Water Conservation does not require you to dramatically change your lifestyle overnight, but it does require each of us to become more aware of how and why we are using our water. Even as we come to a close of summer and children return to school, high temperatures will continue through September and into October. Below are some simple suggestions from Windfern Forest Utility District (Windfern Forest UD) to assist you in helping conserve water for our community.
Check and Inspect:
Thoroughly check and inspect all your pipes, hoses, faucets and even appliances for any type of leaks. The smallest leak can easily result in 1000s of gallons of wasted water.
One of the biggest habits to adopt is turning off the water while doing daily hygiene tasks such as brushing teeth, washing hands, shaving, etc. By turning off the water during just one of those habits, the average home can conserve 2,000 plus gallons of water each year.
Most conventional dishwashers use between 7 to 14 gallons of water per load. A water-efficient dishwasher uses only 4.5 to 7 gallons of water per load. A second way to conserve water is to only run your dishwasher with a full load of dirty dishes. Whether you run one dish or a full dishwasher the same amount of water is being used each time you run it.
Another water-efficient appliance you can investigate is your clothes washing machine. On average your normal washing machine will use upwards of 10,000 gallons of water each year. A high-efficiency washer machine uses between 30% to 50% less water per load. That equals nearly 5,000 gallons of water each year.
Watering Your Lawn
The best way to maintain a healthy lawn is to water it deeply and infrequently. A thorough watering once or twice a week is better than frequent, light sprinkling.
Plan to water your lawn at least once a week (but no more than three times) for about an hour to give your lawn an inch of moisture. Measure water with a rain gauge or place a tuna can under your sprinkler system to catch water. The can is about an inch high, so once it’s full, you’re done watering. You can measure the depth of the water by how easy it is to push a dowel or screwdriver into the earth to the proper depth: too hard – water deeper; too easy – you may be overwatering your lawn.
Make sure the irrigation system is doing its job. Uniform watering can help avoid brown spots and keep the turf healthy from root to tip. Check the irrigation system weekly to make sure each section of the turf is being supplied with the appropriate amount of water.
To ensure your lawn gets the most possible water, follow these tips for how often to water your lawn in the summer:
- Be respectful of water restrictions if present in your community.
- The best time to water your lawn in the summer is in the early morning hours, ideally before sunrise, or late in the evening after sundown. This way, the water has a chance to soak in before the sun dries it out.
- Carefully place your sprinkler or hose to avoid watering the street and sidewalks. This is just a waste of water.
- Monitor the watering to make sure that certain areas aren’t becoming too saturated.
- Don’t forget to account for rain when watering your lawn. If you have had an especially rainy week, you won’t have to water your lawn as much – or at all, if the ground is still moist. Rainwater is always better than processed water for your lawn!
- If you have an irrigation system adjust your timers as the weather changes and inspect for damaged or leaking heads.
Early in the morning and late in the evening are the two best times to water your yard. When watering in the middle times of the day, we increase the rate of evaporation due to the hotter temperatures. Two more ways to conserve water this spring is to eliminate as many weeds as possible and add mulch to all our flower beds. These two things will work together to conserve water for your home. Weeds are known to steal water away from your other plants, so by simply removing weeds, you will not have to water your plants and flowers as often.
There are a few simple ways that residents can conserve water when it comes to the pool. First, examine your autofill hardware and setting on a monthly basis. Be sure to check for leaks that would cause your pool to fill unnecessarily. Secondly, clean all pool filters as regularly as possible to prevent unnecessary backwashing. Backwashing can use up to 1000 gallons of water each time it occurs. Lastly, if possible, cover your pool/hot tub when not in use to prevent evaporation.
Just remember, water conservation is a lifestyle choice that we all can make. By simply adding one of these small steps to our daily routines we can save gallons of water each year. If you have any questions, please feel free to reach out to the district through our website’s “Contact” page.
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The third named hurricane of the 2023 Atlantic Hurricane Season has formed in the South Atlantic, and while there have not been any threats to Texas yet residents of the Gulf Coast should stay prepared for an active hurricane season.
Hurricane season runs from June 1 to November 30 every year, and after three hurricane seasons with La Nina present, NOAA scientists predict a high potential for El Nino to develop this summer. While El Nino’s diminishing influence on storm development usually means lower activity, that could be offset by favorable conditions local to the tropical Atlantic Basin. Those conditions include the potential for an above-normal west African monsoon, which produces African easterly waves and seeds some of the stronger and longer-lived Atlantic storms, and warmer-than-normal sea surface temperatures in the tropical Atlantic Ocean and Caribbean Sea which creates more energy to fuel storm development. These factors are part of the longer-term variability in Atlantic atmospheric and oceanic conditions that are conducive to hurricane development — known as the high-activity era for Atlantic hurricanes — which have been producing more active Atlantic hurricane seasons since 1995.
