Welcome to Milner-Villa Consulting, LLC

Technical Information

Recycled Water

Brad Milner prepared a summary of current and projected recycled water production in Ventura County for the Association of Water Agencies of Ventura County (2009).  Conclusions included the following:

Wastewater generated in Ventura County (2009):  89,300 AFY

Recycled water used in Ventura County (2009):  16,700 AFY 


Anticipated wastewater generated in Ventura County (2020-2030):  137,700 AFY


Anticipated recycled water used in Ventura County (2020-2030):  71,300 AFY.


See attached file for further details.

Water Conservation

General Information

Visit these sites for additional water conservation information for your specific area:


Ventura County - ventura.watersavingplants.com

Santa Barbara County - www.SBwater.org

Los Angeles area - www.bewaterwise.com

Other CA areas - www.saveourh2o.org

Other US areas - www.epa.gov/watersense


CIMIS

For local CIMIS information: http://www.cimis.water.ca.gov/


Residential Indoor Tips

In the kitchen:

1) Check all faucets and pipes for leaks.  Even a small drip wastes more than 1,500 gallons a month.

2) When purchasing a dishwasher, consider a water-efficient model.


3) Use your dishwasher for full loads only. Every load uses about 15 gallons (older models up to 25 gallons, newer models 10 gallons).


4) Scrape, don't rinse, your dishes before loading in the dishwasher.


5) If you wash dishes by hand, don't leave the water running for rinsing.


6) Steam, rather than boil your vegetables whenever possible (steaming reduces loss of nutrients). Use a tight lid on the pot, and as little water as possible.  You can reuse the water from steaming/boiling in sauces and soups.  Or after the water cools to room temperature, you can reuse this water for indoor/outdoor plants.

7) Check faucets and pipes for leaks (including automatic ice makers and dishwasher hoses).

8) Use your garbage disposal sparingly and start composting your kitchen waste. Use the disposal only at the end of cooking or cleanup periods, or when full.  

9) Thaw frozen food in the refrigerator or microwave, not under running water.

10) Don't let the faucet run while you clean vegetables. Instead rinse them in a sinkful of clean water.  Collect the water you use for rinsing produce and reuse it to water houseplants.

11) Keep a bottle of drinking water in the refrigerator, so you won't have to run the tap to cool it.

12) Installing a hot water on-demand system can save hot water, if the kitchen and bathroom are far from the water heater.

13) Remove ice cubes from the freezer a few minutes before you need the ice.  The cubes will loosen at room temperature and will save several quarts of water if they are not run under the tap.

In the laundry:

1) Use your washing machine for full loads only.  Approximately 20% of all water used in the home is used in the washing machine.  Many models use up to 60 gallons per load.  For washers with variable settings for water volume, select the minimum amount required per load.  This can save more than 600 gallons per month.  

2) If load size cannot be set, operate the washer with full loads only.

3) Use the shortest wash cycle for lightly soiled loads; normal and permanent press wash cycles use more water.

4) Soak/pretreat stains to avoid rewashing laundry.

5) Check hoses regularly for leaks.

6)  Front-loading horizontal-axis machines use 1/3 less water than top-loading vertical-access machines.  The standard top-loader uses from 35-55 gallons per load, whereas a front load unit will use from 25-30 gallons per load.  As well as saving water, the front-loading machines also save energy.  Front-loading machines currently cost more than the U.S. standard top-loading models, but the price will continue to fall as they become more available and the demand increases.

7) Use a low-sudsing, biodegradable detergent that will result in cleaner rinse water which can be used again in the laundry, or used outdoors to irrigate many types of plants.


In the bathroom:

1) Check bathroom faucets and pipes for leaks. Replace leaky drain plugs in sinks and bathtubs.

2) About 45% of a household's total water consumption takes place in the bathroom: 27% of indoor per capita water use is attributed to the toilet, 2% is used by the bath, and 20% is used by the shower (SBwater.org).


3) The toilet is the biggest water user in the house, older toilet models use up to 5 gallons of water with every flush. Don't use the toilet as an ashtray or wastebasket.  Check your toilet for leaks. Put a few drops of food coloring in your toilet tank. If the coloring begins to appear in the toilet bowl without flushing, you have a wasteful leak that should be repaired at once. Even a small leak can waste thousands of gallons a month.

