E-Newsletter May 2009

"Saving water is the start,
if you find it in your heart."
Emanuel Espino
2009 MWDOC Water Conservation Slogan Winner
Emanuel Espino is a 6th Grader at Mattie Lou Maxwell in Anaheim.
Anaheim Gets the (Water Supply) Picture 
Did you know May is Water Awareness Month?

With California in the midst of a multi-year drought and Anaheim already experiencing water supply cutbacks, Water Awareness Month should remind us all of the importance to learn and adopt water saving habits right now.    

However, from a couple of statewide surveys we've seen, this sense of urgency is not shared amongst all customers. In a survey sponsored by the Association of California Water Agencies: 
  • 61% of Californians have "very serious" concerns about water supply
  • 85% of Californians are willing to make significant changes to reduce water use by 20%
While in a statewide survey sponsored by the California Municipal Utilities Association:
  • 37% said the water situation was a "mild drought"
  • 36% said the water supply situation was "normal"
  • 8% said that there was "plentiful" supply
These surveys indicate there is a lot of work to do in California to build water awareness. However, in Anaheim, this is NOT the case.
In this edition of the Water Pipeline, we highlight great examples of Anaheim customers actively working to become more efficient water users, including:
  • A large customer who we helped to save millions of gallons of water and thousands from his water bill.
  • Students who are forming water-wise habits for a lifetime and encouraging others to do the same.
  • Customers who help us to reduce water use through their eyewitness reports.
And the result? As of April 30, 2009, Anaheim customers have already reduced their annual water consumption by 972 million gallons. That beats our goal to save 950 million gallons by June 30, 2009! To our customers, we thank you for your continued efforts during and after Water Awareness Month.
Marcie L. Edwards
Anaheim Public Utilities General Manager 
APU Helps Customer Cut Water Bill by $76,000

What would you do if you were responsible for keeping 100 acres of landscape green in a 2,300 home neighborhood during a multi-year drought? Some would say, "Forget the flowers and plants, we're in a drought!" However, besides neighborhood pride, this landscaping was integral to maintaining home values for thousands of residents.  

That was the dilemma confronting Paul Beckman, Board of Director and Treasurer, of the Anaheim Hills Planned Community - the largest homeowner's association in Anaheim.  

At Anaheim Public Utilities (APU), it's our business to help customers like Paul find solutions to tough problems like these.

HOA SavingsTo his credit, Paul had already done some research of his own on Smartimer irrigation systems that "smartly" water landscape based on weather conditions and plant needs. What he needed was advice to pick the best Smartimer for his needs and a little financial help to make the investment.

To assist Paul, APU enlisted the expertise of the city's Parks division to select the right Smartimer system. We then helped him to secure $70,000 in rebates from the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California to offset the cost of this water-saving investment. All told, this project led to the following:   

  • 45 Smartimers and 600 control stations were installed throughout the Anaheim Hills Planned Community.
  • Since 2006 water use fell by 35%.
  • 16 months was all it took for the timers and controllers to pay for themselves in water bill savings.
  • From 2006 to 2008, their annual water bill fell from $184,000 to $108,000.

If you are a large water user and want to learn more about saving both water and money, please click here.

Anaheim Student Recognized in Poster Contest
Edgar Paz, a 5th grader at Hansen Elementary school, joined 29 other Orange County students as winners in the 2009 Poster and Slogan Contest.

Water poster winner

The contest, sponsored by the Municipal Water District of Orange County, drew over 1,600 entries. Edgar and his teacher, Mrs. Elyse Wasserman, will be invited to a special awards ceremony on May 20, 2009 at the Discovery Science Center.

During the month of May, Anaheim Public Utilities will recognize all student finalists from Anaheim during a pre-game ceremony at Angel Stadium.

Congratulations Edgar!
To see the other entries submitted by Anaheim students that were selected as contest finalists, go here.
Customer Reports Help Anaheim Save Water
Over the last few months, we've been encouraging our customers to report water waste online via Anaheim Anytime or calling 311. In return for these eyewitness reports, we pledged to diligently fix the problem or leave a friendly reminder. Here are a few examples where we were able to help our customers:

"Excessive water use by tenants of trailer park.  Tenants have been seen hosing walkways and driveways."
Reported: 1/29/09
Completed: 2/2/09
Action Taken: Conservation doorhangers delivered to area
Customer Comment: "It's very satisfying to know that my City not only asks, but responds to the "average" resident's ideas and concerns.  Makes me even prouder than I am, of Anaheim."
Customer Ratings: Effectiveness-Good, Time to Respond-Superior, Courtesy-Superior, Expectations-Exceeded

