Issue 1, 2019

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The Current Flow Newsletter Issue 1, 2019

News for customers of
Las Virgenes Municipal Water District

PDF version

What's In This Issue:

Stay current on water issues, tours and conservation.  Facebook Twitter YouTube Instagram

 

Helping Customers Save Money with Advanced Metering
Smart Meters will Reduce Water Use and Save Money

On November 13, 2018, the Las Virgenes Municipal Water District Board of Directors authorized staff to enter into a contract with UtiliWorks Consulting, LLC to assist with the procurement of Automated Meter Reading (AMR) / Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI), commonly referred to as "Smart Meters." Benefits of utilizing Smart Meters include : improved customer service by allowing individuals to see their hourly/daily water use and track usage as compared to their monthly budgets, timely leak detection to prevent substantial property damage and/or unnecessary costs and a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by keeping meter reading vehicles off the road. The Smart Meters will assist with State mandated efforts to be more water-efficient and could help reduce water use by up to 10 percent or 2,000 acre-feet per year. The new meters and associated infrastructure are expected to cost between $10 and $12 million – an investment already made by many other utilities throughout the State. The procurement process will take approximately 12 months with initial installations occurring soon after. The installation process will take another one to two years.

How Automated Meter Reading/Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMR/AMI) Works

 

 What's In This Issue

The Power of Water

We all should know the basics of water conservation and use. We brush our teeth, bathe, water our yards, etc… Conservation has been and will continue to be a crucial topic, but what if there is more to it than just our basic routine activities? Water is used and involved in virtually everything we own and purchase and with that in mind we should, as stewards of this resource and our beautiful planet, be mindful of not only our personal water use but also our contribution(s) to its use on a much larger scale. Water sustains and nurtures us. So, what more can we do to protect it? Every year we will be digging a little deeper into the importance of water with our outreach and branding campaigns. Our theme for 2019 is "Explore the Power of Water. The World is Thirsty."

Our LVMWD outreach team collaborated last month and discussed the year ahead. We thought about everything from global water scarcity, water reliability, water pollution and, of course, the "Woolsey Fire," which burned through our District. While many of our local families and friends suffered the loss of their home, business or sustained significant damage to their property, one of the inspiring aspects of our communities is resilience. In our discussion, we talked about moving forward and how to continue advancing water knowledge throughout our service area. In planning a theme, we decided on "exploring" because it’s fun and it can bring fresh ideas on how to improve our relationship with this most precious of resources.

So, what is the power of water and where do we see it?

  • Daily usage (home and yard)
  • Commercial agriculture, livestock and farming
  • Hydroelectricity
  • Manufacturing

Manufacturing offers us many examples of the power of water. It’s hard to believe how much water it takes to manufacture common items we use every day:

Small car: 39,090 gallons of water (Not including the tires which adds over 500 gallons each) [1]

Gasoline: It takes 70 gallons of water to make one gallon of gas

Jeans: One pair of blue jeans takes 1,800 gallons of water to produce [2]

Cotton t-shirt: Just one t-shirt takes 400 gallons of water to make [2]

Cell phone: 240 gallons to manufacture one cell phone [3]

 Explore the Power of Water

 

It’s surprising to know how much water it takes to produce regular, everyday items and empowering to realize how the power of our choices in the consumer marketplace can affect water efficiency. We don’t think about how much water we actually use, how much we depend on it and how much we could conserve when considering our purchases as consumers. Perhaps rethink the next phone upgrade?

Water truly does impact us in nearly every aspect of our lives. Here, even in Southern California, it can be easy to lose sight of how precious water is and how fortunate we are to have access to it, literally at our fingertips. Did you know that every day in developing countries like Africa and Asia, people (mostly women and girls) have to walk an average of 3.7 miles to get water?[4] It takes a lot of time and effort just to have water for their everyday use. We turn on our faucet and there it is. That is truly powerful!

So this year, we invite you to follow along with us. "Explore the Power of Water. The World is Thirsty."

Footnotes: [1] Water Resources or the United States (USGS) ; [2] Encyclopedia.com; [3] Water Footprint Network; [4] un.org

 What's In This Issue

 

LVMWD Cares

November 9, 2018 will forever be a day to remember when the Woolsey Fire scorched our community. In the days that followed, the wildfire burned over two-thirds of LVMWD’s 122 square-mile service area and more than 500 homes were destroyed. Virtually all of our valued customers were impacted in one way or another. District staff worked 24/7 in response to the fire by mobilizing and refueling emergency generators, repairing broken water mains, shutting off water services at homes that were lost and providing information to customers through our website and on social media. While the majority of the water system performed well, we did have to issue a boil water notice that impacted about 500 customers in southern portions of the service area in the Santa Monica Mountains. As a result of the fire, the Board of Directors authorized staff to waive water and wastewater charges for the billing period during which a home was destroyed or rendered uninhabitable due to the fire. The authorization allowed for a reduction in bills to reflect historical usage for customers that used an extraordinary amount of water to protect their properties, continue working with local agencies to expedite the rebuilding process and minimize the cost to customers to rebuild their homes.

The Board of Directors and the employees of LVMWD care and we hope that these measures will help our valued customers to not only recover and rebuild, but to thrive in the coming years. If you need assistance, please call Customer Service at (818) 251-2200.

What's In This Issue

Miscellaneous Fees

In 2018, the District contracted with an outside firm to review its miscellaneous fees, which are fees associated with specific services and penalties. The 2018 Miscellaneous Fees Study; Draft Report dated November 2, 2018 can be found on the District’s website at LVMWD.com/MiscellaneousFeesStudy-2018. The proposed revised fees (LVMWD.com/MiscFees) are scheduled to be presented to the Board for adoption in March of 2019 and to be implemented beginning July 1, 2019.