4) Put a plastic container or toilet dam in your tank to reduce flush water. This displaces some of the space normally taken by water, yet still allows normal flushing.  Put an inch or two of sand or pebbles in the bottom of a quart or larger container and fill the rest of the container with water. Put the cap on and place the bottle in your toilet tank, safely away from the operating mechanism. The container will save on each flush without impairing the efficiency of the toilet. DO NOT use a brick in your toilet tank - it may disintegrate and cause problems in your lines.

5) Consider buying an approved ultra-low-flush toilet which uses only 1.6 instead of 3.5 to 5 gallons per flush.

6) Install a water-saving shower head. Many water agencies offer them for free. Call your local water agency for further details. Or check your hardware or plumbing supply store for an inexpensive shower head that's easy to install and still gives you a cleansing and refreshing shower.


7) 
Installing a low flow showerhead with a shut-off valve can save lots of water.  The shower accounts for approximately 20% of indoor water use, and 30% to 40% of hot water use.

8) In the shower, a lot of water can be wasted while soaping up.
 Wet down, turn off the water, soap up, and the turn the water on for rinsing.  This will save up to 500 gallons per month for family of 4).

9) Set a timer, and keep the shower hot for every family member.
 Shortening your shower by five minutes can save 20 to 40 gallons of water per shower.  Take shorter showers. Save up to 5 - 10 gallons for every minute you cut back (up to 1,000 gallons per month for family of 4).

10) Install instant water heaters in bathrooms and in the kitchen so you don't have to let the water run while it heats up.

11) Keep tub baths to a minimum. Bathe in a partially-filled tub (minimal water level at 12 gallons).

12) Reuse Bath Water.  Try washing both of your youngsters in the same tub of water if they are not too dirty. This saves water and can be fun for the kids.  Re-use bath water for plants and for heavy cleaning jobs.

13) Install water-saving showerheads or low-flow faucet restrictors. Inexpensive showerheads and faucet restrictors are available at the hardware store and are easy to install.

14) Turn off the water while brushing your teeth and save up to 3 gallons each brushing (up to 200 gallons per week for a family of 4).

15) Turn off the water while you're shaving.  Before shaving just fill the sink with a little warm water and rinse your razor. You can save up more than 100 gallons per week.  This will rinse the blade just as well use less water.


16) Use a wastebasket, not the toilet, to dispose of trash.


17) Avoid using hot water when cold water will do.

 

Residential Outdoor Tips

Landscaping:

1) Water your lawn deeply and less frequently.

2) Adjust sprinklers to water the lawn, not the pavement.

3) Water early in the morning or late in the evening.

4) Repair leaks immediately.

5) Water your lawn when it shows it needs it. Stressed grass is wilted, doesn't spring up after you walk on it, and bends lengthwise. You can also use the touch test to see if your plant needs watering. Poke your finger into the soil about 1/2-inch down. If the soil feels relatively dry, it's time to water.

6) Lawns only need about one-half to three-fourths inch of water at a time. Determine how much and how evenly water is being applied by your sprinkler system.  Place empty tuna cans around your yard when the sprinkler is on.  This will measure the water output of your sprinklers and determine if they fill at the same rate. 

7) Avoid runoff by using multiple water times per day if applicable.

8) To avoid loss of sprinkler water by strong winds, water on calm days.

9) Avoid overwatering. If runoff occurs, stop watering immediately. Adjust automatic sprinklers and/or select proper nozzles to minimize runoff.

10) Check sprinkler systems and timing devices regularly to make sure they are working right. Watch for broken or misdirected sprinklers, and repair or readjust them promptly.

11) Drip irrigation is the most efficient method of watering shrubs, trees, and plant beds. It minimizes water evaporation, impedes weed growth, sends water directly to plants' roots.

12) Soaker hoses are an inexpensive alternative to drip irrigation.

13) Place your sprinkler so that its water spray will overlap the area previously watered.

14) Adjust the hose or sprinkler until it waters just the grass or shrubs, not paved areas.

15) When landscaping, group plants together that use the same amount of water and sunlight.

16) Choose "unthirsty" plants that need less water to grow. Your local neighborhood garden store can tell you which plants are drought-resistant and require very little water. Many plants and shrubs fall into this category.

