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Donala Water & Sanitation District


 (719) 488-3603                 NOVEMBER 2012  



Your last chance to affect the District budget process is Thursday, December 6, 2012 at 1:30 p.m. at our Holbein office.  The Board of Directors will vote on the 2013 budget that day, as well as approve rates and fees for 2013.

The October “Our Community News” (OCN) accurately reported the recommended rate and tax changes being considered by Donala for 2013.  Final voting on those changes will be held at the District Board Meeting on December 6, 2012.  The December newsletter will thoroughly discuss the changes as well as compare Donala’s rates with neighboring utilities. 



One important trick to remember over the winter is to open a faucet to a small drip if you are going to be away from home for a long time.  If possible, make it a faucet that is at the other end of the house from your water meter (to keep the whole system moving) and/or at a faucet whose pipes are in the north wall (they get the coldest).  By doing this, you should still use only a minimal amount of water for the month and avoid the headaches of burst pipes when you return from your trip.

Another solution may be to turn off the supply to the house completely with the inside valve when on a trip.  Regardless of the season, things can happen that could cause a flood in your home while you are away.  Normally it is associated with a freeze, but washing machine hoses have been known to come loose, and plumbing breaks for no apparent reason (earthquake? stray cat? mice? full moon?).  One of our customers came home from Christmas in Australia to find their entire town home destroyed because they turned off the heat but not the water for their December trip.  Not a good idea.


                                                        So – when you go away in the winter:

                                                        1) Turn the heat down, BUT NOT OFF  

                                                        2) Turn the water off, or ……..

                                                        3) Leave a drip to keep it moving.




We like to periodically remind our customers that our direct payment program is available.  If you would like to have your payments automatically withdrawn from your bank account, please call us or come to our office at 15850 Holbein Drive to obtain information on the program and to fill out the necessary forms to authorize the withdrawals.  We will need a voided check to be sent with the paperwork to ensure the correct account number is accessed.  All authorized signatories on the account must sign the forms.  We are pleased to offer this program for your convenience.



The long hot summer with few of our usual afternoon thundershowers made many landscapes in Donala suffer.  However, xeriscapes in our community thrived, and were in their full glory in September and October, the end of the growing season, when Donala Water and Sanitation’s Xeriscape Contest was judged. We are pleased to announce the winners of this first Xeriscape competition.

Third place is awarded to the owners of 290 Wuthering Heights Drive. Many of you undoubtedly observed the installation of this xeriscape on the corner of Gleneagle Drive and Wuthering Heights as it was taking place in May of 2012.  They downsized their lawn and installed water-wise trees, shrubs and grasses as well as both organic and rock mulches. They also rerouted the irrigation system and replaced old style sprinkler heads with new ones, achieving a 42% irrigation savings over last season before the improvements were made. The resulting xeriscape blends well into the neighborhood and helps our community conserve water.

Second place is awarded to the owners of 15025 La Jolla Place for a xeriscape created about three years ago.  They removed a significant amount of bluegrass sod and integrated a dry stream bed, gorilla hair mulch and native drought-resistant grasses and plants as aesthetic features in the area surrounding their home. This landscape has saved 34% of the water formerly used to irrigated a once bluegrass–dominated yard.

First place is awarded to the owners of 440 Avocet Loop.  The unusual front yard landscape consists of a gravel berm bisected by a dry stream bed, ornamented with xeric plantings. A low privacy fence and a shade structure, along with flowers and trees enhance the side/back yards, creating a virtual outdoor room for the family to enjoy. The landscape is irrigated by a drip system. The conversion from traditional landscape to xeriscape saved 73% of the water previously used to irrigate the grounds. 

One of the most rewarding aspects of judging the competition was the chance the judges had to review the community’s landscapes and see just how many families are making water-wise changes to their property.  Some people had removed a portion of irrigated turf and replaced it with unwatered rock mulch or with a low water shrub and perennial border. Some had replaced older, less water-wise sprinkler heads with newer more efficient ones. Whether the reason for these changes is the pressure of high water bills or just social responsibility, we were pleased to see so many folks are taking water conservation seriously.  Our compliments to everyone who has created a water-wise, environmentally sensitive and aesthetically pleasing change in our semi-arid climate, no matter how small!   You’ve contributed to making every drop count!