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Merced Council approves water meters for all residents


How to Save Water 101  

*    Use drip irrigation for trees, shrubs, and flowers; saves 15 gallons/each time you water.  
*    Plant drought-resistant trees and plants; saves 30-60 gallons/each time you water/1,000 sq ft.  
*    Use a broom to clean driveways, sidewalks, and patios; saves 8-18 gallons/minute.  
*    Check your sprinkler system frequently and adjust so that you don’t have run-off; saves 15 gallons/each time you water.  
*    Place a layer of organic mulch around trees and plants, it helps reduce evaporation and prevents weeds; saves 20-30 gallons/each time you water/1,000 sq. ft.  
*    Turn off the shower water while washing your hair; saves up to 150 gallons a month.  
*    Turn off the faucet when brushing teeth or shaving; saves 10 gallons/day.  
*    Install faucet aerators on the kitchen faucet to reduce the flows to less than 1 gallon per minute.  
*    Keep toilets and water fixtures in good repair and fix leaks promptly.  
*    A new water efficient dishwasher can save 3-8 gallons per load.  

For more water efficient practices, check out  To report water being wasted, call 388-SAVE.  Or check us out at or Like us on Facebook at City of Merced: Water Conservation.

Greener Tomorrow

February is well underway, are you used to writing 2015 yet?  What other things are you trying to get used to in the new year? I was hoping to see more rain, but dry times continue.  What are you doing to help conserve? I challenge you all to think about a greener tomorrow through your own conservation efforts.  You may be tempted to start to water your lawn because of the continued lack of rain, but don’t do it.  I haven’t watered the lawn since October and it’s still a pale green. It’s alive and usually very wet in the morning from the dew and fog. 

If you are thinking the same thing, contemplating whether to water or not, let another couple of weeks go by.  If you feel you must water, keep a close eye on how much you water.  Our lawns can only accept so much water before it becomes saturated and the water flows off the top and down the gutter.  Water that goes in the gutter is a waste and it carries pollutants to our creeks and waterways.  Water run-off is a sign, you’ve watered too long or watered the sidewalk not the lawn.

Take the time to re-learn how to use your sprinkler timers if you’ve got them.  Most programmable timer manufacturers have detailed instructions on their websites and some even have short You Tube videos on how to reprogram.  Let’s all keep working on a “greener” tomorrow, we’ve all got to do our part during this drought.   

For questions on water conservation, call the City of Merced at 385-6800.  Or to report water being wasted, call 388-SAVE.

Watering Schedule

Addresses ending in 2, 4, 6, 8, or 0, Water on Tuesdays & Saturdays

Addresses ending in 1, 3, 5, 7, or 9, Water on Wednesdays & Sundays

And the window of hours to water are midnight to 9:00 a.m. and 9:00 p.m. to midnight; the best time for your lawn is early in the morning. 

Remember to turn off the sprinklers when it rains.

For more information or questions, check out the City’s website at or call the Public Works Water Department at 385-6800.  And keep your eye on these Green Tips articles for future water savings advice and information.

To report water being wasted call 388-SAVE.

How to Read Your Meter

Your water meter can tell you a lot of useful information.  You can use your meter to monitor your water use and to check for leaks.  It’s a good idea to check around your property for any cracked pipes and leaky sprinklers.

Water Meter Face

First locate your water meter, which should be in the front yard, either in the grass or side walk.  The lid will say WATER on it and it will have a notch where you can insert a long screw driver to pop the lid up.  Be careful when removing and replacing the lid, you don’t want to drop the lid on your foot or on the top of the meter!  The top of your meter will look like the photo.

Each full turn of the red dial is 1 cubic foot which is equal to 7.48 gallons.  In the City of Merced, your base water rate includes 30 hcf (hundred cubic feet) or 22,400 gallons of water per month. You can use more that 30 hcf of water, but it will cause your bill to increase.  The little blue dial is a low flow indicator and will move even when you have a small leak.  If all water inside and outside of your house is turned off completely and you check your meter, it should be perfectly still; unless you have a leak, then you will see the little blue dial moving. 

The water odometer, records water use like a car odometer will record miles.  The odometer records water use in cubic feet.  The digits from the right represent 1 cubic foot, 10 cubic feet, and 100 cubic feet respectfully.  You can tell how much water is being used if you write down your meter odometer’s full number, then come back the next week or month later and record that number.  Subtract the first number recorded from the most recent and that will tell you how many cubic feet have been used during that time frame.  You can convert it to gallons by multiplying that number by 7.48; then you will know how many gallons that you used during that time frame.  You can divide that number by the amount of days in between your recordings to find out an average of how many gallons per day you are using.  And if you find that you have a leak, fix it right away.  Leaking pipes are like money down the drain and simply a waste of our precious resource. 

For more information on how to read your water meter, you can contact me at the Public Works department, 385-6800.

Public Works - Water Conservation
Section UL
Watering Schedule 2014
File Name: 2014 Double sided insert-MULTI-LANG - drought.pdf
Revision Date: 5/8/2014
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