A few years ago I had the water company come out and do a “water audit” on my home. It was free, very easy to schedule and I learned a great deal. For example, I learned several of my toilets were “silently” leaking due to one slightly worn out flapper and a few needed adjustments inside one toilet tank. Given that a running toilet can waste hundreds of gallons of water in a short amount of time, fixing this probably saved me some money and more importantly helped preserve a precious resource!
Have you had your free water audit? The water company will check your home as well as your landscaping and irrigation, looking for ways to save on your water usage. They also offer free water conservation devices like low flow shower heads, aerators for faucets and leak detection dye tablets. There are landscaping, appliance and high efficiency toilet rebates relating to water conservation available as well.
Evergreen residents are serviced by San Jose Municipal Water (www.sjmuniwater.com), operated by the City of San Jose. SJ Muni purchases some of its water from the Santa Clara Valley Water District (www.valleywater.org). Both sites have a lot of great info, including phone contact info to set-up a free water audit.
Along with being water-wise in your home, help our creeks and community stay healthy by following a few simple guidelines out in your neighborhood! First, don’t use the street’s storm drain to dump stuff. Recently, I saw painters dumping leftover paint down a storm drain. Not good, as everything that goes into storm drains flows directly to local creeks and does NOT get treated. This is another reason to keep your pesticide and chemical usage in your yards as minimal as you can; rain washes that into the storm drains and then our creeks. Report illegal storm drain dumping at 408-945-3000.
Don’t dump that left-over paint in your home’s sewer system either! Even though sewage from toilets and sinks goes to treatment plants, paints and other contaminants still should not be introduced into our water systems due to their toxicity. Discarding it in the garbage isn’t good either. If possible, take the remaining paint to the county’s household hazardous waste program and have them dispose of it; this is a really great, free service. Call them at 408-299-7300 and schedule an appointment to drop off all of your toxic paints, pesticides and other household chemicals. This includes expired prescriptions. Sewage treatment plants were not designed to fully remove these types of chemicals, which can end up in the bay and in the fish we eat!
Program this number into your cell phone: 408-535-3500. This is the number for reporting both water waste situations as well as emergency water “gushing” if you should come across it in Evergreen. If you see a lot of water literally pouring out onto the street, call this number and follow the prompts for an emergency. Don’t be a drip! Let’s save every drip instead!