May 14, 2019
Lowered water rates help residents prepare for season
SACHSE (May 14, 2019) Even though the Sachse City Council has approved a decrease in the volumetric rates for water sold to residents over the next 18 months, homeowners are nevertheless encouraged to take four steps to ensure the efficient operation of their irrigation systems.
“The summer watering season is not far off, and while the spring rains have been very generous, we anticipate that residents will increase water use as we enter summer,” says Teresa Savage, the City’s Finance Director. Savage recently hosted several Sachse Live presentations on Facebook to explain the lowered rates.
The lowered use rates, a result of a comprehensive water rate study, are now in effect. Volumetric rates are calculated on the amount of water used by each household, measured in increments of thousands of gallons. Divided by tiers, the rates can be reviewed by visiting: http://cityofsachse.com/193/Utility-Rates.
Lowered volumetric rates, while critical to the monthly cost of water use, are one of several strategies for saving both water and money, especially as the summer watering season approaches.
“Residents should bear in mind the four pillars of preparing for the watering season,” said Savage. “These include: Inspect, Connect, Direct and Select. Taking time to implement these simple steps can provide a healthy return in the long run.”
Inspecting the home irrigation system is the first and perhaps most important step. Running a manual cycle for 30-45 seconds per zone and following the system as it changes from zone to zone, making a note of clogged, broken or missing sprinkler heads, gives the homeowner the necessary overview to begin the process.
A professional irrigation specialist certified by a WaterSense labeled program can provide an even higher level of confidence that the system is working properly.
Second, ensuring that all connections in the system are sealed and watertight will save surprises at billing time. Examine the connection points where sprinkler heads are connected to pipes and hoses. If there is water pooling in the landscaping, or large soggy areas are present, that may mean a connection break somewhere. A leak as small as the tip of a ballpoint pen can waste about 6,300 gallons of water a month.
Next, taking a moment to direct or redirect sprinkler heads can prevent systems from watering a driveway, sidewalk or street, wasting water and denying the landscape of proper care. Sometimes, changing the direction of a sprinkler head can be accomplished easily with a screwdriver, whereas other times, digging around the sprinkler head and shifting it may be necessary.
Finally, homeowners should select an irrigation controller that allows for precise scheduling and is easy to operate and program. An improperly scheduled controller can waste water by irrigating when evaporation is likely or worse, during rain events. A WaterSense labeled controller takes the guesswork out of the process.
“Reducing the volumetric rates is one way of saving money, and another is ensuring that our systems are ready to operate efficiently and properly during the upcoming watering season,” added Savage. Rates will be reviewed annually and adjusted as necessary, but the five-year outlook favors the lowered rates.