LTWCA Newsletter - February/March 2007
Water We Doing?
What ARE we doing to prepare for the coming drought of 2007? It may be difficult to think about drought, when outside is cold and rainy, but what we do today could determine how much water we have tomorrow. We all know water has to come from somewhere, and that somewhere is most likely a reservoir, a reservoir that is filled with runoff and emptied by human water use. You can increase the water in the reservoir in two ways: put in more water, or take out less water. I think you understand where this article is heading. Here are ten ideas on how to take out less water:
1. Falling asleep in the shower can cost - An extra five minutes in the shower could mean 25 gal. or more down the drain if you have an old shower head. You can do the math for a year and see how much extra you are using, not just water, but water heating also. The Water District will help pay for replacing old shower heads with 1.5 gal. per minute shower heads.
2. Watch those laundry loads - Most top loaders use 40-50 gal. of water to wash a load of clothes. The new generation of front loaders use much less energy, use much less detergent, leave less detergent residue in your clothes, and spin at higher speeds reducing drying times and drying costs . The Water District , CalWater, and PG&E are all offering separate rebates which you can combine on the most water efficient models. With either washer remember to make every load a full load.
3. Talkin’ toilet trash - Use a trash can instead of your toilet for trash disposal. Do not forget that the Water District (LTCWD) has a generous program to help you replace old toilets with 1.6 gal. flush toilets or to replace a 1.6 gallon per flush toilet with a 1.0 gallon per flush toilet. It is easy to figure out your water savings. Each person on average flushes a toilet 4 times per day. Your old toilet (pre-1991 model) is most likely a 3.5 gal. flush. You can do the math for a year.
4. Leaky faucets and pipes set you back - 15 gal. of water or more can be lost each day with even a very slow drip from just one faucet, irrigation valve, or leaky toilet. The Water District lists directions on how to determine if you have a leak on their web site: see "LTC Water District Board" at www.vistaverdeca.org
5. Automatic dishwashers do not automatically save water - you do, by running it only when you have a full load.
6. Are your faucets running away? - Shut off the faucet while brushing your teeth, peeling vegetables, or between rinsing dishes. Continuously running a faucet strains the septic system and lets clean water go to waste.
7. Thirsty plants and lawns will need less water in the early morning or evening when there is less evaporation. During the dry months landscaping can drink up the majority of our reservoir water use if we are not careful. In the Bay Area the average water use for landscaping is 60%.
8. The natives are NOT restless - Native plants are much more content to live through droughts, need less attention and almost no water once established. See the last Newsletter for some simple guidelines for incorporating them into your landscape.
9. Leave washing to the rain - Sweep or blow driveways and walkways instead of washing them down with water.
10. Take me out to the car wash - Nowadays car washes must recycle their waste water and are very water efficient. If you are washing your car at home, turn off the hose when you are not actually using it. Use soapy water in a bucket to clean, and park your car where the water will soak in and not run down streets or ditches as this will eventually get soap in the creek.
Submitted by Linda Drey-Nightingale, with editing by Stan Gage
Emergency Preparedness News
How long is bottled water good? According to an article from the San Jose Mercury News, Sept. 27, 2006 edition, bottled water can last indefinitely IF stored properly. “The bottled water industry group advises consumers to store bottled water at room temperature (or cooler), out of direct sunlight, and away from solvents and chemicals such as gasoline or paint thinners.’” If your water has any smell, residue at the bottom, or sign of algae growth do not use it. Now is a great time to check on your emergency water supply. Remember to have a three day supply of 1 gallon per person per day.
Emergency Preparedness Team
In January the LTWCA Board sent a letter requesting an update on the status of the zoning proposal from 2003. If you wish further information, contact either Peri Nielsen, 851-9152 or Linda Drey-Nightingale, 851-1787.
Submitted by Linda Drey-Nightingale
The residents of District 1 welcome Bill Schaminghausen who has moved into the cottage at 127 Ramona Road. Bill already considers the "Woods" a perfect retreat as he enjoys cycling, hiking and outdoor activities. He is looking forward to meeting all of his neighbors.
Submitted by Julie Duncan
- A previous Newsletter, Aug./Sept. 2005, had an attachment for GreenCitizen, which is an electronics recycling center. They have moved to 4500 El Camino Real, Los Altos, just north of San Antonio Rd., 650-493-8700. They still accept old phones, TVs, computers, printers, copiers, VCRs, and stereo equipment.
Next Meeting - 7:00 p.m., 14 Mar., 1074 Los Trancos Rd. Agenda includes emergency preparedness and zoning proposal. For minutes of the last meeting, please see the LTWCA Web Site or your District Rep.
Los Trancos Woods Community Association Web Site
The web site address is: The group e-mail list is:
Thanks to Jerry Jensen for maintaining this site AND Thanks to Shan Wang for copying our newsletter.