SustainaBlue Landscapes eNewsletter
Edition 4
Mar/Apr 2017

Adjust your clocks on March 12th for Daylight Saving Time.

It's time to spring forward!  Also,  be sure to make changes to your watering schedule on your sprinkler controller that are appropriate for this season.

For more details on how to use the Watering Index  and how to create a custom watering schedule using the online Watering Calculator, visit our website

Survey Says...
Thank you for your feedback from the last edition's survey!  Here are some of the results.  Majority of respondents were interested in...

72% L ow water-use plants and/or CA natives
69%  Learning via online videos & tutorials
45% A h abitat gardening & pollinators class
41%  A small yard & patio landscaping  class

We've heard what you had to say!
RSVP for the Small Yard & Patio Landscaping class on Saturday, April 29th.
visit our website
SMWD SustainaBlue Landscapes Tour
SMWD's first ever SustainaBlue Landscapes Tour will feature homes with outstanding, sustainable landscapes right here in our service area.  This self-guided tour will give you the opportunity to visit these beautiful landscapes and speak with the homeowners.  Please register for this tour by visiting .  The tour list will only be made available to those who register. 

Partnership with OC California Native Plant Society
SMWD is partnering with the Orange County California Native Plant Society (OCCNPS) to give you the opportunity to visit homes not only in our service area, but throughout all of Orange County.  OCCNPS's Garden Tour - California in my Garden, features 20 gardens that demonstrate how our water-saving California native plants enhance landscapes of all sizes and designs.  *To receive your FREE ticket for the OCCNPS Garden Tour, register at
DIY Home Efficiency Check-up
Water Meter:
How to Read It

Just like a car odometer measures miles, the meter tracks how much water you use.  Meters measure water in cubic feet.  One full rotation of the red sweep hand is 1 cubic foot, or 7.48 gallons.  SMWD bills customers in increments of 100 cubic feet (CCF).  So 1 billing unit (1 CCF) equals 748 gallons.  The meter to the right reads 4 CCF.  Your meter tracks your water use and can help you find leaks.  It is usually located in a small concrete box near the street.
How to Check for Leaks

To check for leaks, turn off all faucets and water-using devices inside and outside your home.  The triangle located on the face of the water meter is the low flow indicator  - it will spin if any water passes through the meter.  Because you have turned off all faucets and water-using devices, the triangle should be completely motionless.  If your water meter's triangle, or low flow indicator, is spinning and you want to check your home for leaks, turn off your house valve.  If the triangle continues to spin, the leak is outdoors.  If the triangle stops spinning entirely, the leak is indoors.
Common Issues

Common issues around the house that may cause leaks, or register slow movement on the water meter, include leaky toilets, leaky fixtures (showerheads, faucets, hose bibs, etc.), or leaky appliances (water heater, ice maker, etc.).  Some leaks that are more severe include slab leaks, main line leaks, and swimming pool leaks.  Some outdoor issues that may cause leaks include stuck irrigation valves or broken irrigation lines.

Be sure to look for leaks, pooling water, or wet areas around your property that do not dry up.  These signs may be indicative of a leak and/or broken service/irrigation line located underground.
DID YOU KNOW that SMWD staff can perform a FREE efficiency check-up of your home?  Experiencing higher than normal water use?  Call us at 949-459-6593 to schedule an appointment.
Tip of the Month: Catch That Rainwater!
Install a rain barrel and capture gallons of water coming from your roof.
 Our friends at the Ecology Center in San Juan Capistrano have put together some great resources and videos on how to capture rainwater.

Check out class details and reserve your seat at
Saturday, April 8th
10:00am - 2:00pm
Saturday, April 29th
Small Yard & Patio Landscaping
Save the Date
for our annual Water Festival
Saturday, May 20th
10:00am - 2:00pm
◦ Wildflower Alert!   
Ready to get outside?

Spring has sprung with explosive wildflower blooms occurring throughout much of Orange County, thanks especially to this wonderfully wet winter.  

OC California Native Plant Society Board Member, Ron Vanderhoff reminds us that, "If there was ever a spring to get out and enjoy our wildflowers, this must surely be it!"

Check out the OCCNPS Facebook for wildflower bloom alerts and field trip opportunities right here in OC.

OCCNPS Facebook

Follow us on Instagram: @ smwd_sustainablue

We'll be posting a bunch of wildflower photos using #smwdwildflower. Snap and post your own photos of wildflowers this season and share by using #smwdwildflower.  
Santa Margarita Water District
Water Use Efficiency  |  949-459-6593  |
26111 Antonio Parkway
Rancho Santa Margarita, CA 92688