17) Deep penetration through soaking is more effective for most of your lawn. Several light sprinklings may be more useful on slopes and hilly areas.

18) If you don't have an automatic timer on your sprinkler, use a kitchen timer to remind you to turn off the water.

19) Place pots in pans a little larger than their bottoms, and fill half of the pans so that plants can draw water from the moisture in the soil via the pan.

20) Use mulch or grass clippings around plant bases to retain moisture and control weeds, and save hundreds of gallons every year.

21) While fertilizers promote plant growth, they also increase water consumption. Apply the minimum amount of fertilizer needed, use fertilizer only when necessary, and use fertilizers that contain slow-release, water-insoluble forms of nitrogen.

22) Use pesticides only when needed and just on affected areas.

23) Do not apply fertilizer when more than 1 inch of rainfall is predicted in the next 48 hours.

24) Leaching and runoff of nutrient-contaminated water may occur.

25) Cut your grass at the highest recommended height for your turf species, or the highest setting on your lawn mower.

26) Keep mower blades sharp. Dull blades tear grass, opening it to disease, and causing it to appear tan and ragged.

27) Leave short grass clippings where they fall, reducing the lawn's need for water and fertilizer, but be sure to remove thick patches of clippings so that the clippings will not kill the grass underneath.

28) Soft, wet spots on your lawn could indicate an underground leak. Contact your plumber or your landscape maintenance person if repairs are needed.

29) Choose water-efficient drip irrigation for your trees, shrubs, and flowers. Watering at the roots is highly effective, so be careful not to overwater

30) Next time you add or replace a flower or shrub, choose a low water-use plant for year-round landscape color and save up to 550 gallons each year

31) Set a timer when watering your lawn or garden with a hose.

32) Adjust your watering schedule to the season. Water your summer lawn every third day and your winter lawn every fifth day (location dependent).

33) Refrain from irrigating the lawn and garden during precipitation events.

34) Make sure hose connections are tight in order to prevent water loss.


Around your house:

1) Don't use a hose to clean your sidewalk, patio, or driveway. Use a broom or rake for cleaning, and save hundreds of gallons of water.

2) Use a pail and sponge instead of a running hose to wash your car. Or, use a hose nozzle that shuts off water when you are not wetting or rinsing the car and save more than 100 gallons per wash.

3) Check all faucets, hoses and connectors periodically for leaks and to make sure they are in good working order. Make sure faucets are closed when not in use. If you do find a leaky faucet, change the washer – after turning off the shutoff valve.

4) If you have a pool/spa, consider a new water-saving pool filter.

5) Cover your spa/pool to reduce evaporation.

6) Keep your pool/hot tub water level low to minimize splashing out of the unit.

7) Check your pool/spa system's shutoff valve. If the water level stays higher than normal and it overflows when people are using it, call your plumber.

7) Avoid purchasing recreational water toys that require a constant stream of water.

8) Avoid the installation of ornamental water features (such as fountains) unless the water is recycled.

9) Use commercial carwashes (which recycle water).

10) Teach your children to conserve water too.  Few things are more cheerful than the sound of children playing under a hose or sprinkler on a hot day.  Unfortunately, there are also few things more wasteful of our precious water.

 


In public and recreational areas:

1) Take short showers when using public facilities at the park or beach, and turn off the taps securely when you are done.

2) Turn off the faucet after using public washroom facilities.

3) Report leaks in fire hydrants, plumbing, or other public facilities so they can be repaired.



Commercial/Industrial/Institutional Tips

A.  General

Establish a Water Conservation Program

1) Establish a water conservation plan for your business and look for opportunities to cut water use.  Water, like electricity, costs money and using it wisely can reduce the amount you spend. 

2) Place someone in charge of your conservation program, making it part of their regular duty.

3) Set conservation goals, and encourage your employees to do their part.


Get Creative

1) Use visual tools like charts and graphs to highlight water savings to employees.

2) Mention water conservation plans and progress in staff meetings.

3) Use communication tools like bulletins, newsletters and e-mails to send staff water saving ideas, announcements, progress reports and news of special achievements.


Involve Your Employees

1) Teach water awareness to your employees.  Many companies have posted signs throughout their facilities, which help to create an awareness of water conservation among employee

2) Include water conservation policies and procedures in staff training programs.

3) Seek employee suggestions on water conservation; locate suggestion boxes in prominent areas.

