well as the streets we live on, instead of greenery.
But no article has touched on checking for these problems in our public spaces as well. Taking a walk or slow ride down your street – what do you see?
Is there wasted water running down the gutters from the city landscapes? Are there standing areas of water in non-planted areas creating lakes of mud awaiting the arrival of mosquito larvae? Are the streets themselves newly washed down? Are the irrigation lines to street trees streaming merrily along because of missing emitters?
Another thing, does your neighbor’s brown yard have a lovely green area directly around the water meter?
If so, it’s time for you to take action and call your public works department in your city. In Suisun City, call the Public Work corporation yard at 421-7349; in Fairfield, call 428-7407 for help.
This is something that affects us all – from possible rationing to much higher water bills arriving in the mail.
You may think you won’t see these in your area but all three of these problems are within two blocks of my house. The broken sprinkler I saw was on Lawler Ranch Parkway. It was spewing water from a broken sprinkler clear across the street. The missing emitter was on a tree 15 feet from the broken sprinkler and the leak at the water meter is in my next door neighbor’s yard.
I called all three in to the Public Works office and I will continue to call them until repairs are made.
We are all responsible for making sure that the water available to us is used properly and without wasting more than necessary. Please do your part.
Betsy Buxton is a Master Gardener with the University of California Cooperative Extension office in Fairfield. If you have gardening questions, call the Master Gardener’s office at 784-1322.