Fern Valley Water adopts emergency water resolution: Director’s vacancy — seeking applicants

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Fern Valley Water District adopted a resolution last week limiting the use of water outdoors for irrigation as well as car washing. The action was in response to the recent emergency water regulations the State Water Resources Control Board promulgated.

“Our [current] resolution doesn’t exactly specify the state rule,” said General Manager Steve Erler.

Specifically, the resolution makes it “unlawful for any person to apply potable water to outdoor landscapes in a manner that causes runoff …” or on “driveways and sidewalks.” Outdoor irrigation of ornamental landscapes or turf with potable water will be limited to no more than two days per week.

In addition, to wash a motor vehicle with a hose, the hose must be fitted with a nozzle or other device to prevent dispensing the water when the hose is not in use.

FVWD is currently in a water emergency Stage 1. Erler said if the board elevated the water emergency to either Stage 2 or 3, the district would still not be fully in compliance with the SWRCB rule, which limits irrigation to only two days each week. The board unanimously adopted the resolution 4-0.

In other business, board members received the resignation letter from Director Ron Korman. They agreed to post notices of the board vacancy and hope to make a selection at the September meeting.

Korman was chosen in June 2013 to fill the unexpired term of Diana Johnson who had resigned the previous month. The term for this seat will expire in December 2015. The election for a full four-year term is in August 2015.

Interested individuals may contact the district office or call 951-659-2200. Since FVWD is a state water district, directors must own property within the district.

In other water business, the board approved Erler’s request for a comprehensive leak detection survey. He described several non-surface leaks. American Leak Detection, the contractor, has equipment that can find and identify these leaks.

The board also approved a contract with EL-CO Contractors to complete the tank farm manifold project budgeted for this year. “The project consists of removal and replacement of 50-year-old pipe and valves at the tank farm,” Erler explained.

Additional funding was authorized for removing and disposing of tank no. 5, a 420,000-gallon bolted steel tank that is 50 years old and has been out of service since 2012. Leaks and problems with this tank go back to 2000, according to Erler.

While discussing his operations report, Erler mentioned an Idyllwild Fire Department fire drill using a hydrant near Dogwood had disturbed the water distribution slightly.

When asked if the fire department had alerted him, Erler said, “No.” The board directed Erler to send a letter to Fire Chief Patrick Reitz requesting advance notice of use of hydrants and water district facilities if the use is a not an emergency.

The recent rain has helped slack consumption, Erler said, but the groundwater level of the district’s wells continues to decline.

Through June, water consumption in FVWD has fallen nearly 2 million gallons compared to the first six months of 2013. This is a 12-percent drop. While water consumption for the May/June billing period was 9.7 percent less than a year ago, President Robert Krieger pointed out FVWD’s revenues grew 3.5 percent.

The district ended fiscal year 2013-14 with a $345,000 deficit due to the major pipeline replacement project. Reserves were more than sufficient to offset the loss. Operating costs were about $60,000 less than originally budgeted for the year.

 

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