Issue 3, 2019
News for customers of
Every year, Las Virgenes Municipal Water District (LVMWD) pulls over 1,200 samples from our distribution system and conducts over 11,000 tests on those samples. These results, as well as the results from testing performed by The Metropolitan Water District of Southern California (MWD) on the treated source water imported by LVMWD, are compiled into our annual Consumer Confidence Report/Water Quality Report (CCR/WQR). This report is distributed to customers and residents of our service area every year by July 1st in accordance with federal and state regulations.
This year, LVMWD is primarily distributing our CCR/WQR electronically. The District’s mission is to provide highquality water service in a cost-effective and environmentally sensitive manner. “We are always looking for ways to make District operations more effective and efficient. By distributing our CCR/WQR electronically we can reduce both the cost and carbon footprint associated with the report, so it checks all the boxes,” according to Public Affairs and Communications Manager Mike McNutt. Customers and area residents have received postcards directing them to our specific webpage - LVMWD.com/WQR2018 - where the report is available for review.
Though the primary distribution will be done electronically, the District will continue to make paper copies available. For customers who wish to receive a printed copy of the 2018 CCR/WQR, please call our customer service department at (818) 251-2100. Paper copies will also be available at our District facilities, community events LVMWD participates in and at other locations throughout the Las Virgenes community such as libraries and city halls
As customers of Las Virgenes Municipal Water District, you get tasty, high quality, eco-friendly drinking water delivered straight to your home. To make our “LV Tap”water so reliable and healthy, we depend on employees like Steve Jackson, our Chief Water Treatment Plant Operator. Steve joined the LVMWD team in June of 1999, and is part of an elite group of two dedicated employees who operate the entire Westlake Filtration Plant at Las Virgenes Reservoir.
Amazingly, Steve has spent his entire water career with LVMWD. Shortly after serving in the military, he earned his associates degree and vocational certificate in water treatment from Ventura College. Faced with a tight job market and no experience in the water industry, he obtained his level two water treatment certificate, and six months later, landed a position with LVMWD.
Against the backdrop of our picturesque reservoir, Steve’s average work load can be anything but easy-going.Constructed in 1972, Las Virgenes Reservoir stores a 6-month emergency supply of water that is treated at the filtration plant before being delivered to customers.The plant only operates during emergencies and “peak” periods when demand for water is at its highest, typically between May and September. When the plant is online, Steve spends an average of 4.5 hours each day monitoring equipment to ensure proper functioning. He credits his military background with instilling in him a tremendous work ethic and the discipline and dedication needed to do his job so well.
The Westlake Filtration Plant contains a network of 12 filters that use diatomaceous earth to purify the water stored in the reservoir. Steve and his comrade Robert DeVito rely on an automated system called SCADA to monitor and control these filters, which can be managed remotely if needed. Operating the entire system can often require patience with a strong attention to detail.Just one filter can take up to six hours to change and at least six must be in operation at all times. Environmental conditions and unforeseen influences that impact water quality can affect daily activities at the Plant, making their jobs much more challenging at times. Luckily, Steve and Robert are seasoned veterans, having kept the entire facility operating efficiently for the past 20 years.
Steve’s duties at the plant are very serious in nature and require a significant amount of responsibility. Maximum caution and efficiency is required to ensure the District serves safe and high quality water to our customers.Small mistakes could be costly, but our customers can rest easy knowing their water is stewarded by highly qualified personnel who are dedicated and motivated
It’s summertime again. Time to have fun and relax. Whether we are out and about with our families, having barbeques or heading to the beach, we all know herein the LVMWD service area, it can get pretty hot. Heat can get the best of all of us sometimes. Here are some fresh ideas to help you beat the heat this summer:
1. Block the sun. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, closing curtains and blinds (ideally with “white”which deflects the sun) can reduce the amount of heat that passes into your home by as much as 45 percent.
2. Maintain your A/C. Clean or replace the filter in room and central air conditioners about once a month during the summer. If you have central air-conditioning, have the ducts checked for leaks, which can reduce a system’s efficiency by as much as 15 percent,according to the U.S. Department of Energy. Make sure to seal any cracks between a window unit and the frame with caulking or a sealant strip. These steps will provide more efficient and effective cooling.
3. Close the fireplace damper. While you are running your air conditioner, shut your fireplace damper. An open one can pull hot air into your house.
