August 9, 2014 Meeting Summary


E-mail and phone reminders


6 members


Susan brought delicious muffins/cupcakes


Agenda Items:

The meeting began about 11:30 am

  • Water Shortage declared – watering restrictions
    • In response to the State Water Board declaration of an emergency and regulations on July 15, on July 28 the Pasadena City Council declared a water emergency, implemented the Level 1 Water Supply Shortage Plan, and established a goal of saving 20% on water usage compared to 2013.
    • The Level 1 plan is the same one we were under a few years ago.
    • The Level 1 plan’s primary restriction is limiting watering to Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday only from April 1 to October 31, and just one of those days of the week from November 1 to March 31.  This restriction does not apply to low flow drip irrigation, using a hand held bucket or hose with shut-off nozzle, while actively repairing an irrigation system, or for maintenance of fruit and vegetables intended for consumption.
    • Penalties for residential violations start with a warning notice. A second violation within a year is a $100 fine, a third is $200, a fourth is $350, a fifth or higher is $500.  The penalties will be added to the customer’s water bill.  The water department has the option of installing a water flow restrictor to one gallon per minute for repeated willful violations, or it can cut off service entirely.
    • A commenter at the council meeting noted that in the years since the water waste ordinance was passed, Pasadena Water and Power has never issued a water wasting fine and only a few hundred warnings.
    • The permanent (all the time) water use restrictions continue.  The basic residential ones are:
      • No watering between 9 am and 6 pm on any day, except by hand held bucket, hose with shutoff nozzle, or during active repair of an irrigation system.
      • No watering during periods of rain.
      • No “excessive” water flow or runoff onto adjacent areas.
      • No washing down hard or paved surfaces except using a bucket or hand held hose with shutoff valve for health and safety purposes.  (Note that it is exclusively the water company’s view on what is or is not needed for health and safety.)
      • Requirement to fix leaks, breaks, and malfunctions.  This is seven days normally, but with each level of water shortage the time frame becomes shorter.  For Level 1 it is 3 days.
      • Any water fountain or other decorative water feature must re-circulate its water.
      • Vehicles may only be washed with a bucket or a hand held hose with a shut-off nozzle.
    • Meeting the 20% reduction vs 2013 usage will be nearly impossible, certainly under Level 1 restrictions.  The 2013 baseline was picked as a guess as to what the state will specify, and could be changed if the state specifies a different year.  2013 usage was already 20% lower per capita then it was in 2007.  Usage was lowest in 2011, at 24% less then 2007, but has gone up since. Usage so far this year is somewhat higher then last year.  For fiscal year 2014, water usage was 3% higher then fiscal year 2013, and only 14% lower then fiscal year 2007.
    • Enforcement will be implemented by existing field staff and short term reassignment of support staff.
    • As water usage is successfully reduced, the rates will have to be increased further to achieve budgeted levels of spending on capital improvements and giving money to the city’s general fund.
    • One measure that will be considered in the future is to go back to a five tier rate structure with much higher rates for the highest usage tiers.  The fifth tier was eliminated and fourth tier rates were reduced by 25% in 2010.
    • To report water waste, you can
      • File a report using the online Citizen Service Center.
      • File a report using the Citizen Service Center App (go to online Citizen Service Center to download it)
      • Call the Water Waste Hotline at (626) 744-8888.  They say it will be staffed 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
  • Water saving rebates / incentives increased
    • Many of the water saving rebates offered through Pasadena Water and Power have been increased, in some cases doubled, in recent months.
    • The rebates are a collaboration between Pasadena Water and Power (PWP) and the Metropolitan Water District (MWD).  The MWD rebate is increased with matching funds from PWP.