 What's In This Issue

Popular Annual Financial Report

The Popular Annual Financial Report (PAFR) represents LVMWD’s ongoing commitment to transparency in its operations and governance. Additional information, including the District’s Annual Budget,Comprehensive Annual Financial Reports (CAFR), planning documents and more can be found at LVMWD.com/Financial-Reports. In recent years, the District has been awarded the District Transparency Certificate of Excellence by the Special District Leadership Foundation. For the 16th year in a row, the District received the Distinguished Budget Award from the Government Finance Officers Association (GFOA) of the United States and Canada.

 What's In This Issue

spotlightEmployee Spotlight:
Jon Meredith

 Turn your tap on and high-quality Las Virgenes Municipal Water District drinking water comes out. To get that delicious and refreshing water to your faucet requires a complex system of pipes, pumps and valves maintained by highly skilled and dedicated staff. Jon Meredith is the Senior Maintenance Mechanic working in Facilities and Operations. Starting his career in April of 1990, Jon has seen the District change and grow over the years along with the challenges of maintaining such a dynamic distribution and wastewater system.Jon Meredith

In 1993, LVMWD welcomed Jon to the team as a Utility Apprentice at the nationally recognized Tapia Water Reclamation Facility (Tapia). Soon after coming on board, Tapia underwent an expansion as the communities we serve were also growing, adding another layer of complexity to the facility’s maintenance needs. At this point, he was heavily involved in setting up a new warehouse at Tapia to serve the growing needs of operators and maintenance staff and was one of the first maintenance personnel to be assigned to the Rancho Las Virgenes Composting Facility that had just been completed. In April of 2018, Jon was promoted to his current position as the Senior Maintenance Mechanic.

Jon has been such a valuable asset to LVMWD in part due to the unique experiences he had before he got here. Meredith spent six years serving our country in the Navy as a Nuclear-trained Machinist’s Mate, qualified in submarines on the USS Flasher (SSN-613). He also served three years as an Outside Machinist, working in oil purification. During this time, Jon spent one and a half years at the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station, helping to develop and implement a process to remove radioactive contamination from the plant’s waste oil.

With a work history as interesting and unique as Jon’s, his hobbies must be equally as unique. Meredith is a self-described rock hound, searching for treasures such as fossils and mineral specimens around our local beaches, mountains, and deserts. He often teaches others the ins and outs of identifying fossilized whale bones and enjoys using his craftsman’s touch to make jewelry out of amber and other minerals. He is also a devoted family man. He and his wife Debbie have been married for 23 years, have two step-daughters, seven grandkids and one great-granddaughter! That’s not all though. They have two hairless dogs, Ruby and Hen3ry (the "3" is silent), a cat named Sammy and a hairless guinea pig named Teddy.

 What's In This Issue

Prep Your Landscape for Springcommunity compost

The weather is still cold and the thought of going outside and working in our yards may take a back seat to the latest binge worthy show on Netflix. Though there will be plenty of time to prep that landscape for summer, starting to plan early and using the next few months to execute some simple but extremely effective landscape maintenance techniques will pay big dividends when the heat hits. Additionally, with February historically our wettest month, these techniques will help your landscape get the most out of the rain that falls.

Remember, every landscape has its own nuances and may benefit from some but not all of the techniques below.

Aeration: If your lawn is turning brown at the first sign of heat, or has poor drainage, it could be a sign of soil compaction. Aeration is a process where holes are put into the soil, breaking up the compacted soil to allow water, air and nutrients to reach the grass roots. This promotes deeper root growth making your lawn more water-efficient and resilient when the heat of summer comes.

Topdressing/Feeding/Fertilizing: Triunfo Sanitation District and LVMWD offer free EPA rated A Exceptional Quality compost for customers to use as a great, natural way to feed your lawn and planters. This helps condition your soil, adds nutrients crucial to healthy plant growth and is a great way to promote water absorption for both your lawns and planters. Feeding is best done when soil is moist, so look to take advantage and lightly fertilize when rain is forecasted.

Overseeding: If your lawn is looking a little bare in spots, applying grass seed after aeration and top dressing is a great option to help fill in your turf. This is best done as winter turns to spring. Overseeding isn’t appropriate for all types of turf, but can be a good way to fill in some of the bare spots.

Irrigation Tune-Up: As winter is coming to an end, you will need to rely on your irrigation system to get your landscape the water it needs. Make sure that your irrigation system is operating properly and free of leaks. Many times, coverage deficiencies and improper irrigation schedules can be the cause of many landscape issues. Run each station individually, making sure each sprinkler head is properly aligned and not being blocked by new plant growth.

Making these techniques part of your yard care maintenance process in the spring, can be a great money-saving way to ensure a healthy and beautiful landscape for the summer!            

 What's In This Issue

The Missing PieceThe Missing Piece

Name the benefits of Automated Meter Reading (AMR) / Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI)? 

Send your response to:

The Missing Piece, LVMWD, 4232 Las Virgenes Road, Calabasas, CA 91302, or send to LittleDrop@LVMWD.com with "Missing Piece" in the subject line. Please include your mailing address in case you are a winner! Prizes awarded monthly to ten winners randomly selected from the correct responses.

Watch for the answer in the next issue of The Current Flow.

Previous issue’s Missing Piece answer:

This is Cornell Pump Station.  Name the location:

a. Calabasas Road near Park Granada

b. El Canon Avenue near Calabasas Road

c. Agoura Road near Cornell Road

d. Calabasas Road near Parkway Calabasas

 What's In This Issue


4232 Las Virgenes Road,  Calabasas, CA 91302
(818) 251-2100

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