4) Conduct contests for employees (e.g., posters, slogans, or conservation ideas).

 

Provide Incentives for Reduced Water Use

1) Creating competition among employees (for instance, establishing which work shift can use the least amount of water) is another idea.  Once employees start thinking about their water use, water consumption usually decreases.

2) You can also create an incentive to save water by linking water conservation to staff performance reviews.

 

Get Familiar With Your Water Use

1) Know where your water gets used.  It is important to know how much water is being used each of your firm's industrial processes and/or domestic needs.

2) Monitor your water bills to how you're doing and to identify target areas for conservation.

 

Use Recycled Water Where Possible

1) Don't use or install ornamental water features unless they recycle water.

2) Contact your local water agency and ask about availability of recycled water for nonpotable uses.

 

Outside Your Building

Use an Automatic Sprinkler System

1) You can waste a great deal of water in a short amount of time by leaving landscape sprinklers on longer than necessary.

 

Go Native

1) When landscaping, consider using native trees, plants, and grasses. Often they are better suited to our climate, need less water to survive and can provide habitat for wildlife.

 

Check Your System for Leaks

1) Learn to read your water meter.  It's simple.  Your local water provider can guide you through this very important procedure.  Leaks can be detected by having a periodic shutdown of a water-using facilities and reading the water meter at intervals of the shutdown.  If any movement of the meter dials occurs, water is leaking.  If a leak is located, repair it as soon possible.

 

Inside Your Building

Install Low Flow Devices

1) If you have an older style toilet, you could be using up to 40% of your indoor water use in toilet flushing.  Older model toilets will use between 3.5 and 7 gallons per flush.  Ultra Low-Toilets (ULFTs) are proven technology and only use 1.6 gallons per flush.

2) Most ULFTs models work very well with no special problems.  Contact your local water agency for suggestions on ULFT models.  Often they out perform the old style toilets that they are replacing.  A high quality ULFT can be purchased for approximately $100-$150.

3) Equip all showering facilities with low-flow showerheads.  Showerheads with on-off valves provide the opportunity to conserve more water than those without valves.  Similar measures should be taken for all faucet fixtures.


Upgrade to Water Efficient Equipment

1) As you replace the equipment in your building, be aware of how much water the new equipment will use.  Equipment manufacturers are becoming more aware of the need for water conservation and are designing pieces of equipment that require less water.  

2) Examine all of the possibilities.  You may find that you have a choice in your purchase of equipment and water conservation could well be a determining factor in the selection process.


Check Your Toilets for Leaks

1) Put a few drops of food coloring in the tank.  If the coloring begins to appear in the bowl without flushing, you have a leak that should be repaired immediately.  Even a small leak can waste thousands of gallons a month.

 

B.  Commercial Buildings

Cafeteria Area

1) Turn off the continuous flow used to clean the drain trays.

2) Turn dishwasher off when not in use.  Wash full loads only.

3) Use water from steam tables to wash down cooking area.

4) Do not use running water to melt ice or frozen foods.  If necessary, use ponded water.

5) Use water-conserving ice makers.

 

Building Maintenance

1) Check the water supply system for leaks.

2) Turn off any unnecessary flows.

3) Repair dripping faucets, showers and continuously running or leaking toilets.

4) Install faucet aerators where possible.

5) Reduce the load on air conditioning units by shutting off air conditioning when and where not needed.

6) Install ultra low flow toilets.  You can also reduce the water used in toilet flushing by either adjusting the vacuum flush mechanism or installing toilet tank displacement devices (dam, bottles, or bags).

7) As appliances or fixtures wear out, replace them with water-saving models.

8) Shut off water supply to equipment rooms not in use.

9) Minimize the water used in cooling equipment in accordance with manufacturers recommendations. Shut off cooling units when not needed.

 

Exterior Areas

1) Inventory outdoor water use for landscaped areas.

2) Water landscapes only when needed; two-to-three times a week is usually sufficient.

3) Time watering, when possible, to occur in the early morning or evening when evaporation lowest.

4) Sweep off sidewalks, driveways, and parking lots with a broom or motorized sweeper. Do not hose off!!

5) Use controllers on sprinkler systems.

6) Do not water on windy days.


[more commercial/institutional/industrial tips soon]

Agricultural Tips

[coming soon]

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