    • If you are interested in using a rebate, you need to carefully follow the rules for the specific rebate.  In some cases there are pre-requisites or a reservation is required.  All are on a first come, first served basis. If you’ve ever gotten a rebate for a particular type of device, you cannot get another one for the same type of device.
      • Turf Removal Program – get $2 per square foot for removing grass.  Note that your grass must be alive and well and pre-inspected for the rebate before you kill or remove it.
      • Rain Barrel Rebate – $100 for a minimum 50 gallon size barrel, maximum of 4 barrels.
      • High Efficiency Toilet – $100.  1.28 gallons or less per flush.
      • High Efficiency Clothes Washer – $300.
      • Soil Moisture Sensor System – $250
      • Rotating Nozzles for Pop-up Spray Heads Retrofits – $7 per nozzle, minimum of 15 nozzles
      • Weather-Based Irrigation Controller – $250
    • Start from this Pasadena Water and Power rebate page.  You have to scroll down a ways to get to the water section.
  • Pasadena Energy Roadmap Movie Event
    • Not a movie, but rather an hour long presentation including some “Energy Roadmap” videos, held at a theater.
    • The first in a 3-part series of events about Pasadena Water & Power’s Integrated Resource Plan (IRP).
    • The IRP is a the long range plan for “reliable, environmentally-responsible electric service, competitive rates and energy independence over the next 20 years”
    • The presentation will include:
      • Why Pasadena needs an Energy Roadmap
      • Where Pasadena’s energy comes from & how it gets to you
      • Renewable & conventional energy sources
      • Setting Pasadena’s future energy goals
      • Energy efficiency programs & rebates
    • Attendees will get a free LED bulb, popcorn, and “other goodies”.
    • Two identical presentations:  Wednesday August 27 at 6:30 p.m. OR Saturday August 30 at 10:30 a.m.
    • at Laemmle Playhouse 7 Theaters, 673 East Colorado Blvd., Pasadena
    • RSVP Required via the Citizen Service Center. Go online and for the topic select “Energy Roadmap Event Registration”, which is located under “Water and Power”.  Or call the Citizen Service Center at 626-744-7311
  • Pasadena Emergency Response Training class October 25
    • This is the short Pasadena introductory course of training, being presented for Council District 4 residents (that’s us).  They are not ready to take reservations yet, this is just being announced now so you can hold the date open if you’re interested.
    • Saturday October 25
      8 a.m. – 12 p.m.
      St Luke Medical Center property
      2750 Washington Blvd.
  • Local Crime Summary
    • For the last month, from
      • Tues July 29, 8:45 am, 600 block Sierra Madre Villa Ave, Battery/Assault
      • Thurs July 31, 4:41 pm, 3200 block La Tierra St, Malicious Mischief Misdemeanor Vandalism
      • Thurs August 7, 5:12 pm, 3200 block Mataro St, Burglary
        • Neighbor reports it probably occurred a couple days earlier.  An empty house on south side. Thieves stole the water heater and garage door opener.
      • Daisy Villa (across Eaton Wash from us) had 6 residential burglaries in the past month, 5 of them in the past 10 days.
  • anything else attendees wish to discuss
    • Electric undergrounding on Vineyard Pl
      • Updates on the electrical undergrounding process we’ve been learning about.
      • It turns out the rebate form is an old fashioned multi-part carbon copies deal.  It has to be requested and then is sent by mail.  It is described as being confusing.
      • The homeowner work was signed off on 7/10 and PWP notified 7/11.  The street work began on 8/1 and is supposed to be done by 8/13.  The street work seems to include putting in an underground vault about the mid-point of Vineyard Pl.
      • Wondering how it can be cost effective to be doing the street part of the work in little sections all over the city based on when a property owner within 200 feet of, but not adjacent to, an existed underground electric system happens to decide to upgrade their electrical capacity.
    • Secretary resigned
      • Vincent Torres submitted his resignation from the position of Secretary.  He has sold his house and moved out of the neighborhood.

Next meeting is September 13, 11:15 am, at Hastings Branch Library meeting room

Adjourned about 12:30 pm