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City seeks to save water

Posted: September 11, 2009 3:59 p.m.
Updated: September 12, 2009 4:55 a.m.
 
A recent article in The Signal expressed a concern about overwatering at Central Park ("City needs to conserve water," The Signal, Aug. 21).

The city of Santa Clarita shares in the concerns regarding water conservation and is committed to reducing the use of all resources, including water, through proper horticultural practices and the use of available technology.

Our city uses a sophisticated irrigation controller that adjusts the irrigation automatically based on atmospheric conditions. The controller measures temperature and wind and moisture loss through evaporation.

This information is used to calculate the amount of water required to maintain plants' healthy and vigorous growth.

In addition, the controllers are capable of monitoring and reporting damaged irrigation in need of repair, and can turn off the irrigation during inclement weather or system failure.

Watering the turf and plants in city parks generally occurs at night when the parks are closed. Larger parks, such as the 80-acre Central Park, may water throughout the night in order to run all of the stations.

It is not uncommon for certain grass areas to be wet in the early morning hours and, as such, typical programming on the turf is scheduled to occur later in the day to ensure a safe, playable field with minimal turf damage.

Daytime watering does occur in parks when it is necessary for system checks to address dry areas or during field renovation projects requiring the germination of grass seed.

In an effort to retain moisture in the soil, the city uses mulch in many of its planter areas, especially in newly planted areas. The mulch used is actually clippings from the pruning of street trees.

This approach promotes the retention of soil moisture, reducing the amount of water needed for plants, helps with weed suppression and allows for the recycling of green waste generated from the city's street tree pruning program.

The city of Santa Clarita will continue to look for opportunities to conserve and recycle resources while continuing to provide a quality park system for the community's use.

Additionally, we meet regularly with the local water providers to look for new approaches to conservation.

On behalf of the city, we truly appreciate our citizens letting us know so we can address issues.

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