Join Helix Water Chats and Explore East County Advanced Water Purification

Join Helix Water Chats and Explore East County Advanced Water Purification

East County Advanced Water Purification (AWP) will use proven, state-of-the-art technology to purify recycled water and provide up to 30% of east county’s water supply. The project is a collaboration between Padre Dam Municipal Water District, City of El Cajon, County of San Diego and Helix Water District and is scheduled to go online in 2025.

Have questions? Join Helix Water Chats on zoom.com at 2 p.m. on March 3 or at 5:30 p.m. on March 8. We’ll start with a presentation, then discuss and answer customer questions. The presentation will explore:

– Advanced water purification (AWP)
– How this project will work
– The benefits it will provide
– Why Helix customers don’t have to worry about its impact on water rates

Join Us!

Choose Your Chat

2 p.m. on Thursday, March 3, or
5:30 p.m. on Tuesday, March 8

l

Please Register

We’ll email to you the meeting link and passcode in advance of the event.

Click Here to Register

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Fall Back Today and Save

Fall Back Today and Save

It is that time of year again. As you set your clocks for daylight saving time, also remember to adjust your irrigation controllers. This can help you water efficiently and prevent water waste.

Cooler weather, shorter days and recent rains make right now the perfect time to make seasonal adjustments to your irrigation controller. Making changes outdoors can have a significant impact since half of the typical home’s water use occurs outside. Habits like making regular adjustments and delaying water around rain events can save water and help keep your plants healthy.

Get a rebate on controllers that automatically adjust for weather

You can also save water by upgrading your existing irrigation controller to a smart, weather-based irrigation controller. These new controllers automatically adjust for weather, changing seasons, rain, wind and even time changes, helping you water more efficiently. Helix customers can get a rebate of up to $200 on qualifying devices. This is an excellent incentive since most smart controllers cost around $120 – $200.

Water-efficient devices and efforts have big impacts

As we change our clocks and adjust our outdoor irrigation schedules, remember that saving water can be easy. Small changes, upgrading to more water-efficient devices indoors and outdoors, like smart controllers, and efficient landscapes can have big impacts. We know this because our customers are using half as much water per capita as they did in 1990. The water we save today will help us in the future.

Keep up the great work at using water wisely!

For water-saving tips, ideas and rebates, go to watersmartsd.org

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Helix Water District Declares Level 1 Water Shortage Response

Helix Water District Declares Level 1 Water Shortage Response

Last month, Governor Gavin Newsom extended California’s drought emergency to the entire state. He also called on water utilities to activate their water shortage contingency plans based on local supply and demand, and asked all Californians to do more to conserve as the state faces one of its most severe droughts on record.

In response, on November 3, 2021, Helix Water District General Manager Carlos Lugo declared a water shortage response Level 1 under our water shortage contingency plan, calling for voluntary water conservation.

In California, droughts are part of life – and so is using water wisely. Helix Water District and the other water utilities serving the San Diego region have worked together for decades to plan for water shortages, encourage conservation and invest in new water resources. These steps help protect us against drought by ensuring we have the water we need. And this year, these planning efforts are why we can ask for voluntary conservation instead of needing bigger, mandatory cutbacks.

Although we have sufficient water supplies, we can all do our part to help. Helix has permanent water-use efficiency measures that are always in effect. These measures are best practices to make sure we’re being water-wise every day, and they are things that most of you already do:

      • Use a broom instead of a hose to clean sidewalks, driveways, parking lots and patios.
      • Stop irrigation runoff.
      • Don’t water for at least 48 hours after rain.
      • Use recirculated water in fountains and water features.
      • Use a hose with a positive shutoff nozzle when washing vehicles.
      • Serve water upon request at restaurants.
      • Offer guests at hotels and motels the option of not laundering towels and linens daily.

Our water shortage contingency plan includes six water shortage levels, with increasing restrictions that we can enact during times of drought or decreasing water supplies – when we need extra conservation efforts. Here are additional voluntary measures that you can take under Level 1:

      • Irrigate between the hours of 6 p.m. and 10 a.m.
      • Limit watering with spray sprinklers to no more than 10 minutes per station, per day.
      • Use a hose with a positive shutoff nozzle or bucket if hand watering.
      • Repair all leaks within five days.

Thank you for your commitment to using water wisely. Keep up your efforts and explore our sustainability menu for more ways to help.

 

 

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Do Your Part, be WaterSmart

Do Your Part, be WaterSmart

With the ongoing drought, many of us are interested in finding new ways to save water. After all, water conservation is a way of life for us, and it is why our homes and businesses use half the water they used in 1990. Our collective change in water use is impressive, and includes commonsense measures like shutting the water off when brushing our teeth, doing full loads of dishes and laundry and keeping our irrigation systems off when it rains.

We can all do our part. Keep reading for a practical list of ways to keep using water efficiently.

