KTVU's Julie Haener makes East Bay MUD's list of water wasters

When KTVU anchor Julie Haener recently learned her Diablo household was among East Bay Municipal Utility District’s (EBMUD) list of water wasters, she realized she and her family needed to do more to conserve.

It’s been reported that the average household in the small community used more than 1,000 gallons of water a day in a two-month billing cycle in 2014. That’s bad news for California’s historic drought, but EBMUD responded with penalties and in October they released the list of names of water wasters.

“We’ve already cut back our water usage, but we have to do more,” she said. She has two teenage boys who play high school football and their friends constantly visit. “We go through a lot of food, laundry and showers.”
Over the summer one of her son’s teammates moved in with them, adding a fifth member to the household.
“They’re working out, playing football. They have laundry they have to do every day.” That means showering before school and again after practice. “We’ve told them, you have to cut back. Take shorter showers,” she said.

She even invited an East Bay MUD water conservation technician to find out some more water saving tips. The specialists look at the household’s water consumption history, the landscaping and they go indoors to look for leaks.

“We recently installed new toilets, but our technician suggested checking our faucets,” said Haener. The technician holds a plastic Flow Meter Bag under the flowing sink for about five seconds and found the sink used about two gallons per minute of water.

The technician said that’s not too bad, but they do have aerators available for faucets and shower heads. The tricky part is finding ones that fit. With the new attachment upgrade, the shower head’s flow can be cut in half from four gallons per minute.
Outdoors, the technician reminded that everyone has been asked to cut back lawn watering to one day a week.

“I told her that we already installed drip irrigation and we try to keep the system off as much as possible,” Haener said.

If the water meter is running when all the appliances are off, there could be a leak. Another tip is to update your profile online. EBMUD had the Haener household listed as having four residents instead of five. The technician said you should change the number of occupants so that you get the most accurate comparison and recommendations for your household.