Local lifestyle columnists

Be on the watch for water waste in public spaces

By From page C4 | August 03, 2014

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.

Betsy Buxton


Discussion | 7 comments

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  • BobAugust 03, 2014 - 7:36 am

    I heard the state is going to build two big tunnels to take water south, that's water waste by the state government!

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  • JagAugust 03, 2014 - 10:01 am

    Hey Betsy, why don't you use your snitch program and call the city of Los Angeles and complain about there negligence of the city for not checking a one hundred year old pipe that broke and wasted millions of gallons of water,

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  • Hmm...August 03, 2014 - 2:48 pm

    Betsy, good info and great suggestions. I will keep an eye out and help the city save our water!

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  • Joseph D. JoyceAugust 03, 2014 - 7:57 pm

    I'm waiting for public works to call me back about several problem areas from the city of Fairfields sprinklers. I'll be calling them back tomorrow!

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  • Rick WoodAugust 03, 2014 - 8:47 pm

    Report grafitti as well! We can fight back.

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  • HuckleberryAugust 03, 2014 - 8:57 pm

    City of Fairfield are huge water wasters. For 23 years huge water puddles are all over the Laurel Creek local ball park. For years there were weeds around the area bordering Peppertree and Gulf. In the middle of our drought four weeks ago, they rolled out yards and yards of turf and have been watering ever since. Water rolls down the street. Then someone came and mowed it so short that it is burned in spots and they are continuing to water. If City of Fairfield are the ones watching out for water wasters, then that is the fox watching the hen house.

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  • JagAugust 03, 2014 - 9:01 pm

    No I think you have Betsy & Hmm watching the water..

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