The Current Flow Newsletter Issue 3, 2016

News for customers of
Las Virgenes Municipal Water District

Click here for PDF version (5.3 MB)

What's In This Issue:

Water Supplies Improve:

Greater Water Use Efficiency is "The New Normal"

As Southern California experiences a fifth year of substandard rainfall, drought-weary residents wonder if reports of the winter rain and snowfall in the Sierras will bring some relief? Bidwell Canyon Marina at Lake Oroville, March 14, 2016 (DWR photo)

The answer is a mixture of good news and so-so news. The good news is yes, Lake Oroville and other Northern California reservoirs have been replenished to levels that are slightly above normal, providing some respite from last year’s reports of dwindling supplies. The "so-so" news is, moving water to Southern California has been impaired due to operational and environmental regulations, leaving supplies south of the Sacramento – San Joaquin Delta at "below normal" levels.

(Photo: View of boats from Bidwell Canyon Marina at Lake Oroville on March 14, 2016. Lake Oroville levels are at 96% as of May 1, 2016. Photo Credit: Department of Water Resources)

Complicating the supply situation, Southern California and much of the Central Valley received about half of a "normal" year’s precipitation, and many areas of the state remain in a severe water deficit. In the LVMWD service area, the expected El Niño storms did not materialize, adding uncertainty to the long-term planning water managers must face. Is prolonged drought now an expectation? No one knows, so the prudent use of existing supplies is a must.

Stay Within Your Water Budget

Your water budget is the benchmark for efficient indoor and outdoor water use. Water budgets will vary with the weather, so as the warmer days of late spring and summer approach, outdoor water budgets will increase. Since most water use occurs outside, staying within your water budget means closely monitoring your landscape irrigation and making adjustments as needed. Discuss how important water use efficiency is to you with your gardener or landscape maintenance provider.

Water-efficient landscapeSince drought conditions may persist, LVMWD customers who stay within their budgets help by decreasing demand and demonstrating that it’s possible to use less water but still maintain an attractive, water-efficient landscape that enhances the appearance of the community. Conversion of turf areas to California-friendly gardens is an effective way to reduce water use and stay within your water budget.

(Photo: Water-efficient landscapes, similar to the photo on the left, can be very colorful, as well as an effective way to cut-back on outdoor water use.)

 What's In This Issue

LVMWD Gives a Hoot!

At the April 12 board meeting, LVMWD was presented the first of eight barn owl nesting boxes from Ty Kastendiek, a math and science instructor at Camp David Gonzales in Malibu Canyon.

Barn owl nesting box
(Photo from left: Marie Lakin, Field Representative for Senator Fran Pavley presents the Sustainability Award to LVMWD General Manager David Pedersen, Water System and Facilities Manager Larry Miller and Administrative Services Coordinator Doug Anders.)


Rising from the community’s growing concerns over rodenticide use and the harm caused to mountain lions, foxes, coyotes andEnvironmental Sustainability Award other beneficial predators in the food chain, LVMWD asked Mr. Kastendiek and his students to design barn owl nesting boxes to be installed at several District facilities. These boxes will provide local barn owls a safe place to lay their eggs and will help effectively manage the rodent population using cost-effective, natural means. A single pair of barn owls can consume over 2,000 rodents per year.

Barn owl nesting boxes will be installed at Las Virgenes Reservoir in Westlake Village, the Tapia Water Reclamation Facility in Malibu Canyon, the Rancho Las Virgenes Composting Facility and District headquarters in Calabasas.

 What's In This Issue

Get Up to $800 in Rain Barrel Rebates

In addition to SoCal WaterSmart’s $75 rebate for each rain barrel purchased (limit 4), Las Virgenes Municipal Water District Rain Barrel Rebates(LVMWD) is offering a $125 installation rebate per rain barrel (limit 4). That means, by purchasing and installing four rain barrels on your property, you could get up to $800 back!

Cisterns also qualify for rebates. SoCal WaterSmart is offering a $300 rebate for the purchase of a single cistern, and LVMWD is offering customers $500 for a single cistern installation.

Certain guidelines apply and funding is limited, so don’t wait to make a rebate reservation.

Click to view rebate guidelines and apply for your rebate.

What's In This Issue

No Grease Down the Drain


Fats, oils and grease (FOG) in foods such as meat, cooking oil,No Grease Down the Drain butter, margarine, sauces and dairy products, as tasty as they may be, can wreak havoc on our sewer system. These materials end up in cookware, utensils, plates and kitchen equipment that when washed off, then enter the drain system. Shortly after cooling off, the solidified material builds up along pipe walls and can eventually cause a blockage that will cause wastewater to back up into your home. When this buildup happens in the main sewer pipes in the street, overflows through manholes can occur. These backups can cause costly property damage and threaten public health and the environment.

Instead of pouring fat, oil and grease down the drain, please do the following:

  • Pour used cooking grease into a heat-safe container, such as an empty coffee can, and store it in the refrigerator. Once the grease has hardened, seal the top and place the can in the trash.
  • Wipe greasy pots, dishes and utensils with a paper towel before washing.
  • Keep food scraps OUT of the garbage disposal. Instead, catch them in the sink with a strainer and place them in the trash or compost bin.
  • Mix used cooking grease with an absorbent material such as cat litter or coffee grounds, place it in a sealed container and dispose of it in the trash.

Sewer overflows are an emergency. If you see sewage bubbling out of a manhole cover or evidence of a sewer line problem, call us immediately at (818) 251-2100 (anytime day or night); don’t assume someone else has reported the incident.

What's In This Issue


Thank You

LVMWD thanks customers for cooperating with the request to conserve water by not irrigating during the Metropolitan Water District’s shutdown to our service area, April 5-11. The decrease in usage ensured uninterrupted water service to the community. Metropolitan successfully completed the repairs of the water system that serves our region.            


 What's In This Issue


Students Get Schooled on Water Recycling

In 2016, as in previous years, LVMWD conducted elementary Students Get Schooled on Water Recyclingschool tours of the Tapia Water Reclamation Facility where students learn about wastewater treatment that protects public health and the environment, and the beneficial uses of recycled water. This outdoor education program allows fourth graders from all nine Las Virgenes Unified School District (LVUSD) elementary schools to see what happens to their wastewater after it disappears down the drain and learn how the water district cleans and distributes it for landscape irrigation throughout the region.

During these tours, students also learn the importance of water reuse in dry, drought-stricken regions such as Southern California, and conservation practices are reinforced. Students gain a deeper understanding of our limited water resources and a water conservation ethic which they carry into adulthood.

Click here for more information on LVMWD’s education partnership with LVUSD.

 What's In This Issue


At Your Service
Vacationing? Pay Ahead ~ Auto Pay!Vacationing? Pay Ahead or Auto Pay

With vacation season here, don’t risk a service shutoff while you’re away.

Relax and enjoy your vacation, you don’t need to worry about your water bill. You can pay ahead to cover future bills, or have automatic payments made from your checking account. Call Customer Service during business hours to make arrangements, (818) 251-2200.

Click here to view Payment Options.

 What's In This Issue

The Missing PieceThe Missing Piece

During the winter of 2015-16, Southern California received:
a. Twice the normal average rainfall
b. Rainfall that was about average
c. About half the normal rainfall amount
d. About one inch of rain

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.

 What's In This Issue

Previous issue’s Missing Piece answer:

Tap water is more highly regulated than bottled water. 

Answer: True

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

Board of Directors     24 Hour Emergency Service    Contact Us


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