Water Conservation

cartoon hand turning tap on leaky faucet. Text reads "Save our water"
 
 
 
 
 
 
Do your part to conserve today, visit http://saveourwater.com/ for information and tips on how to conserve.
The management of water as a precious and vital resource is at the forefront of East Side's initiatives and behaviors. Water conservation on our school campuses is helping to reduce environmental stress on our region. In addition to reducing environmental stress on regional water resources, water conservation is also important to the District as a means of reducing costs. 
 

Silicon Valley Water Conservation Award Winner

 

East Side’s strategic approach to water conservation measures with proven results makes our program stand out, with achievement in environmental as well as economic responsibility.  In 2013, we were presented the Silicon Valley Water Conservation Award for Greenscape Management.  This award recognizes organizations and individuals whose programs and leadership have advanced water conservation and recycled water use in Silicon Valley.

award plaque with text "Silicon valley water conservation awards, world water day 2013, east side union high school district, greenscape management" Further text illegible.

Landscape Irrigation Conservation Measures

 

For more than a decade, East Side Union High School District has been a leader in water conservation.  An early adopter of reclaimed water for landscape irrigation, the District has diverted the use of potable water for irrigation by 30% annually, conserving 67 million gallons of potable water per year, by using reclaimed water for landscape irrigation at Andrew P. Hill, Evergreen Valley, Silver Creek and Yerba Buena High Schools.

 

Early 2014, we reduced irrigation water use by 20%.  We chip tree trimmings and place the chips as mulch, thus reducing the amount of organic material entering the waste stream as well as reducing soil moisture loss through evaporation.

 
East Side's facilities design standards for new construction and rehabilitated landscapes are compliant with water efficient landscaping requirements imposed by Assembly Bill 1881 (2006).
 

Synthetic Turf

 
The District has converted all 11 of our football fields to synthetic turf.  There are many positive environmental benefits of this initiative:  the use of harmful pesticides and fertilizers has been eliminated, as well as elimination of polluted stormwater runoff; the elimination of noxious emissions from gas powered lawn mowers; the elimination of grass clippings, which is the third largest component of municipal solid waste in landfills; and the conservation of 75 million gallons of water annually for irrigation of those fields.  In the process, the District has saved more than $243,000 per year in avoided water, chemical and labor cost, and the fields are available for play across all hours of the day and in all weather conditions.
 

Water Efficient Plumbing Fixtures

 

In 2012, the District replaced 61 toilets with water efficient models and retrofitted 216 urinals with low flow flush valves, conserving over 31,000 gallons of potable water annually. 

 

Swimming Pools

 

California Department of Education requires aquatics instruction as part of the eight required content areas of high school physical education. East Side has eleven swimming pool sites (located at each comprehensive high school campus). If we were to refill our pools from an empty state, the volume of water for a single refill would be only 1.6% of our annual water consumption. We do not drain and refill our pools typically, only upon extenuating circumstances as required for health and safety purposes.

 
Water evaporation depends on the surface area of the pools, water and air temperatures, relative humidity and wind. Water evaporation is much greater in the early Spring and late Fall than in the Summer - when water temperatures are high and air temperatures are cold (especially at night).  We cover our pools when not in use, to defend against water evaporation; prevention of water evaporation also protects the heating energy and chemical treatment investments associated with that water.
 

Compliance with Drought Regulations

 
We are compliant with 2014 (Governor Brown's Executive Order B-28-14) and 2015 (Governor Brown's Executive Order B-29-15) Statewide emergency drought regulations that focus on limits to urban outdoor water usage. We have already put the following measures in place to achieve reduction targets mandated by these drought regulations:
  • we converted all our 11 football fields to synthetic turf over the past decade;
  • we converted campus irrigation water systems to reclaimed water at 4 campuses:  Andrew P. Hill, Evergreen Valley, Silver Creek and Yerba Buena High Schools;
  • we reduced landscape irrigation water consumption by 20% on our natural turf athletic playing fields;
  • we reduced ornamental landscape irrigation water consumption by 20% at campuses that use potable water for irrigation;
  • we do not use potable water to irrigate outdoor landscapes in a manner that causes runoff such that water flows onto adjacent property, non-irrigated areas, private and public walkways, roadways, parking lots, or structures;
  • we do not use hoses that dispense potable water to wash motor vehicle unless the hoses are fitted with shut-off nozzles;
  • we do not use potable water to wash down driveways and sidewalks;
  • we do not use potable water in fountains or decorative water features unless the water is recirculated;
  • we use low flow plumbing fixtures;
  • we design replacement landscape installations using water-frugal plants;
  • we continue to seek additional measures that we can put in place to further reduce our consumption of potable water.
We are complying with current State mandatory water restrictions to reduce water usage by 25%, and with Santa Clara County's water reduction goal of 30% effective 2015 and continuing into 2016.