California Natives: Smart and Good-Looking: Tips to Save Money and Water
Los Angeles County / Waterworks Districts’ Quarterly Newsletter District 29 & District 80 FALL 2007California Natives: FREESmart and Good-Looking Water-UseLandscaping your yard and garden with According to the Theodore Payne Foun- EvaluationCalifornia native plants is a smart alter- dation, Fall is the best time of year to Save Water and Moneynative for residents who want to have plant most natives, especially such wa-a beautiful garden and save water and ter sensitive plants as wooly blue curls Do you want to do your part tomoney. These plants—such as native li- (Trichostema lanatum), wild lilac (Cean- save water, but you’re not surelac, California redbud, buckwheat, vari- othus species), and flannel bush (Fre- how? The Los Angeles County Wa-ous sages, coffeeberry, Douglas Iris, deer montodendron species), and to sow na- terworks Districts (Districts) offergrass, junipers, and penstemmons—are tive wildflower seeds. For plants, make customers free in-home water-already growing in their native environ- sure you dig a good hole, fill it with wa- use evaluations that can help youment and are adapted to local weather ter, let it drain, place the plant with care, identify leaks, check your sprinklerand soil condi- backfill with good system for problems, and providetions. Using native soil, and water and install free water-saving de-or drought-tolerant again. For seeds, vices such as faucet aerators andplants not only rough up the soil low-flow shower heads.saves water, but surface, sow yoursaves you main- seeds, and water. Customers (including businessestenance time and You don’t need to and institutions) can request aproduces a habitat add any cover soil; water audit and a District repre-for native birds, the seeds will do just fine. sentative will visit the home tobeneficial insectsand wildlife. identify areas where water is being Many native wasted, provide a customized out-And with today’s plants require door watering schedule and evalu-emphasis on water more water than ate what each household can doconservation and usual in the first to save water and bring water billsenvironmental pro- year to get estab- down. These surveys help peopletection, attitudes Photo courtesy of The Metropolitan Water lished, but once find sources of waste they never District of Southern California.toward having a they do they need knew existed in their own homeslarge, traditional very little mainte- and help the Districts save muchlawn are changing. The trend is to elimi- nance. Visit http://www.theodorepayne. needed water.nate lawns or reduce their size. Many org/ or http://www.bewaterwise.com/residents have removed the lawn from for more information and planting tips. FREE water Survey!their front yard which were used primari- And remember, California natives arely for decoration, and kept a smaller lawn economical, environmentally-friendly, Call (888) 987-9473in the back yard. Replacing lawn with and make for a good-looking garden. today for a free in-home,other types of landscaping is a great op- water-use evaluation to showportunity to try out native and drought- you easy ways to save watertolerant plants. and money.
Tips to Save Frequently Asked Questions ABOUT FLUORIDATION Money and Water The Districts purchases the water we provide to Malibu, Topanga and Marina del Rey from the West Basin Municipal Water District. West Basin is a member agency of the Metropolitan Water District (MWD). Beginning October 2007, all water provided by MWD in 1 Adjust your sprinklers. Up to 70 percent of resi- Southern California will be fluoridated. The following information dential water use goes to maintaining our yards. Try taking a minute or two off the timer. should be helpful in answering any questions you may have about this change.2 Check your system. Do a weekly check for bro- What is water fluoridation? ken or clogged sprinkler heads and replace them right away. Make sure you are watering your yard Fluoride is a naturally occurring mineral found to be beneficial for and not the driveway or sidewalk. teeth. Water fluoridation is when fluoride is added to tap water to levels that will reduce tooth decay.3 Fix those leaks. Just a drip can waste more than 10,000 gallons per month. A leaking flapper on a What are the benefits of fluoridated water? toilet also increases flows at the water treatment More than 50 years of scientific research indicate that people con- plant. suming water with fluoride have healthier teeth and fewer cavities. Community water fluoridation is supported by the American Medi-4 Plant native species or drought-tolerant cal Association, American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, Centers plants. Many of the lawns and plants we use are for Disease Control and World Health Organization. not intended for the unique climate in Southern California. Visit your local nursery and ask for na- Is fluoridated water harmful to me? tive plants that work well in your area. No, fluoridated water is not harmful in the concentration required for improved dental health. The concentration of fluoride in your5 Use a broom instead of a hose. Sweeping up water will be well below the limit set by the California Department rather than hosing off leaves or grass clippings not of Health Services and Environmental Protection Agency. If liquid only saves water, it reduces runoff. concentrate or powdered infant formula is the primary source of nutrition for an infant in your household or if you use home kidney6 Get an adjustable hose nozzle for outdoor dialysis equipment, please consult your physician for recommenda- use. That way you can adjust the spray to meet tions. your needs. A hose running for five minutes uses the same amount of water as a 20-minute shower. What if I am concerned about fluoride in my water? There is no reason to be concerned about the fluoride in your water. At the low levels that will be added, the fluoride is not harmful and provides dental health benefits. For more information on fluoride, please visit the following website: http://www.mwdh2o.com/fluoridation/index.html or call the MWD Water Quality Information Line at (800) 354-4420. Let Us Know To report water leaks or nuisance water running into the street, call (310) 456-6621 County of Los Angeles Please provide an address Department of Public Works or general location for our P.O. Box 1460 Waterworks crews to investigate. Alhambra, CA 91802-1460 Mission: “To provide reliable, Phone: (626) 300-3362 high-quality water and service Email: email@example.com at a reasonable cost to all of our customers.” www.lacwaterworks.org