Earth Day Reminds Us to Look for Ways to Reduce Our Environmental Footprint
As we live our lives each day, we often overlook how we affect this place we all call home. Earth Day, April 22, is a reminder to take a closer look at the concerns we face, and find ways to reduce our environmental footprint.
During these challenging economic times, we’ve all become more accustomed to watching where we spend every penny, and for many, “going green” is simply too expensive. But what most people don’t realize is that in many cases holding onto inefficient products will cost you much more long-term than upgrading to eco-friendly options available today.
Today, the average Southern California household uses roughly 175,000 gallons of water each year, and nearly half of the precious water used outdoors is wasted. With waste and limited resources the cost of water in Southern California has increased approximately 96 percent since 2006, rising the average water bill to historically high levels. Significant population growth, environmental legislation, variable weather conditions and dependence on imported water have increased the pressure on regional water resources; making it imperative to reduce the per-capita consumption of water.
And while there has been a lot of hype around “water wise” appliances and fixtures, a quick upgrade of your sprinkler nozzles will go much further in lowering water use and reducing water bills, according to local water officials.
In Southern California and specifically the Inland Empire, 50 to 70 percent of annual residential household water consumption is used outdoors, on lawns and gardens. What is even more staggering is that the average sprinkler system wastes 40 to 50 percent of the water dispersed in overwatering and runoff because of high-flow spray nozzles. But recent breakthroughs in spray nozzle technology have made these small devices much more water wise according to Phil Burkart, vice president and general manager at The Toro Company, Irrigation Businesses, locally based in Riverside.
“Most homeowners don’t realize that they are using the old “gas guzzler” of spray nozzles, rather than the new, more efficient “hybrid” models that are available today,” said Burkart. “High-efficiency spray nozzles are one of the easiest and most cost-effective ways to cut down outdoor water use without compromising the look or health of your lawn, which is why many local water agencies are giving them away for free.”
In a recent push to help residents cut water waste and protect local water resources, water agencies across the region have come together to offer a local program that provides homeowners free vouchers to exchange their high-flow spray nozzles for more efficient, lower-flow models.
The internet-based program, www.FreeSprinklerNozzles.com, encourages homeowners to upgrade to Toro® Precision™ Series Spray nozzles, which apply water 35 percent more slowly than conventional spray nozzles and reduce unnecessary and wasteful runoff. These high efficiency nozzles also apply water more evenly, improving the efficiency of the average sprinkler system by 30 percent and making every drop more useful. Each qualifying resident who participates in the program receives 25 of Toro’s low-flow nozzles for free. Large homeowner associations and commercial sites can qualify to receive 250 or more nozzles.
If you would like to learn more, or looking for a way to participate in Earth Day this year, you can join The TORO Company at the 6th annual Earth Night in the Garden organized by Western Municipal Water District where they will be turning residents into water-wise advocates by providing education about water efficiency and the nozzle program.
All local families are invited to the free community event to spend the evening learning about the nozzle program, the importance of water efficiency and see Toro demonstrate the new technology and how to install them.
Monday, April 22, 2013
3 p.m. to 7 p.m.
WMWD’s Landscapes Southern California Style Water Efficiency Garden
450 E. Alessandro Blvd.
Riverside, CA 92508
Attendees interested in the program will receive one free spray nozzle to take home and use as a guide to determine which nozzles they need when they sign up for the program online. The first 10 people who sign up for the program within two weeks after the event and call Toro at 951-785-3721 will receive a free installation of their nozzles.