The Sacramento County organization conserves water wherever possible in our day-to-day operations and in and around facilities; from the main jail, to the 15,000 acres of parks and open space in the Department of Regional Parks, to the buildings that house the ten thousand plus employees.
“As part of our ongoing green initiatives, we’ve been steadily working to reduce our water consumption through decreased irrigation, plumbing upgrades and enhanced reporting by staff,” said County Executive Bradley J. Hudson. “With the current water situation, we will continue to remain vigilant and increase reductions wherever possible.”
County Regional Parks reduced water usage last spring by irrigating no more than two days per week per the most stringent local requirements. Predictive irrigation controllers were installed at some sites to reduce landscape irrigation even further and allow more efficient use of the irrigation system. Predictive or Smart Controllers use weather forecasts and current soil conditions to calculate that amount of water needed to efficiently irrigate based on the restrictions set forth by the water suppliers. If rain is forecast, the system can be turned off from a central controller.
Further landscape irrigation reductions are being considered, such as reducing watering to one day per week, adding more predictive irrigation controllers and installing more low-water use landscaping in lieu of traditional landscaping.
The Main Jail upgraded more than 50% of the inmate showers to reduce flow and limit the length of the showers, and upgraded toilets to reduce water use by 20%. At Rio Cosumnes Correctional Center (RCCC) shower and plumbing controls will be upgraded this summer to reduce flow there as well. Future efforts for these facilities will include high water use areas such as the Laundries and Kitchens.
In County buildings, employees were encouraged to report leaks so that maintenance staff could address them quickly. Low-flow restrictors were installed on many sinks and installation will continue throughout this year. Modification of toilets and urinals that use less water per flush will be evaluated. We are working with landlords in leased facilities to implement many of the same measures.
All new County building projects include low-flow water fixtures and low water use landscaping. Department heads are examining all facets of operations to explore innovative ways to reduce water.