• Saving Water

  • The state of California is entering its fourth year of a drought status. In January 2015, California Governor Jerry Brown declared a state of drought emergency and mandated that all cities and towns reduce water consumption by 25%. The Town of Danville has been working towards a reduction in water usage since the early 2000s, but it has taken a much stronger and more proactive approach to water use reduction since late 2013.


    The Town's use of water primarily falls into the area of community facilities and maintenance of outdoor amenities. The below FAQ provides information on what the Town's water usage needs are, what efforts are being made to reduce those needs and how successful those efforts have been.
     

     

    FAQs on Town of Danville Water Conservation Efforts

    How does the Town of Danville use water?
     
    The Town has a number of park areas, roadside landscaping and facilities that require at least a minimum amount of water to keep the plant material alive. The Town has 198 acres of parkland, 60 acres of roadside landscaping and 16 facilities.
     

    Has the Town made an effort to reduce consumption?

    Absolutely! Actually, the Town was working on reducing our water usage even before the Governor declared a drought emergency and instituted mandated reductions. We’ve been working to lower our water use since 2013.

    What is the Town doing to reduce water consumption?

    A number of programs and mechanisms have been put in place to cut our water use. These include:

    • Installation of a $669,000 Central Irrigation System that allows control over the watering of approximately 100 acres of land.  The system is able to identify optimal watering needs based on time of day, weather conditions and weather forecasts. The system also automatically shuts off in the event of a water line break.
    • Watering of Town parks and roadsides was reduced to twice per week in August 2014. Currently, the Town is watering once every 7-10 days.
    • Synthetic, or artificial turf was installed at Diablo Vista Park in 2000, and in Sycamore Valley Park in 2006.
    • The Town discontinued pressure washing of sidewalks, tennis courts and other hard surfaces in August 2014 for the duration of the drought.
    • In October 2013, the water features (play fountains) at Diablo Vista, Hap Magee, Oak Hill, Osage Station and Sycamore Valley Parks were turned off.
    • Conversion to organic fertilizers for all Town-maintained sports fields. The new fertilizer, in addition to being environmentally friendly, also allow more efficient water usage.
    • Shifting several grass areas to more drought tolerant materials. We are continuing to evaluate other potential areas for similar conversions.

     

    When I’m out, I see broken sprinklers leaking out into the roadway. What do you do about that?

    Because water use is such an important issue, our top priority is making sure that our sprinkler systems are all operating at 100%. During 2015, we conducted over 1,000 inspections of our irrigation system to make sure that there were no leaks or problems. However, if you see something, let us know. The quickest way is using the Danville Connect app on the Apple App Store or Google Play. Report what you’re seeing and even if it’s on private property, we can let the proper people know to get the situation resolved as soon as possible.
     

    These are all outside. What about in facilities? Are you reducing water use there too?

    We are indeed! In most of our Town facilities, water usage has been reduced by the installation of low-flow faucets and toilets.
     

    Do we use recycled water?

    At this time, no. The reason we don’t presently is that the infrastructure necessary for the Town of Danville to receive recycled water is not in place yet. The Town is a part of the Central Contra Costa Sanitary District and the nearest Central San wastewater treatment plant is in Martinez.

    The infrastructure is being put in place, but because it is a costly and time-consuming endeavor it will still be a few years before a pipeline is put into place for the Town’s use.

    Have all these measures made a difference?

    Without a doubt. The Town of Danville’s efforts have resulted in a 30% reduction in the Town’s overall water usage. This exceeds both the East Bay Municipal Utility District (EBMUD) mandate of a 20% reduction as well as the Governor Jerry Brown’s mandated reduction of 25%. During the peak watering season in 2015, the Town’s conservation efforts resulted in an approximate savings of 300,000 gallons of water per day, compared to 2013.
     

    Can you do better?

    We are certainly going to try. Our Maintenance Services Department is constantly reevaluating how we use our water, where it is going and how it can be done more efficiently. And, as we transition to less grass in some landscaping areas and more xeriscaping or drought tolerant plant materials, the need to water will continue to decline. However, we are always open to suggestions. Got an idea that you think might help us save water?  Reach out and let us know. Contact our Maintenance Services Department at (925) 314-3450 or maintenance@danville.ca.gov. Or, you can also use the Town’s Danville Connect app as a quick and easy way to report issues and provide information. The app can be downloaded FREE from the iTunes or Googleplay stores or you can use it online.