TMWA Says Water Conservation is Still Critical - KTVN Channel 2 - Reno Tahoe Sparks News, Weather, Video

TMWA Says Water Conservation is Still Critical

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Joe Stokes is a conservation water watcher for the Truckee Meadows Water Authority. He spends his time, driving through neighborhoods to make sure nobody is wasting water. His job is not to fine people; it's to educate them.

"What we're looking for is water waste, which is broken sprinkler heads, over-waterers, water sheets across the sidewalk, running down the curb," Stokes said.

One of the things he keeps an eye out for is people who water on the wrong days. TMWA asks that people with even numbered addresses water on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday. Residents with odd-numbered addresses are supposed to water on Wednesday, Friday and Sunday. Nobody is supposed to use their sprinklers on Mondays.

Anyone that does not comply, gets a friendly reminder from TMWA.

"We give a little comment that they're wrong-day watering and we're just going to ask them to please change their irrigation system and controllers to the right days," Stokes said.

Along with assigned watering days, residents should only water their lawns during the cooler hours of the day, especially during the summer months when temperatures can reach triple digits. 

Watering is prohibited between noon and 6 pm.

"Early morning watering is the best because it's cool and it's not windy out," Marci Westlake, TMWA Customer Service Supervisor said. "During the day, you're wasting water if you're watering in the middle of the day and it's windy out. It's not doing your lawn any good."

Stokes will normally leave a door hanger, filled with information for proper conservation at a house where he sees water issues. It includes a refrigerator magnet that has the assigned watering days. Other times, he will knock on the resident's door. Sometimes, they don't even know there is a problem because their landscapers set their timers.

"Nine times out of 10, we knock on the door and they say 'Oh, my water's on today?' They have no idea their water's even on," Stokes said.

Other issues include putting too much water on the lawn. If he notices water running down the gutters or streaming across sidewalks, he lets the homeowner know how to correct that. He says if that is happening, run your water for shorter periods of time, more frequently. He says people are usually glad to find out they are wasting water, especially if it is because of something like a broken sprinkler head.

"Just because its a broken sprinkler head, they have their money going down the drain as well as wasting water," Stokes said.

TMWA employees say it is always important for people to be careful with the amount of water used. Last winter brought a good amount of snowpack, but conservation measures should always be in place.

"We are always in a drought situation in Nevada," Westlake said. "We are in the desert. So you do want to be aware that we do encourage responsible water use."

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