Effective March 1, customers who build new rain-capture barrels for non-potable water or customers who expand their existing systems may apply for rebates following the Fern Valley Water District (FVWD) Board of Directors’ unanimous approval of the new program at Friday’s meeting.
Rebates are based on capacity and will be credited to a customer’s account. Each rebate application requires a FVWD staff on-site inspection to ensure non-potable water does not flow back into the FVWD potable system.
These are the rebates offered:
• $50: 50-149 gallons
• $100: 150-249 gallons
• $150: 250-999 gallons or greater
The program allows up to $250 rebate per customer. Even though it appears the maximum amount is only $150, an increase can occur if a customer expands their system and returns for another rebate.
Visit the FVWD office for more information or call 951-659-2200.
FVWD has offered a high-efficiency toilet rebate program at $150 per toilet since 2008. However, since the standard for most new toilets today is high-efficiency, the board decided to focus its conservation efforts on the rain-capture barrel program. At least three of the five directors have these programs in place for personally watering outdoor plants.
The board unanimously voted to immediately cancel the toilet rebate program at the meeting. The $750 still in the conservation program will remain there, despite some directors’ objections, since the board would have to amend the budget to move it somewhere else. The new budget goes into effect in less than six months.
In December 2021, directors urged General Manager (GM) Victor Jimenez to get timers installed on as many well pumps as possible to shut them off during the peak hours of 4 to 9 p.m. to save electricity costs. Jimenez said he expects to install most of the timers this week. He is still waiting for estimates on two wells, 13 and 14. In December, he reported that the timers may cost between $300 and $500 each to install.
FVWD paid about $3,565 in November 2021 for electricity to Southern California Edison. It paid about $3,013 in January 2022 as groundwater became more abundant and the district shut down its wells.
In his GM’s report to the board, he showed groundwater usage at 55% in January 2021 compared to only 8% in January 2021. He also showed that well levels are higher than last year. As to Director Jon Brown’s question as to why that is, Jimenez said, “We’re both using the plant and getting more groundwater.”
Also in December, the board voted to replace the engine in a 2016 F250 diesel vehicle that had a faulty repair resulting in engine damage. Jimenez told the board FVWD could sell it next summer for $40,000 but it isn’t worth much now. The board voted to replace the engine for no more than $20,000. Bonneau abstained.
Jimenez had the engine replaced for just under $18,000. He said the truck is running great but he still wants to know what caused the damage. “They’re going to tear off the head from the old engine to find out,” he told the board.
Now that FVWD has replaced 47 fire hydrants, the old hydrants with 4-inch connections are just taking up space.
Director Walt Bonneau suggested selling them. He thought Pine Cove Water District might be interested and he also said San Diego County is interested.
He said a new hydrant costs about $3,000 and suggested FVWD sell each for $750.