The official NOAA forecast calls for a “near-normal” number of storms in 2023. “NOAA is forecasting a range of 12 to 17 total named storms (winds of 39 mph or higher). Of those, 5 to 9 could become hurricanes (winds of 74 mph or higher), including 1 to 4 major hurricanes (category 3, 4 or 5; with winds of 111 mph or higher).” Typical or not, it only takes one storm to do catastrophic damage – especially if it hits the Gulf Coast.
Windfern Forest Utility District (Windfern Forest UD) would like residents to consider making or refreshing their annual hurricane preparedness, and have compiled the below information and tips to review:
Make a Plan
Before hurricane season each year, make sure you and your family are prepared by planning ahead.
- Write down emergency phone numbers and keep them on the refrigerator or near every phone in your house. Program them into your cell phone too.
- Prepare an emergency supply kit.
- Locate the nearest shelter and different routes you can take to get there from your home. If shelter locations in your area have not been identified, learn how to find them in the event of a storm.
- Pet owners: Pre-identify shelters, a pet-friendly hotel, or an out-of-town friend or relative where you can take your pets in an evacuation. Local animal shelters may be able to offer advice on what to do with your pets if you are asked to evacuate your home.
Gather emergency supplies
During and after a hurricane, you may need supplies to keep your family safe and healthy. Remember that a hurricane could cut off your power and water supply. You also may not be able to drive because of damage to your car. Roads may be flooded or blocked.
That’s why it’s best to be prepared—stock up on everything you might need now. Be sure to prepare the following:
- An emergency food and water supply.
- An emergency medicine supply.
- Emergency power sources such as flashlights (don’t forget extra batteries).
- Safety and personal items.
- Important documents, including medical documents, wills, passports, and personal identification.
- A fire extinguisher. Make sure your family knows where to find it and how to use it! Read the National Fire Protection Association’s tips for using fire extinguishers.
Know the difference between a hurricane “watch” and “warning.”
Listen for National Weather Service alerts on TV or radio or check for them online. There are two kinds of alerts:
- A hurricane watch means hurricane conditions (sustained winds of 74 miles per hour [mph] or higher) are possible in a stated area. Experts announce hurricane watches 48 hours before they expect tropical-storm-force winds (sustained winds of 39 to 73 mph) to start.
- A hurricane warning is more serious. It means hurricane-force winds are expected in a stated area. Experts issue these warnings 36 hours before tropical-storm-force winds are expected in the area to give people enough time to prepare for the storm.
For more information about hurricane watches and warnings, check out the National Weather Service’s Hurricane Center. If you hear that there is a hurricane watch or warning in your area, you can take steps to get ready.
Get your car ready.
Make sure your car is ready before the storm hits.
- Fill your car’s gas tank.
- Move cars and trucks into your garage or under cover.
- Always keep an emergency kit in your car.
- Visit Ready.gov for information on how to prepare your car and what to include in your kit.
If you don’t own a car, consider making plans with friends or family or call authorities to get a ride if you need to evacuate.
Get your family and pets ready.
- Go over your emergency plan with your family.
- Keep checking for updates about the storm. Watch TV, listen to the radio, or check online.
- Call the hospital, public health department, or the police about special needs. If you or a loved one is older or disabled and won’t be able to leave quickly, get advice on what to do.
- Put pets and farm animals in a safe place. Read more about pet safety during an emergency.
Get your home ready.
- Clear your yard. Make sure there’s nothing that could blow around during the storm and damage your home. Move bikes, lawn furniture, grills, propane tanks, and building material inside or under shelter.
- Cover up windows and doors. Use storm shutters or nail pieces of plywood to the outside window frames to protect your windows. This can help keep you safe from pieces of shattered glass.
- Be ready to turn off your power. If you see flooding, downed power lines, or you have to leave your home, switch your power off.
- Fill clean water containers with drinking water. You’ll want to do this in case you lose your water supply during the storm. You can also fill up your sinks and bathtubs with water for washing.
- Check your carbon monoxide (CO) detector’s battery to prevent CO poisoning
Be ready to evacuate or stay at home.
Always listen to authorities regarding whether you should evacuate or stay at home.
If a hurricane is coming, you may hear an order from authorities to evacuate (leave your home). Never ignore an order to evacuate. Even sturdy, well-built houses may not hold up against a hurricane. Staying home to protect your property is not worth risking your health and safety.
You may hear an order to stay at home. If driving conditions are dangerous, staying at home might be safer than leaving.
