The Current Flow Newsletter Issue 2, 2016

News for customers of
Las Virgenes Municipal Water District

Click here for PDF version (5.8 MB)

What's In This Issue:

Water Quality

Flint - Could It Happen Here?

When a change in water sources resulted in high lead levels in the Flint, Michigan water supply, communities across America asked, "Could that happen here?" The short answer is "no."

LVMWD tests for lead in accordance with all state and federal drinking water requirements as part of our obligation to serve safe drinking water. Our water sources do not typically contain much naturally-occurring lead but when it is found in your tap water, it is normally because the water chemistry has caused it to react and leach out metals from water mains and customer’s plumbing. LVMWD does not have lead pipes in the distribution system. We are in full compliance with the "Reduction of Lead in Drinking Water" Act of 2011. The cause of the high lead levels in Flint was due to switching the water source from Lake Huron to the Flint River which had a different water chemistry.

Flint - Could It Happen Here?Lead test results are shown in your annual water quality report which is available at

Some older homes (pre-1987) with copper pipes may have joints that were soldered with a lead alloy and some pre-1996 faucets or fixtures may have some lead alloy content. If you’re ever unsure, especially when traveling, the best practice is to let the water run for a few seconds prior to filling your drinking glass.

 What's In This Issue

Coming Soon: Drinking Water Week

Drinking Water Week - May 1 - 7, 2016

Water is our most valuable natural resource, and essential to our overall health. The average adult loses 2-3 liters of water per day. This water needs to be replenished to keep our bodies working correctly. Water helps regulate temperature, remove waste, digest food, and carry nutrients and oxygen to cells.

Tap water is a low-cost way we can stay hydrated; it’s a bargain at about 1/3 of a penny per gallon (or .003 cents). Still, many people choose to drink bottled water, which on average costs well over $1 per gallon and is not required to meet the same quality standards as tap water.

Not only is tap water more affordable and more regulated than bottled water, but every year, Americans throw away 35 billion plastic water bottles. Most of these end up in landfills, where they may take up to 1,000 years to break down.

Do your health, wallet, and the environment a favor by choosing tap water.

For more information on Drinking Water Week and the benefits of tap water, visit

 What's In This Issue

Managing Your Water Budget

LVMWD’s new water bill format now shows monthly usage under the Water Budget program.

For most customers, there are two main components that go into each water budget: Efficient Indoor Use and Efficient Outdoor Use.

Efficient Indoor Use Efficient Indoor Use is based on the state standard of 55 gallons per person per day.

For example, 3 persons x 55 gallons x 30 days = 4,950 gallons. To get "billing units", we divide 4950 by 748 to arrive at 6.6 billing units (or hundreds of cubic feet "hcf") as the indoor water budget for the month.

Efficient Outdoor Use Efficient Outdoor Use is based on the microclimate for your location. Your outdoor water budget uses the California irrigation standard of 80 percent of evapotranspiration (ET) or the water that is lost from your landscaping due to evaporation and plant transpiration multiplied by the area you irrigate. A swimming pool is counted the same as "irrigated area" because it evaporates water at about the same rate as turf grass. Your outdoor use water budget will change from month-to-month; more in the hot weather months, less in the cooler seasons, so it’s important to actively manage your irrigation system.


The sum of the efficient indoor and outdoor use is your monthly water budget.

You can monitor your daily water use by reading your water meter. Go to for instructions on how to do this. You may have to wait a few days between readings if water use at your property is low.

How do I know my monthly water budget?

We’ve set up a web page to show your individual indoor and outdoor budgets, When you go to the website, have a copy of an old water bill so you can input your account number. The website will provide a look ahead of your indoor and outdoor water budget based on historical local weather. This information will also be available in your water bills in the future.

 What's In This Issue

 Keep Saving

 CA-Drought Map

While California’s reservoirs have benefited from recent winter storms, it’s not enough to "end" the drought. Most of California is still in an "exceptional drought," and the majority of the state’s reservoirs are still significantly below average. According to the U.S. Drought Monitor, California needs more than one above-average winter to ease the impacts of long-term drought. 

