Water district’s ‘smart’ sprinkler systems save water, money

first_imgSANTA CLARITA – A six-month pilot program to test new high-tech, weather-based outdoor sprinkler systems saved enough water to supply about three households for a year. Nineteen residents in the Newhall County Water District – which serves Newhall, Castaic, the Pinetree neighborhood of Canyon Country and the Tesoro del Valle development in Valencia – took part in the pilot program and saved a total of 776,000 gallons of water. The savings amounted to 2.35 acre-feet of water. A typical Santa Clarita Valley home uses three-quarters to one acre-foot of water a year, Steve Cole, the district’s general manager, said Thursday. “It turned out to be a lot more substantial savings than we originally thought,” Cole said. Now the district is offering a rebate program for customers who upgrade their current irrigation timers to the weather-based systems. The rebate funding comes from state Proposition 50. So-called “smart sprinkler” systems range in cost from $200 to $700, which might include installation and two years of free hookup to weather stations, depending on the type of controller. After that period, the hookup is $48 per year. The district rebate is available to owners of single-family homes with a minimum of 1,200 square feet of irrigated landscape and a working in-ground irrigation system operated by a working timer/controller. The rebate is $20 per active valve, or a maximum of $240 per home, not to exceed the cost of the system. The system detects water that is lost from soil through evaporation and from plants as part of their metabolic processes. Using data from sensors and local weather stations, it automatically decreases or increases the irrigation schedule according to changes in weather, thereby reducing under- or over-watering. Residents who took part in the pilot program, which started in May, say the savings were significant. Jill Jackson of Canyon Country said her summer water bill dropped $75 from the usual $200 a month. In the winter months, her bill fell to less than $50, and she saved even more when it rained because the system automatically turns off. “You don’t have to think about it,” Jackson said. Juan Martinez, also of Canyon Country, said the system helped save water. “I especially like the fact that I’m not over-watering, or watering my lawn when it’s raining,” Martinez said. “My lawn is looking as good as before, but with less water.” INFORMATION To apply for the Newhall County Water District’s “smart sprinkler” rebate program, call (661) 259-3610 or visit www.ncwd.org. Patricia Farrell Aidem, (661) 257-5251 [email protected] AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORECasino Insider: Here’s a look at San Manuel’s new high limit rooms, Asian restaurant160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more

Seahawks Star Lynch Disses Media

first_imgNEWARK, N.J. – Marshawn Lynch was there. He even talked a bit.Then he was gone, cutting short his Super Bowl media day appearance after 6½ minutes.And then he was back, albeit to the side of the “mixed zone” the NFL created for players not on podiums or in microphone-equipped speaking areas at the Prudential Center.But this time he wasn’t speaking, except briefly to Deion Sanders for NFL Network, to the Seahawks’ website, and to Armed Forces Network.Seattle’s star running back, wearing a cap, hood and dark sunglasses, even acknowledged he was trying to avoid being fined by the league for not meeting his media requirements. That’s why he returned to the floor of the arena rather than disappear completely after he cut short his Q and A with perhaps 100 media members packed together trying to hear his pearls of wisdom.When he came back, one reporter asked Lynch, “Are you trying to avoid being fined by standing here?” Lynch twice nodded his head yes.Earlier this month, Lynch was fined $50,000 for not cooperating with the Seattle media. The NFL put the fine on hold, saying it would be rescinded if he complied with media obligations.“Players are required to participate and he participated. We will continue to monitor the situation,” NFL spokesman Greg Aiello said Tuesday.Lynch has required media sessions Jan. 29 and 30. The Seahawks play the Denver Broncos on Feb. 2. There is a history of fines handed out by the NFL during Super Bowl week dating to the 1991 game.Buffalo coach Marv Levy was hit for $5,000 for missing the ’91 media day. Bills running back Thurman Thomas, like Levy a future Hall of Famer, was docked $5,000 for failing to participate in a mandatory interview session, though not on media day, in ’92.Three players have been fined $20,000 for missing media availabilities: Giants defensive end Osi Umenyiora in 2012, Patriots left tackle Matt Light and defensive tackle Vince Wilfork for refusing to speak to the media following that Super Bowl.The Oakland Raiders were fined $50,000 as a team for not making all coaches and players available for a required media session in 2003.Along with letting slip a profanity to Sanders, he three times described himself as “smooth” to the Hall of Fame cornerback, adding: “I ain’t never seen no talk that won me nothing.”Earlier, Lynch answered 16 questions at the outset of the Seahawks’ one-hour availability, with topics ranging from the Denver defense to teammate Michael Robinson to, well, why he avoids interviews.“I like to keep it low key,” Lynch said. “I’m just about action. You say ‘hut’ and there’s action. All the unnecessary talk, it don’t do nothing for me. I appreciate that people want to hear from me, but I just go to work and do my thing. You feel me?”Whether Lynch will feel like showing up the next two days, when the Seahawks will be available in a hotel ballroom — no barriers between them and the media — is uncertain.The Seahawks opted to not place Lynch in one of the 17 areas with microphones and name plates identifying the players Tuesday. He also talked to teammates while standing around.Several youngsters in the stands above him asked to have footballs signed and he obliged once they tossed him the souvenirs. He also signed a Seahawks helmet, but he didn’t converse with the fans.While he did that, about five dozen media members stood in front of Lynch and shouted out a few questions. He ignored almost all of them as time ran out in Seattle’s availability.Lynch watched as the scoreboard clock counted down to zero and, when it was announced the Seattle portion of media availability was over, he left for good.“He’s such a major factor on our football team,” coach Pete Carroll said, “but in this setting he becomes somewhat of a recluse and doesn’t want to be a part of it. We try and respect that as much as we can.”Robinson was asked if he advised his backfield mate on how to handle media day.“He’s a grown man,” Robinson said. “I don’t tell him much. I think he knows what he’s doing. He’s got a good plan in place, and as long as he runs inside-outside zone on Sunday, I’m happy with that.”Lynch never has explained his beef with the media. He regularly spoke to reporters until late in the 2012 season. In March of that year, he signed a four-year contract worth $31 million, including a guaranteed $18 million. In July 2012, he was arrested for driving under the influence near his hometown of Oakland, Calif.(By Barry Wilner, AP Pro Football Writer. AP writer Tim Booth contributed to this story)TweetPinShare0 Shareslast_img read more