If you need to evacuate:
- Grab your emergency supply kit and only take what you really need with you (cell phone, chargers, medicines, identification like a passport or license, and cash).
- Unplug your appliances. If you have time, turn off the gas, electricity, and water.
- Follow the roads that emergency workers recommend even if there’s traffic. Other routes might be blocked or flooded. Never drive through flooded areas—cars and other vehicles can be swept away or may stall in just 6 inches of moving water.
- Contact your local emergency management office and ask if they offer accommodations for owners and their pets. Learn more about evacuating with your pet.
If you need to stay home:
- Keep your emergency supply kit in a place you can easily access.
- Listen to the radio or TV for updates on the hurricane.
- Stay inside. Even if it looks calm, don’t go outside. Wait until you hear or see an official message that the hurricane is over. Sometimes, weather gets calm in the middle of a storm but then quickly gets bad again.
- Stay away from windows—you could get hurt by pieces of broken glass or flying debris during a storm. Stay in a room with no windows, or go inside a closet.
- Be ready to leave. If emergency authorities order you to leave or if your home is damaged, you may need to go to a shelter or a neighbor’s house.
The Windfern Forest UD website will be updated, as needed, with information regarding weather and storm warnings, flood risks, and any possible impacts to facilities or drainage as a result of severe weather. This will ensure that you have the most recent information as it relates specifically to Windfern Forest UD.
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Residents of Windfern Forest MUD,
Best Trash is your trash and recycle collection provider effective Thursday June 2, 2022.
Trash Collection is Every Monday and Thursday
Recycle Collection is Changing to Every Monday
Recycle services will begin on Monday June 6, 2022.
Best Trash will provide one (1) 48 gallon recycle cart per home. Best Trash will begin delivery on Tuesday 5/31 and continue through Wednesday 6/1.
Please Leave Existing Recycle Cart at the Curb for the Previous Provider to Empty and Collect on May 26, 2022
Please Have Trash and Recycle Out by 7:00 AM
On each regularly scheduled collection day, Best Trash will collect residential refuse located at the curbside in resident supplied trashcans between 30-50 gallons in size. Refuse must be in bags (not exceeding 30 gallons) or weighing over 40 pounds and then placed inside the trashcan. Items excluded from normal collection are dirt, rocks, bricks, tile, concrete, tires, batteries, motor oil, cooking oil, waste generated by a private contractor, or any materials or items deemed hazardous materials. Please do not dispose of gasoline, motor oil, paints, cooking oil, or any other liquid items in a container that are not visible to Best Trash personnel. If such items result in spillage that causes a stain, Best Trash is not responsible for the cleanup. Best Trash will leave a tag explaining the reason for any non-collected item(s).
Yard and Bulk Waste: Collected Both Collections Days Each Week
Trees, shrubs, brush trimmings and fencing must be no larger than 4 inches in diameter, no more than 4 feet long, tied in bundles not exceeding 40 pounds. The tied bundles is required to allow quick pick up and size limitations are required to avoid damaging the equipment in the compacting process. Items such as appliances, furniture, mattresses will be picked up on both collection days, please limit it to no more than 2 (TWO) items per collection day. Carpet (up to 1 room of carpet, cut less than 4 feet wide, tied in bundles not exceeding 40 pounds), will be picked up on both garbage collection days. By Federal Law, refrigerators, freezers, and any other items containing Freon must be drained of Freon and have an accompanying bill to validate such service was performed.
Recycleable Items: Paper (including cardboard), Plastics (1-7), Aluminum and Tin Cans and Glass (all colors)
Best Trash takes great pride in our recycle program. Ensuring the best recycle program for our customers takes time and effort on both sides. Please remove caps, liquids and food products from inside the containers. Please only use the provided recycle cart for recyclable materials. The green recycle cart is NOT an extra trash container and will NOT be emptied as such. If items exceed container capacity, please place them adjacent to the cart well marked as recyclable materials. Cardboard is recyclable, please break down all boxes flat, and place them next to the recycle cart for collection.
Plastic bags, pizza boxes, styrofoam, hangers, toys, clothes, and wood or any other items that do not have the official recycle logo on them.
Cart Care and Maintenance
Best Trash will provide each residence with ONE recycling cart. Best Trash will replace any cart that are defective or otherwise become unusable due to normal wear and tear. Lost or stolen recycle carts can be replaced for $85.00 + tax each by calling Best Trash.
If your regular trash or recycle collection day falls on a holiday (New Year’s Day, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Thanksgiving Day, and Christmas Day) the collection will be made on the next regularly scheduled collection day.
Please visit our website for additional information regarding the recycle collection guidelines.