Drought may well be the "new normal" for California; and in order to manage water supply and demand, everyone must continue to make saving water a top priority. The best way you can help save water is by replacing your water-thirsty grass with native plants, and water-wise landscapes.

For a list of low water use and native plants, check out LVMWD’s A California-Friendly Guide to Native and Drought-Tolerant Gardens, available at LVMWD Headquarters or online at (PDF).

For more ways to save water, visit

 What's In This Issue


We're Lean and GREEN

With Earth Day right around the corner, we’ll share that LVMWD has been expanding its enviro-friendly facilities and operations. Each day, the Tapia Water Reclamation Facility turns millions of gallons of wastewater into recycled water suitable for irrigating public and commercial properties, golf courses, parks, schools and multi-family housing developments.

Biosolids are sent to the Rancho Las Virgenes Composting Facility, where they’re transformed into USEPA “Class A – Exceptional Quality” compost that’s ideal for landscaping.

Each Saturday at the Composting Facility, recycled water and compost are available to customers free of charge from 8 a.m. – 1 p.m. More information is available at

There’s More:

Last year, LVMWD installed “hydration stations” at its headquarters. So far, District guests and employees have refilled their drink containers over 2,000 times!

  • In 2014, LVMWD installed nearly 4,000 solar panels, adjacent to its Calabasas headquarters. They can generate nearly a million watts of clean power to help pump recycled water for regional use.
  • Gases recovered at the Rancho Las Virgenes Composting Facility are used to generate heat and up to 200 kilowatts of electric power.
  • LVMWD is buying new Tier 4-compliant diesel trucks.
  • The District has six hybrid vehicles including a “plug-in” model.
  • Toilets at the LVMWD Headquarters campus flush using recycled water.
  • LVMWD’s irrigation systems use “smart” weather-based irrigation controllers.

Join us at the Calabasas Earth Day Festival on Saturday, April 9. See details at

We're Lean and GREEN


 What's In This Issue

Reserve Your Spot!

How does water reach your home? Join us for a FREE, half-day tour of LVMWD’s potable water system, where you’ll get an up-close look at how drinking water is treated, stored, and distributed throughout our service area. Curious about the status of the drought, or want to know more about upcoming water projects? LVMWD employees will be on hand to answer any questions you have.

The next tour date is Saturday, May 14. A light breakfast and lunch are provided. Children must be 10 or older and accompanied by a responsible adult. Register now at

Quarterly H2o Tour


 What's In This Issue

ARGH  Kids Getting the Message?

Story Pirates

On February 4 and 5, Las Virgenes Unified School District (LVUSD) fourth graders were treated to a water-wise performance by the Story Pirates, a nonprofit performing arts and creative writing organization that celebrates the words and ideas of young people.

As part of their water science curriculum, fourth graders helped create stories emphasizing the importance of water conservation and preserving the environment. LVMWD and Story Pirates then chose one story from each school, based on creativity and overall theme, to be performed with the help of Calabasas High School’s talented theater students.

Sponsored by LVMWD, the Story Pirates are a fun way to engage students and reinforce water science lessons learned in the classroom. Visit to view more photos and videos of this year’s performances.

 What's In This Issue


At Your Service
Show Us Your LandscapeAt Your Service

We’d love to feature your new water-efficient landscape on our website! Simply e-mail high resolution, before-and-after photos of your yard to, along with the release form found here:

If you don’t have a high-resolution camera, we’ll schedule a time to photograph your yard. 

Before and After Landscape

 What's In This Issue

The Missing PieceThe Missing Piece

True or False:

Tap water is more highly regulated than bottled water.

Send your response to:

The Missing Piece, LVMWD, 4232 Las Virgenes Road, Calabasas, CA 91302, or send to with "Missing Piece" in the subject line. Please include your mailing address in case you are a winner! Prizes awarded monthly to ten winners randomly selected from the correct responses. Watch for the answer in the next issue of The Current Flow.

Previous issue’s Missing Piece answer:

As of January 1, water budgets will change every month. True or False?

Answer: True

 What's In This Issue

4232 Las Virgenes Road,  Calabasas, CA 91302
(818) 251-2100

Board of Directors     24 Hour Emergency Service    Contact Us


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