Preparing for rain this winter

Preparing for rain this winter

While a typical San Diego rainstorm drops about 0.6” of rain, most of this water runs off into our storm drains, creeks and watersheds which can be overloaded and cause the damage and flooding that we are all familiar with.

One of the best things you can do is to slow the flow and take advantage of whatever rain we get during these events. Here are some quick projects that you can do to protect your home, save water and make sure that rainwater is put to its maximum use.

How to Harvest Rainwater

Aerate compacted soils
Aeration helps loosen up the soil so that more oxygen and water can move into the soil. This increases the amount of water that can be absorbed by the landscape rather than puddling or running off.

Clean out your rain gutters and filters
Clearing the gutters of debris will ensure that rainwater will be diverted to the basins, tanks, and the drains that it was intended to go in. Also, clogged gutters can cause damage to your rain gutters or flooding to your home.

Protect home and utility lines from vegetation
Late fall is a good time to trim and prune back plants because plants have slowed their growth from the diminishing sunlight. Trim back any vegetation that could cause damage if it were to fall or break during a storm.

Mulch exposed soil
Mulching helps protect the soil from being directly struck by raindrops which would cause erosion. Mulch areas 3” -4” deep and keep mulch 4” – 5” away from the trunks of any trees or shrubs. This layer of mulch will also help choke out weeds and reduce water evaporation in the soil throughout the year.

Rain Barrel

Get a Rebate on Rain Barrels
Rebates are available for Rain Barrels (50 gallons) and Cisterns (over 200 gallons) that store rainwater for a later use. Visit for more info!

Install a rain catchment basin
We offer classes on sustainable landscapes that slow the flow and maximize the use of rain. If you can’t attend one of our classes please check out the videos on demand series to learn about these functional water saving landscapes.

Rain Garden

Colorado is a lot like California

Colorado is a lot like California

Photo: Mt. Evans Scenic Byway in Colorado, the highest paved road in North America. (CBS Denver)

In California, 70 percent of the water is in the northern half of the state and 70 percent of the people live in the southern half.

In Colorado, 80 percent of the water is west of the Continental Divide and 80 percent of the people live on the eastern side.

Both states built massive engineering projects decades ago to move the water where it was needed. Today, both states face opposition to plans to improve their water storage capacity and conveyance systems.

Read Colorado River Journey: The Past and Future of Water Use


Happy Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving

On behalf of all of us at Helix Water District,
I want to wish you a Thanksgiving filled with the happiness
of good friends and the joy of family.

Carlos V. Lugo
General Manager

Do good on Black Friday – buy gifts for Toys for Tots

Do good on Black Friday – buy gifts for Toys for Tots

Going shopping on Black Friday to get the lowest prices of the year?  Do good — buy gifts for less fortunate families.

Drop off your gifts at Helix’s Administration Office over the next few weeks — up to December 21st — and we’ll deliver them to the Marine Corps Toys for Tots Program.  On Christmas, Marine Corps coordinators will work with local churches and social welfare agencies to distribute the gifts to families in and around East County.

Our Toys for Tots collection box will be in the lobby of our Administration Office at 7811 University Avenue in La Mesa. We’re open from 8:30am to 5:00pm, Monday through Friday. Wondering what to buy? Here are some helpful answers from the Marine Corps:

Q: Is there a list of toys available to help me?
Toys for Tots does not publish a list of appropriate toys to donate.  If such a list were created, most would follow it, resulting in a limited selection of items to distribute in each community.  We would rather our donors consider what might be an appropriate gift for their own child/relative, purchase the item, and donate to Toys for Tots.

Q: Shopping for pre-teens and teens is especially difficult.  Do you have any ideas?
The Foundation does purchase supplemental toys/gifts for our campaign sites and focuses on these age groups.  In the past, items purchased for these groups have included, but are not limited to:  sporting equipment/bags/balls; books, backpacks, cosmetics, purses, watch/wallet gift sets, bath gift sets, board games, radio control cars/trucks, hand-held electronics, skateboards/helmets, curling irons, hair straighteners, and hair dryers.

Q: Are there toys or gifts that are not accepted?
Toys for Tots prefers not to accept realistic looking weapons and gifts with food.  If donated, such items will NOT be distributed.