4. Make sure to close everything else, too. Most people start to sweat at 78 degrees, so whether the air conditioner is on or off, keep windows and doors shut if the temperature outside is higher than 77 degrees Fahrenheit. Opening a window allows heat to creep in when the outside air is hotter than the inside air.
5. Sip often. To replace the moisture that you lose as you sweat,be sure to drink lots of LVMWD tap water in your refillable container. Try infusing your tap water with fresh fruits.This may encourage you to drink more water and will help suppress your sweet tooth. Try using mint, citrus and any ripe fruits that are in season. Remember, as you lose water to dehydration, your body temperature rises, so replacing fluids is essential to keeping cool. Avoid beverages that contain alcohol, caffeine or lots of sugar, which are dehydrating.
6. Try eating hydrating foods such as watermelon, which is 92%water. Add more fruits and vegetables to all your meals. In general, eat light. Salads are much easier to digest than a fatty hamburger, for example. Heavier foods can leave you feeling sluggish in high heat. Also, remember, the more you eat, the more heat your body creates. Eat smaller meals throughout the day to minimize the metabolic process that creates heat in your body.
7. Take off your shoes. As the sweat on your feet evaporates, it cools the skin and the blood in your feet. Blood vessels then transport that blood to other parts of the body, which can give you a cooling sensation.
8. Shut off the lights. Or you could change the bulbs: long-lasting compact fluorescent bulbs produce about 70 percent less heat than the standard incandescent ones.
9. Make a “cold compress.” Fill a cotton sock with rice, tie the sock with twine, and freeze it for two hours before bedtime. Place the compress on the back of your neck or under your arms. Rice stays cold for a long period because of its starchiness
10. Escape into books about winter. Relax with Winter Garden, The Call of the Wild, Doctor Zhivago, or Smilla’s Sense of Snow. The mind is a powerful thing and you can create a placebo effect by enjoying a good “chilly read”.
One final word of caution: watch out for heatstroke. Heatstroke is an extreme reaction to the heat where your body is struggling to cool itself and it requires immediate treatment. Infants, seniors and those who work outdoors are at greater risk for heatstroke. Be on the lookout for the following symptoms:
If you suspect that you or someone else shows signs of heat stroke, be sure to call 911 immediately.However you choose to spend your summer this year,keep cool and enjoy from all of us here at Las Virgenes Municipal Water District!
After a weirdly wet May, gloomy June and cool July ,August is here and with it, summer! This means hot,dry weather and ramping up our irrigation systems to keep our landscapes thriving in the heat. That means now is the time to tune-up your irrigation system to ensure efficient and effective watering.
Inspecting the operation of your irrigation system is the important first step in an irrigation tune-up. After we identify system deficiencies,we can address them.Follow this by developing and implementing an irrigation schedule that puts back into the soil that amount of water the plants have used, known as evapotranspiration or ETo,and our irrigation systems will be both efficient and effective.
Improving irrigation efficiency is a three step process:
1. Identify irrigation system performance problems.These problems include: broken valves and sprinkler heads, mixed sprinkler heads and nozzles, improper spacing, incorrect system pressure and sprinkler heads sunken, misaligned, blocked or tilted. All these problems result in an inefficient and wasteful irrigation system.
2. Correct the problems. Armed with the knowledge of what needs repairs, you can either correct the problems yourself or direct the work of someone you hire. Check out the LVMWD Pinterest page - pinterest.com/LasVirgenes_MWD - for tips and tutorials on fixing common irrigation issues.
3. Manage your watering times. Now that everything is in good repair, it is time to set your irrigation controller to apply the correct amount of water. A Weather-Based Irrigation Controller (WBIC)takes the guessing out of setting up your schedule. A WBIC will use real time data as well as historical trends and current forecasts to apply the optimal amount of water to the landscape. Also,the LVMWD Simple Irrigation Scheduler will help those setting the schedule themselves get started.
After completing these three steps your irrigation system will be operating more efficiently, saving water and money!
In order to maintain the highest quality water, how many samples and how many tests does LVMWD perform on its water per year?
Send your response to:
The Missing Piece, LVMWD, 4232 Las Virgenes Road, Calabasas, CA 91302, or email 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.
4232 Las Virgenes Road, Calabasas, CA 91302