Water Use Efficiency – Goal Setting 2021-2027

As a WA State public water provider, LLSWD is required to define goals that reduce water waste/loss on our distribution system, as well as on the customer/demand side. During our comprehensive planning efforts, which occur every 6 years, we are required to update our Water Use Efficiency (WUE) plan. This involves actionable changes to the way we operate the water distribution system on a daily basis, data collection improvements, targeted outreach, free water reducing fixtures/attachments, and programs to encourage modifications to end user’s water using practices.

During our Board of Commissioner’s meeting, 9/20/21, the LLSWD Board will be discussing the proposed changes to our WUE for the next 6 years. If you have any input/questions about this topic, we encourage you to join in on the Public Forum virtually (follow the link below for info), or you can email Jeremy Jenkins, Environmental Manager -and- WUE Program Lead for LLSWD: jjenkins@libertylake.org.

https://www.doh.wa.gov/CommunityandEnvironment/DrinkingWater/WaterSystemDesignandPlanning/WaterUseEfficiency/PublicForumInformation

Adopted Goal – 2015-2021

Keep annual water production growth rate at or below 1.6% (16 million gallons) of the previous year’s level, over the next 6 years.

Adopted Measures – 2015-2021

  1. Service Side Improvements
    1. Meter replacement schedule
    2. Radio read program implementation
    3. Conservation rate structure improvements
  2. Outdoor Irrigation – Smart Controls
    1. AgriMet weather station applications
    2. Share real-time ET information for smart controllers
    3. Sensor Incentive Program for top 2 tier’s
    4. Door hangars – encourage proper techniques
  3. Education and Outreach – Public
    1. District website
    2. Community workshops
    3. Use of WaterSense partner status
    4. Quarterly bill insert/newsletter
    5. Local newspaper advertisements and engagement
    6. Interface with regional efforts/groups – standardize messaging, establish “brand”
  4. Indoor Water Use Reduction
    1. Water conservation devices (aerators, low-flow showerheads)
    2. Community workshops
    3. Pamphlets and fact sheets
    4. Encourage use of High Efficiency fixtures/appliances
  5. Reclaimed Water
    1. Find probable end-users
    2. Develop sustainable, long-term plan
    3. Work with City of Liberty Lake to identify current and future areas which could benefit
  6. Education and Outreach – Landscape Contractors
    1. Mailers highlighting District regulations and suggested practices
    2. Provide list of District resources they could suggest to their customers
    3. Relationship building – use the District as an asset, not just provider of water

Proposed Goal – 2021-2027

Keep annual water production growth rate at or below 1.8% (xx million gallons) of the previous year’s level, over the next 6 years.
– this adjustment up from our last goal is due to the rapid and unexpected rate of growth experienced in our service area. 

The proposed changes to our Water Use Efficiency goal and measures are intended to address the largest usage of water in the Liberty Lake Sewer and Water District’s service area – outdoor landscape irrigation. This use category holds the largest potential for reduction of water use by making small to medium effort changes to existing irrigation/sprinkler systems. By focusing on retrofitting heads to newer technologies, such as MP Rotator style pop-up heads, a 50-70% reduction of water use can be achieved, while still delivering the intended volume of water to the landscape. A second retrofit that can reduce water usage is installing an internet connected “smart controller”. These newer irrigation controllers are largely app-based, pull in weather/climate information, and are very user-friendly. Some even notify if there are leaks in the system. The granular controls, weather delay/interrupt, and notifications to a smartphone will increase the customer’s situational awareness of their irrigation system.

The other area that should be considered is water waste along roads/trails and swales. Many stormwater swales in Liberty Lake are over-watered. Engagement with those customers could reduce their usage, as well as reduce overspray/wind drift. These changes would be easy to account for via meter data, as well as manufacturer data (if retrofits were made). The City of Liberty Lake is going to be working on a Stormwater Master Plan in 2021/2022. LLSWD will be involved, and this topic of water use efficiency will be brought up and hopefully incorporated into the final Plan.

Finally, the most important aspect of these measures to show LLSWD is making progress towards the adopted goal will be tracking/accounting of gained efficiencies. Use of education is not easily quantified, but physical retrofits can be. Finding a way to engage with customers and encourage them to make changes – while tracking such actions all the way to implementation will be paramount. How exactly that will be accomplished is a topic for discussion.

Proposed Measures – 2021-2027

  1. Service Side Improvements
    1. Meter replacement program – complete phased implementation
    2. Radio read program base station implementation (leak alarming…)
    3. Conservation rate structure improvements
    4. District/Construction use tracking improvements
    5. Aged Distribution main replacement (leak remediation)
  2. Outdoor Irrigation – Smart Controls
    1. Smart Controller adoption campaign
    2. Irrigation Design Standards
    3. Door hangers/Yard Flags – encourage proper techniques
  3. Education and Outreach – Public
    1. District website
    2. Community workshops – Irrigation Design Standards
    3. Use of WaterSense partner status
    4. Quarterly bill insert/newsletter
    5. Local newspaper advertisements and engagement
    6. Interface with regional efforts/groups – standardize messaging, establish “brand”
  4. Indoor Water Use Reduction
    1. Water conservation devices (aerators, low-flow showerheads)
    2. Community workshops
    3. Pamphlets and fact sheets
    4. Encourage use of High Efficiency fixtures/appliances
  5. Reclaimed Water
    1. Find probable end-users
    2. Develop sustainable, long-term plan
    3. Reclaimed Bulk Water Fill Station
    4. Work with City of Liberty Lake to identify current and future areas which could benefit
  6. [new] Commercial/Municipal Efficiencies
    1. Stormwater swale – water use reductions
    2. Spray head swap out program
    3. Landscape conversion/reduction
    4. Assistance program?
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Environmental Manager, Liberty Lake Sewer and Water District. -Lake Management (Water Quality, Plant Management) -Resource Protection (Lake, Aquifer, River) -Education/Outreach