Irrigate Like a Pro

Tame your turf’s thirst

Step on your grass. If it springs back when you lift your foot, it doesn’t need water. Irrigate in the evening or early morning, and set lawn mower blades to three inches to reduce evaporation.

Deploy the drip

Irrigate gardens with drip systems that minimize water waste by delivering water right at the roots.

Receive professional help

Make an appointment for a free home water-use evaluation and receive site-specific water-saving recommendations. Visit hwd.fyi/pro.

Work from the ground up

Help your soil retain moisture. Aerate compacted soils and add compost. Loose, aerated soils with organic matter absorb and retain more water. Also, be sure to cover bare soil around trees and plants with mulch.

We have a rebate available for mulch when you purchase 1 cubic yard or more. Visit hwd.com/rebates.

Get smart

Install weather-based irrigation controllers in your landscape to take advantage of the latest smart technology that maximizes water-use efficiency. Select models are eligible for a rebate of up to $200. Visit hwd.com/rebates.

walkway in home front yard showing mulch between low water use plants

Stop Leaks

Monitor your water use

Use your meter to check for leaks, and monitor your water bills to check for increases that may signal a leak or other problems. You can get a $100 rebate on flow monitoring devices that can alert you of high use and leaks before they show up on your bill.  Visit hwd.com/water-meter.

Handle with care

Regularly check your irrigation system for leaks, misting, overspray, runoff and broken sprinkler heads, and repair promptly.

Upgrade with Rebates

 

Start making WaterSense®

Replace older appliances and fixtures with efficient WaterSense® models, and take advantage of rebates to save money. Visit hwd.com/rebates.

Get an upgrade

When adding or replacing trees, shrubs, groundcovers or flowers, choose less-thirsty varieties. Group plants with similar watering needs together. Incorporate plants such as edibles and shade trees that provide added benefits. Visit hwd.fyi/outdoors.

East county resident gardening.
Person planting lavender.

These are just some of the many tips available to help you use water efficiently. If you’ve already taken these steps, thank you for your efforts. Consider sharing this post with a friend, neighbor or family member who may not know of the resources and rebates available to help them use less and help make a difference.

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Landscaping Workshop Series Continues This Week

Landscaping Workshop Series Continues This Week

Life really is different in San Diego than just about anywhere else in the country, because we don’t have to stop what we’re doing and wait for winter to go by. Surfers keep surfing and gardeners keep gardening. In fact, fall and winter are the best time in San Diego to plant water-efficient flowers, shrubs, groundcovers and trees.

We recommend planting this time of year so that winter storms provide some of the water your new plants need. This matters, because for the first 6-12 months of a plant’s life, it’s not water-efficient. It needs water the same way a growing kid needs three bowls of cereal after school.

If you’re not ready right now and planned to work on your water efficient landscape next spring, don’t worry. We’ll help you up the learning curve. We’ll start this week — on Wednesday evening — and you’ll be ready to plant just after Thanksgiving.

All you have to do right now is reserve your spot in the upcoming series of free, online workshops hosted by the San Diego County Water Authority and funded by the County of San Diego’s Watershed Protection Program. Here’s the schedule.

Design: Shape Your Space
Wednesday, October 20 at 5:30 p.m.
Ensuring your new landscape is well-integrated into your personal lifestyle is the goal of this session. Our landscape expert will show you how to plan for the functionality of your new space and provide tips to achieve a design style that fits your personal style.

Plants: Inspiring Choices for Our Region
Wednesday, November 3 at 5:30 p.m.

This session illustrates how a low-water-use landscape can be an upgrade, not a compromise. Our landscape expert will teach you about plants and why some are more water efficient than others. You’ll be introduced to attractive, WaterSmart plant palettes and learn how to research and choose plants that fit your design theme.

Water and Irrigation: Utilizing a Precious Resource
Wednesday, November 17 at 5:30 p.m.

This session will give you strategies to use our limited water sources wisely, including integrating stormwater capture elements into your landscape and conserving water through simple irrigation system retrofits. Our landscape expert’s goal is to help you create a sustainable landscape that loves San Diego as much you do.

Installation and Maintenance: Protecting Your Investment
Wednesday, December 1 at 5:30 p.m.

After planning your new garden space, it’s time to learn how to protect your investment. Our landscape expert will give you strategies for success when removing your turf, installing your new landscape and maintaining it. You’ll learn how to minimize your water use and maximize your enjoyment of an outdoor space that suits your lifestyle.

Before Covid-19, Helix hosted these workshops. The instructors and the content are fantastic and this series is the express lane to your new landscape.

Register at watersmartsd.org.

