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Brawley starts public education program in effort to conserve water

September 08, 2001|By MARIO RENTERÍA, Staff Writer

BRAWLEY — A water-conservation program here soon will begin the first phase of the implementation — education.

The City Council on Tuesday voted 5-0 to authorize $10,000 for a public education program and $40,000 for residential water-saving devices.

The water-conservation program was a stipulation by the North American Development Bank, which awarded Brawley a grant of nearly $6.2 million for expansion of the city wastewater treatment system and improvements of the city's water distribution and sewage-collection systems.

The grant was awarded May 15, 2000. As a condition of the grant the city was to implement a water-conservation program.


Brawley Public Works Director Manuel Aceves said NADB officials hired Camp, Dresser & McKee, a consulting firm, to make recommendations to Brawley on implementing a water-conservation program.

Aceves said NADB officials looked at water use levels in cities in the Imperial Valley, including Brawley, and determined water conservation may be needed.

"We're hoping this program will conserve about 10 to 15 percent of the current water use in the city," said Aceves.

He said Brawley's water use, when compared to other cities, stands somewhere in the middle.

According to the resolution passed by the council for the conservation program, Phase I will start Sept. 15 with the advertisement for bids for 5,000 brochures on water conservation at a cost of about $1.50 each, totaling $7,500.

On Jan. 31 the first batch of brochures will be mailed to Brawley residents and will detail general information on the program.

More flyers, in four batches of 5,000, will be mailed throughout the year and until Jan. 31, 2004 when the last batch of flyers get mailed.

Each flyer will have different information.

Actual construction will begin after the notice to proceed is given on Jan. 1, 2003 to the company hired by the city. The city will hire a company on Dec. 1, 2002.

The company chosen will install new water meters for residential, commercial and industrial structures. The meters will not be used until the final one is installed. The company hired will have until Dec. 31 2003 to install all the water meters.

On April 15, 2003 the city will provide residents with free water-saving devices.

Each resident will be offered one low-flow showerhead, one toilet displacement device, two faucet aerators that go on the mouths of water faucets, two toilet leak detection tablets and one outdoor hose timer.

The city will pay about $30,900 for 1,500 water-saving devices containing those items. Each kit will be worth about $21.

If they become popular and are requested, 1,000 more kits will be available in the last part of 2003 or early 2004.

When all meters are in place, residents will no longer pay a flat rate but a amount determined by the meters.

A water conservation page will be added to the city's web page detailing the changes.

Phase II will be implemented only if there is a need for further water conservation. It would start on Jan. 1, 2005, two years after the meter program is done.

Phase II components are more expensive, difficult to implement and require at least one year of metered water data.

Staff Writer Mario Rentería can be reached at 337-3435.

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