(Posted March 24, 2021) We’ve been sharing tips on social media and in our recent News story about easy ways that you and your family can help conserve water. Not only is this good for the environment and the community, but it saves you money on your water bill too.
One of our top tips is to apply mulch outdoors to retain moisture and prevent soil erosion. As we move from winter to spring, this is a particularly useful tip. For those of you less familiar with mulch, let’s discuss the benefits and how to make use of mulch in your landscaping.
Benefits of mulch
- Mulch improves the quality of your soil by breaking up clay and allowing better water and air movement through the soil. Mulch provides nutrients to sandy soil and improves its ability to hold water.
- Mulching is essential to the survival of your landscape during a drought. Mulch will reduce the amount of water that evaporates from your soil, greatly reducing your need to water your plants.
- Mulch acts as an insulating layer on top of soil, keeping it cooler in the summer. Roots like that!
- Mulch keeps weeds down, and the weeds that do grow are much easier to pull. Gardeners like that!
How to use mulch
- Before applying mulch, remove weeds and water thoroughly. This will help you get the most benefit from your new mulch.
- Replace the grass under trees with mulch to minimize competition for water and nutrients. This mimics the way trees grow in nature.
- Keep mulch 6-to-12 inches away from the base of trees and shrubs.
- Apply 2-to-4 inches of mulch in all planting areas. Finer mulches (sized a half-inch or smaller) should be applied no more than 2 inches deep. Courses mulches, such as large bark chips, can be applied 4 inches deep.
Shopping for mulch
Mulch is available by the bag or in bulk at various suppliers in the area, and there may be a rebate for mulch purchases through the North Marin Water District Water Smart Landscape Rebate Program (call 415-761-8944 for details). Bulk mulch is measured in cubic yards. You can calculate the volume of mulch you need by multiplying the area (in square feet) by the depth (fraction of foot, not inches), then dividing by 27.
200 square feet ✖ 0.250 (3” as fraction of foot) ➗ 27 = 2 cubic yards
An area that’s 200 square feet and 3” deep will require 2 cubic yards of mulch.
The following table will guide you:
We hope you enjoy the protecting, insulating, and moisture-retaining benefits of mulch this spring and beyond!
(Updated March 19, 2021) Public hearings were held on March 16, 2021 and the North Marin Water District Board of Directors adopted Emergency Water Conservation Ordinance No. 41 (Ordinance 41) in the Novato Service Area and amended Emergency Water Conservation Ordinance No. 39 (Ordinance 39) in the West Marin Service Area. A summary of each Ordinance is provided below with Ordinance document link included.
Novato Service Area (Ordinance No. 41)
The North Marin Water District Board of Directors adopted Emergency Water Conservation Ordinance No. 41 for the Novato Service Area, in response to dry year conditions, and in accordance with the Water Shortage Contingency Plan for Greater Novato Area. Emergency Water Conservation Ordinance No. 41 includes a declaration that a water shortage emergency conditions exists within the Novato Service Area, prohibits waste of water, authorizes future suspension of new or enlarged connections to the system via future resolution, authorizes future suspension of non-essential uses of water via future resolution, authorizes the imposition of administrative fines and penalties for violations of the Ordinance, and authorizes the Board of Directors to make subsequent modifications to Ordinance No. 41 by resolution. Emergency Water Conservation Ordinance 41 can be viewed below. In order to comply with Marin County Health Shelter in Place Order, inspection of the draft ordinance will not be available at the District office.
West Marin Service Area
The North Marin Water District Board of Directors adopted Amended Emergency Water Conservation Ordinance No. 39 for the West Marin Service Area in response to continued dry year conditions on Lagunitas Creek and pursuant to State Water Resources Control Board Order 95-17 for water right permits issued to North Marin Water District. Ordinance No. 39 provides for the imposition of water use restrictions and prohibits specific uses of water in order to ensure adequate water supplies are available to serve public health and safety requirements within the West Marin Service Area. As amended, Ordinance No. 39 authorizes the Board of Directors to make subsequent modifications to the Ordinance by resolution and authorizes the imposition of administrative fines and penalties for violations of the Ordinance. The Amended Emergency Water Conservation Ordinance 39 can be viewed below along with a summary sheet of water use prohibitions. In order to comply with Marin County Health Shelter in Place Order, inspection of the draft ordinance will not be available at the District office.
(Updated March 12, 2021) NMWD has begun a detailed study of the current water rates for the West Marin Service Area. This study is being conducted by an independent outside consultant who is completing a comprehensive and complete cost of service report and rate study to set and validate future water rates. Below is a schedule for upcoming workshops and public hearings. Customers and the public are welcome and encouraged to participate.