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Shortage Declared on Colorado River: What You Should Know

Shortage Declared on Colorado River: What You Should Know

Photo: Lake Mead at 35% of capacity, triggering cuts for Arizona, Nevada and Mexico

In August, the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation declared a Stage 1 water shortage in the lower Colorado River Basin. The action requires mandatory cuts for Arizona, Nevada and Mexico and comes after 20 years of drought and declining water levels in Lake Mead. California has senior water rights on the river and remains protected from water supply cuts until a Stage 3 shortage declaration.

The shortage declaration is significant because most of the imported water we purchase comes from the Colorado River. Although the San Diego region has sufficient supplies for now thanks to high-priority water rights and investments in diversified supplies, we can all do our part to help. Voluntary efforts – as recently requested by California’s governor – can help delay shortages and improve conditions for our future. 

How do we have enough water during a drought?

Your water bills and your commitment to water conservation are the reason we have the water we need. Part of your bills paid for new water resources, including: ocean desalination, water transfer agreements in the Imperial and Coachella valleys, water recycling projects and conservation programs. They also paid for additional water storage in new or expanded dams here in San Diego County. We are all using less water, too. Our homes and businesses use half the amount of water they used in 1990. This allows us to store more water, which protects us during droughts. They also help reduce the cost of replacing and upgrading water systems.

As San Diegans, we have the water we need. We also know how to ensure water for our future. Let’s keep up our efforts and keep using water wisely.

Learn more about how San Diego is in a drought, but not a water shortage.

Watch our recent Water Chats to learn more about water efficiency rebates.

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Take a 360-degree virtual tour of east county’s future water supply

Take a 360-degree virtual tour of east county’s future water supply

We are excited to share a new, 360-degree virtual reality video tour of the East County Advanced Water Purification Program, which will create a new, local, sustainable and drought-proof water supply.

Take the 360-degree virtual tour – you’ll be greeted by the program’s Big Deal animated mascot and then immersed into a guided tour of the program’s water facilities. Look all around by simply moving your computer mouse or phone to anywhere in the video.

If you have a virtual reality headset for your cell phone, take the tour one-step further by “stepping into” the video! Virtual tour locations include the Ray Stoyer Water Recycling Facility, the East County AWP Demonstration Facility and Lake Jennings. Community groups, schools and scouts can view the video using program-provided virtual reality googles beginning in October – simply reach out to program representatives to schedule.

Scheduled to be complete in 2025, the East County AWP is a partnership between Helix Water District, Padre Dam Municipal Water District, the City of El Cajon and the County of San Diego that will produce up to 30 percent of east county’s drinking water supply. The East County AWP will use four advanced water purification steps to produce water that is safe and near-distilled in quality. After the advanced water purification process, the purified water will be blended with water in Lake Jennings and treated again at the R.M. Levy Water Treatment Plant before being distributed as drinking water.

To watch the 360-degree virtual reality video and learn more about the program, check it out via your desktop or the YouTube app to experience all features.

 

 Take the 360-degree virtual tour of ECAWP

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Want to learn more about rebates? Join us for Water Chats

Want to learn more about rebates? Join us for Water Chats

On Thursday, September 30, Helix Water District is hosting a virtual event on Facebook Live about customer rebates.

Customers often ask us how to use less water to save money. Installing water-wise devices, from showerheads to sprinklers, is one of the easiest ways to reduce your water use. Rebates help make those upgrades more affordable and, in some cases, even make upgrades and products free.

Our event will share why you should participate in these programs, give you details on which rebates pay, and where to go to keep using water efficiently.

Rebates don’t stick around forever and we want to help you take advantage of these programs today.

Join us for our virtual Water Chats and start saving.

5:30 – 6:15 p.m.
Thursday, September 30, 2021
Facebook Live

5:30 p.m.      Hello!
5:35 p.m.      Welcome and introductions
5:40 p.m.      Presentation
6:05 p.m.      Q&A
6:15 p.m.      Good night!

Click here to watch on Facebook Live

 

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We're on social media every day with the latest news from Helix. It's also where you'll find us, and the latest news, during an emergency.

Read the latest edition of our Helix Highlights newsletter.

Read the latest edition of our Helix Highlights newsletter.

Our September-October newsletter highlights the investments your water bills have paid for and how they are providing reliable water supplies and a resilient water delivery system. We also share our Helix Helps Customer Assistance Program, as well as easy steps every resident can take to use water efficiently.

Articles include:

Water Shortage in Effect for Arizona Nevada and Mexico.

What does this mean for Helix customers?

Helix Valves Program Controls More Than Flows

Learn about the benefits of our valve program.

Emergency Preparedness at Helix

We share how we have prepared and how you can get prepared, too.

Do your part, be WaterSmart

Six ways to be WaterSmart at home and in the garden.

Helix Helps Customer Assistance Program

We’re offering a one time credit of up to $300 for eligible customers.

Read the Sep/Oct Newsletter

 

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We're on social media every day with the latest news from Helix. It's also where you'll find us, and the latest news, during an emergency.