Q: Should I gift wrap my donated toy?
Toys must be new and unwrapped.

Thank you, in advance, to all of those who donate.


Thank You Veterans

Thank You Veterans

This is a military town and it’s likely you know a veteran –

A family member, friend, neighbor or coworker. Each year, approximately 15,000 personnel from the Navy and Marines conclude their military careers in San Diego.

Want to say “thank you”? Veterans Day is a good day to do it.  Here are two good places to start: 14 Ways to Show Your Thanks to Our Military on Veterans Day are recommendations from a member of a military family, and reviews and rates non-profit organizations assisting veterans.

All of us at Helix Water District would like to thank U.S. military veterans for their service and their sacrifices. We also want to offer to our customers who are military veterans a water conservation kit that includes a water efficient showerhead, shower timer, aerators and more. Come by our Administration Building at 7811 University Avenue in La Mesa over the next week to get yours.

Thank you for your service.

Fall Back

Fall Back

Adjust your irrigation timers this Sunday.

This Sunday, November 5, marks the end of daylight savings time. After you set your clocks back, take a few minutes and adjust your irrigation timer as well.

Your plants need less water as the days get shorter and cooler, so fall is the perfect time to cut back on your watering days and times. Making seasonal adjustments to your timer not only reduces water waste, but it also helps keep your landscape healthy.

If you don’t have time to manually adjust your timer, consider upgrading to a weather-based irrigation controller which adjusts watering times automatically based on the changing weather. Rebates for weather-based irrigation controllers are available at

Finally, use daylight savings as a reminder to make sure the batteries in your irrigation timer are still good. In the event your timer loses power, many timers default to daily watering schedules unless you have battery back-up, which can lead to overwatering.


This Weekend: Autumn Fest & Plant Sale

This Weekend: Autumn Fest & Plant Sale

There are a lot of reasons to drop by The Water Conservation Garden this Saturday, November 4th:

Plants on Sale

You’ll find a wide variety of water efficient plants well cared for by students in Cuyamaca College’s Ornamental Horticulture Program wanting an “A” for managing the program’s nursery. If you plan to put new plants in your landscape this fall, don’t miss this sale!

Beer Garden and Food Trucks

Gardening and cold beer have a long and beautiful relationship, and they are together again on Saturday. FYI – one of the big benefits of replacing a lawn with a water efficient garden is that you no longer have to mow the lawn, or pay someone to mow the lawn. Your new maintenance routine is to walk around your garden, clipping off dead blooms between your thumbnail and index finger, with your morning coffee or your afternoon beer — made right here in San Diego — in your other hand.

“Ask the Designer”

Call 619-66-0614 ext. 10 before Saturday to reserve your free 15 minutes with a professional landscape designer. Bring diagrams of your current landscape and the new one you’re dreaming about. If you don’t have time, jot down some of your goals for a new landscape — just a little something to start the creative process.

Kids Activities

We have garden exhibits for kids like the Butterfly Pavilion and activities like arts and crafts. Ms. Smarty Plants might even be there!

Event Time
10:00am – 3:00pm

The Water Conservation Garden
12122 Cuyamaca College Drive West
Just off Jamacha Road in Rancho San Diego

$5 for adults and kids 12 and over
$3 for kids 3-11
FREE for Garden Members and kids 2 and under





Take Our Customer Survey

Take Our Customer Survey

Take Our Survey November 1-20, 2017.

Helix is conducting a survey of residential customers November 1-20 and there are three ways to take the survey. If your current email address is on file with Helix, we are emailing a link to the survey to you. If we don’t have your current email address on file, you can click on the button below to take the survey. You may also request and complete a printed copy of the survey at the customer service counter in our Administration Office in La Mesa.

Our online survey has been designed to obtain the opinions and views of customers, and your participation will provide a unique perspective. The survey should take about 10 minutes to complete, depending on your answers, and you can click on the button below to begin.

To maintain the confidentiality and anonymity of all those participating in the survey, we have engaged an external research firm, Probe Research Inc., to conduct this survey on our behalf.  All of the answers you provide will be held in strict confidence by Probe Research only. Your responses will be combined with the responses of other customers, and will not be attributed to you personally.

If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact Mike Uhrhammer at 619-667-6270 or, or Probe Research Inc. at 1-877-538-5545 or