Special Board and Public Workshop – Rate Study Presentation (video below): February 23, 2021 Click Here for Meeting Agenda
Regular Board Meeting – Final Rate Study Report Presentation: March 16, 2021
Public Hearing to Enact New Water Rates: June 22, 2021
(Posted January 25, 2021) Due to unusually low rainfall this winter and below average rainfall conditions last year, our water storage levels are particularly low. This means we need your help in conserving water and preserving our community’s water sources — including Stafford Lake, Lake Mendocino, Lake Sonoma, and the Russian River.
We are proud to be part of the Sonoma-Marin Saving Water Partnership, which represents Sonoma Water and its wholesale water contractors, or the cities that deliver drinking water to more than 600,000 residents in the North Bay. The Partnership has come together to seek the community’s help in saving water, and we hope you will join us in this important mission.
Conserving water is easier than you might think! Small changes around your home can make a big difference, especially if each household can commit to just a few. Save water now by:
- Turning off your irrigation system. Plants need much less water during the winter. Manually water only when the soil below the surface is dry.
- Applying mulch to retain moisture and prevent soil erosion.
- Running only full loads of laundry or dishes. The dishwasher uses less water than washing by hand.
- When loading the dishwasher, skip rinsing and scrape food scraps into the compost bin instead of the garbage disposal.
- Turning off the water while you lather with soap, shave, and brush your teeth.
- Not using the toilet as a trash bin. Never flush wipes, tissues, masks, gloves, or paper towels.
- Replacing inefficient toilets with new high-efficiency models. Top performing models use just 0.8 gallons per flush.
- Using a broom instead of a hose to clean off patios, decks, sidewalks, and driveways.
- Finding and fixing leaks. Check your water meter and perform a toilet dye test.
- Re-landscape your yard with water smart plants. Look for the label at participating nurseries.
You’ll be seeing these tips on our social media channels over the next few weeks. Please share these tips with your friends and family so we can all make a difference, together.
Learn more about the Sonoma-Marin Saving Water Partnership at savingwaterpartnership.org
(Posted January 22, 2021) We are thrilled to introduce Tony Williams, North Marin Water District’s new Assistant General Manager/Chief Engineer!
Tony is a licensed Civil Engineer who holds a BS in Civil Engineering from the University of Washington and has over 26 years of diverse experience in both the public and private sectors. Most recently, he served as the Assistant Director of the County of Marin Department of Public Works. Prior to the County, Tony was a Senior Engineer with the City of Novato Public Works Department. Tony was born and raised in Marin County and is a graduate of Tamalpais High School. He has lived in Novato since 2000 with his wife of 28 years and their two daughters.
Tony will be leading and executing all North Marin Water District engineering projects as well as assisting in the management of North Marin Water District staff and operations. We are delighted to welcome Tony to our team!
(Posted 11/5/2020) North Marin Water District was formed by local voters in 1948. Each year since, water sources and water facilities have been evaluated, upgraded, and developed in order to meet the water supply needs of the community. The District built the Stafford Dam in 1951 and began importing Russian River water in 1961. Today, North Marin Water District receives about 70% of its water supply from the Russian River, but it’s important to consider alternative sources of water as the community’s needs and the environment’s needs evolve. Recycled water is an important part of North Marin Water District’s supply structure and continued efforts to become more sustainable.
What is recycled water?
Recycled water is wastewater treated to tertiary recycled water standards — the highest level of treatment defined by the State of California (referred to as Title 22). This water comes from Novato Sanitary District for the North and Central Service Areas and from Las Gallinas Valley Sanitary District for the South Service Area. There are four treatment steps that wastewater goes through before it is considered tertiary recycled water: primary treatment, biological treatment (secondary), filtration and disinfection (tertiary). This level of treatment allows for unrestricted reuse in virtually all recycled water applications. Recycled water meets strict federal, state, and county health and safety requirements — second only to drinking water in purity.
How is it used?
Currently, North Marin Water District uses recycled water for landscape irrigation at large office complexes, Valley Memorial Park Cemetery, three school fields (Hamilton Elementary, Lynwood Elementary, and the Novato Charter School), Stone Tree and Marin Country Club golf courses, many homeowners association common areas, and three automated car washes.
- High quality: Though it is not approved for drinking, recycled water is safe and effective for use in thousands of applications throughout the United States and the world. Of the three quality standards for recycled water in California, North Marin Water District’s recycled water is of the highest quality.
- Reliable: While the majority of properties may be forced to cut down on their water use during drought periods, properties using recycled water will not have their water supply affected by drought.
- Sustainable: Along with having a lower carbon footprint, recycling water uses less energy than developing other new sources of water. Additionally, recycled water offsets 10% of the potable water demand in Novato in summer months.
- Cost savings: Customers who use recycled water do not have to pay the +8% seasonal rate now in place in non-residential water use from May through November,