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Turn back the clock on water waste in Los Angeles County

American Water encourages County customers to turn off sprinklers Nov. 1

Posted: October 30, 2009 3:16 p.m.
Updated: October 31, 2009 5:00 p.m.
Daylight savings time ends in the United States on Sunday, Nov. 1 when clocks are set back one hour at 2 a.m. local daylight time, which becomes 1 a.m. local standard time.

With the rainy season just getting underway, California American Water is launching a public awareness campaign to remind local residents to turn their sprinklers off - a simple step that can be done when you turn the clock back - to protect the environment while saving water and money during the winter months.

Irrigation experts encourage outdoor water users to reduce their irrigation run times and frequencies during the fall and early winter.

"Many of us continue to irrigate more than we need in the Fall," said California American Water's operation manager, Garry Hofer. "When compared to the peak water needs of the summer season, outdoor water use in November should be reduced by 60 to 75 percent. Shorter days mean less sun - and your plants need less water."

According to Hofer, water company employees spot residents and businesses with their sprinklers running while it's raining every year. "Not only do we see it happening, we see bills with hundreds or even thousands of gallons of daily water use, and when folks are using that much water in November or January, there's only one likely explanation," he said. "Sprinklers running in the winter account for a tremendous amount of water waste."

Turning sprinklers off also saves money. "We want our customers to know they can avoid high water bills by controlling their outdoor use," Hofer said. "It's good for their pocketbooks and good for the environment."

In fact, it's also good for home landscaping. Too much water can be more damaging to plants than drought. Landscaping experts estimate that 90 percent of plants killed die from over-watering. Soggy soil can prevent nutrients and air from reaching plant roots, inviting unwanted diseases such as root rot.

If there is a long break between rains, California American Water recommends manually watering landscape with a hose and a low-flow hose nozzle. One way to test if soil needs watering is by pushing a screwdriver into the ground. If it goes in easily, the soil is moist and doesn't need water.

California American Water offers free Water Wise House Calls to all residential and multi-residential customers in our Los Angeles service district, as well as low-flow hose nozzles and other water-saving devices.


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