Friday, October 9, 2015

Groundwater Conservation - Tales of Two Cities

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources reports the communities pumping water from the Prairie du Chien/Jordan Aquifer, may need a new water source in twenty years if water usage continues at its current pace.

Several communities in this region – spanning all of Washington County, and parts of Ramsey and Anoka counties – pump water from the Prairie du Chien/Jordan Aquifer, an underground layer of rock that holds water. The DNR has determined the amount of water in the aquifer is declining and is making groundwater conservation and management a top priority. The DNR is developing a groundwater management area for the region to assist in managing sustainable appropriations from the aquifer.
Woodbury and Shoreview are using different approaches to encourage groundwater conservation.

When can you water your lawn in Woodbury?

To encourage conservation and prevent excessive use of water, the Woodbury City Council has adopted a lawn watering policy that features an odd/even watering schedule, as well as a ban on watering between noon and 5 PM each day. Residents who have even-numbered houses may water lawns on even-numbered calendar days; residents with odd-numbered homes may water on odd-numbered days.

The odd/even schedule is in effect year-round, not just in the summer. Automatic sprinkling systems must be set to comply with both the odd/even schedule and the hours of the day when lawn watering is permitted. The watering policy applies only to lawn watering. There are no restrictions on filling pools or washing cars. Watering of shrubs, flowers or other landscaping vegetation is permitted on a property's non-watering day when done by hand and the watering device is personally tended. However, all landscape watering is prohibited between noon and 5 p.m. each day.

Here’s a link to a lively music video on Woodbury’s website that encourages citizens to adopt this approach to conserving water. 
Shut it Off! A music video from Woodbury . For more information, visit the City of Woodbury's water conservation webpage.

Does your automatic sprinkler turn on even if it's pouring rain? You can prevent that!

Rain sensors are now required on all newly installed sprinkler systems in Woodbury as stated by Minnesota Statute 103G.298 - Landscape Irrigation Systems.

A rain sensor detects when it's raining and shuts off the sprinkler system. They also reduce wear on your irrigation system because it runs only when necessary. Sensors can be purchased from some home improvement stores or from your lawn sprinkler service company. The cost for parts is between $40 and $100. There is an additional charge if professional installation is needed.

The savings in water charges from the use of a rain sensor could pay for its cost in the first season. It's estimated that a rain sensor will save at least 1,225 gallons of irrigation water per household on every rainy day. If a household is in the second tier of water rates ($1.88 per thousand gallons per quarter), the savings is $2.30 per watering event when the rain sensor senses adequate moisture.

Batteries in your rain/moisture sensor should be replaced regularly to ensure proper operation.

If you would like more information about rain sensors, contact your sprinkler supplier, home improvement store, or the Woodbury Public Works Department at 651-714-3720 or email publicworks[at]  *

Attention Shoreview Residents!

Know your Flow to Reduce your Use

How much water do you use on a yearly basis - on a monthly basis - on a weekly basis? Do you know the answers to these questions? Would you like to? If you could know how much water you were using, would it change your behavior?

Shoreview has a history of supporting environmental sustainability and has been a leader in water conservation efforts. Through a grant awarded by the Environment and Natural Resources Trust Fund, the City has an opportunity to take these efforts one step further through a new Community Water Conservation Program.

Neva Widner, Natural Resources Specialist from Shoreview, asked us to pass along this announcement.

The City of Shoreview is looking for volunteers to participate in a two-year water conservation program. This is an easy, new program for residents that can help them reduce water consumption and lower their water bills. Participants will receive a free wireless meter to use in their home which will allow the City to share water use data more frequently and give residents a real-time look into their water consumption.

Volunteers must be Shoreview residents currently living in single family homes. Volunteers simply need to keep the wireless meter in their homes during the two-year program. Volunteers will receive biweekly water usage data, period information from the City regarding program details, and water conservation tips.

Visit the City's website for more information or to sign up as a volunteer.

You can also contact Neva Widner at 651-490-4665 or nwidner[at]*

*  Use the @ symbol in place of [at] for email addresses.  We write it this way so spambots are less likely to detect addresses.

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