"One of the sprinkler heads seems to be missing, as water is shooting up in the air every morning as I drive to work.  The sprinkler is located next to the sidewalk in the planter in front of the Anaheim Hills Fire Station on Nohl Ranch Road."
Reported: 4/16/09
Completed: 4/17/09
Action Taken: Fixed sprinkler
Customer Comment: "The following day the sprinkler was fixed...thank you."
Customer Ratings: Effectiveness-Superior, Time to Respond-Superior, Courtesy-Superior, Expectations-Exceeded

However, we aren't always perfect. For example:

"My neighbors landlord refuses to fix a broken sprinkler that continuously spews out water around 11:15 pm. This problem has continued for two months and nothing has been done to fix it. I hope someone can help and respond to this needless waste of water as soon as possible..."
Reported: 3/29/09
Completed: 4/8/09
Action Taken: We informed the landlord of the situation. However, in this case, we could not require the landlord to fix the sprinkler because the leak did not appear to create a health hazard or hazard in the public right of way.
Customer Comment: "I appreciated how quickly you responded to my complaint but was greatly disapointed that no other action was able to be taken. We are in a state of emergency due to drought and I cannot understand why other options could not be offered."
Customer Ratings: Effectiveness-Average, Time to Respond-Good, Courtesy-Average, Expectations-Below

Overall, customer response has been positive to both submitting and receiving water waste reports. It is this refreshing spirit of cooperation that makes Anaheim such a great city for us to serve.

To report water waste, go here.
Anaheim Students Shine @ 2009 Solar Cup

Anaheim Public Utilities (APU) had the privilege of sponsoring three student teams from Anaheim high schools in the 2009 Solar Cup competition held at Lake Skinner on May 15-17. While our Anaheim teams usually put up a strong showing, success shined brighter on all of our teams this year as:

  • Canyon High School took first place in the Veteran Team division
  • Savanna High School earned first place in the Rookie Team division
  • Anaheim High School won the Bart Beziak Memorial Spirit of Solar Cup Trophy for sportsmanship     
This is the seventh annual Solar Cup competition which is held by the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California. APU congratulates all of our student participants.
Pictured below: The 2009 Solar Cup team from Savanna High School.

Solar Cup 2009

In This Issue
Anaheim Gets the Picture
Customer Cuts Water Bill by $76,000
Anaheim Student Wins Water Poster Contest
Customer Reports Save Water
Anaheim Shines @ 2009 Solar Cup
Water Rebate Alert!
How do we know that southern California has been taking the drought seriously?

Residential, business, and public sector demand for cash rebates to offset the cost of water-saving devices has exceed MWD's (Metropolitan Water District of Southern California) $40 million water conservation budget for the 2009 fiscal year. 

What does this mean for Anaheim Public Utilities (APU) residential water customers?
APU is allocating additional funds for residential customer rebates for the purchase of clothes washers, toilets, weather based irrigation controllers, rotating nozzles, and synthetic turf. We will provide updated information shortly on how to apply for the rebates. In the meantime, please contact us if you have any questions.
For residential customers who have already submitted a rebate application to MWD, you can check the status of your application by calling 888-376-3314.

We thank our customers for taking an active role to be efficient water users, and we apologize for the inconvenience.
Winner Selected for APU's Water Conservation Student Video Contest!

Congratulations to Samuel Anaya of Anaheim High School for submitting the winning video in our inaugural Water Conservation Video Contest. 

Anaheim Public Utilities will showcase Samuel's video as a public service announcement on Anaheim's cable channel 3 and website, as well as the next edition of this e-newsletter. Look for it soon!  

For his achievement, Samuel will receive a MacBook laptop computer. 

Water Conservation
Programs Scoreboard

Cash back to customers: $361,608

Water saved: 69.2 million gallons/year 

Energy saved: 844,642 kilowatt-hours/ year

CO2 reduced: 1.4 million lbs/year 

(Program results: Jul-Dec 2008)

Anaheim Water Supply
Anaheim's water supply is in Moderate Condition.
Weather conditions are dry and there are slight cut backs to our total water supply. Response level is: Voluntary Conservation Measures.
Water Savings Report

Water save

Congratulations Anaheim. You beat our water savings target for 2009 by 2 months and 22 million gallons, by saving 972 million gallons as of April 30, 2009. The water savings target was 950 million gallons by June 30, 2009.   
Save Water Anaheim!
Catch APU on YouTube!

Water Conservation YT

Tree Power YT

Water to Anaheim

For Your Home YT
Leave a Friendly Reminder
If you spot water waste, please let us know and we'll send a friendly reminder to the home  or business that you think may be the source of the water waste. Call 311 from any Anaheim based landline, (714) 765-4311 from your cell phone, or click here to submit your request.  
Anaheim Anytime logoAnaheim AlertNeighborhood Toolbox logo
City services online and on-demand. You can also call 311 for City information.