CVWD changes watering schedule

By Brandon HENSLEY

Crescenta Valley Water District customers can expect both a little more and a little less in terms of water usage with the board’s new plan.
In Tuesday’s board meeting, general manager Dennis Erdman discussed a new plan that will allow customers to water three days a week on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays. According to a press release about the plan, with the increase in the number of days comes a decrease in the amount of watering time per station. The maximum watering time per station is now seven minutes down from the previous 10 minutes per watering station.
This change is effective immediately.
Watering days will now be the same for CVWD as the cities of Glendale, Burbank, and Pasadena. The district urges consumers to continue working on long-term water reduction efforts.
The increased number of water days means that there will be a surplus of one minute more a week compared to the current time customers are allowed. The board seemed to agree that while sticking to a conservation plan is important, just one minute more won’t affect in the big picture.
Erdman called this move a “regional approach” to appeal more to customers.
“We really don’t want to short cut ourselves in terms of the progress we’ve made in conservation, but yet we don’t want to be out of step with the other communities,” he said to the board.
Board member Kerry Erickson said it is going to be the right move to stay at lesser minutes compared to other agencies.
“We were 20 minutes last year, and we just felt we made very good progress last year, and if we went up to 30, I think we might lose a little bit of that,” he said.
Erdman still stressed that conservation will be important this summer, and said that interns, who will be hired by the district next month, will have a part in finding where wasteful runoff conditions are located.
There was also a point of contention in the beginning of the meeting. David and Gordon Downs of Downs Electric were on hand to protest CV denying them a bid to replace the district’s electrical motor control center at Eagle Canyons Reservoir.
District Engineer David Gould explained that while Downs Electric was the lowest bidder, CV would instead be going to the second lowest bidder, A & B electric, for the job. Gould’s reasoning was that in reviewing the bid, Downs Electric “did not meet our standards for our contract documents as required,” which included comparable project experience, subcontractor information, equipment and material submittal.
In a statement to the board, Gordon said CV did not itemize the need to provide the manufacturer of the equipment, so they didn’t include it in the bid. Downs Electric’s proposal also did not include all contact information for its references. After further research by CV, only two contacts responded.
CV has worked with A & B before, and did not contact all of its references this time. A & B’s bid was $300 higher than Downs Electric.
“I feel like the Engineering Department, after contacting our references and still being unsure of our qualifications, did not take the time at that point to contact us to discuss their concerns prior to making a recommendation to the board,” said Gordon.
Gould told Gordon, “We agree to disagree, but we know we did this right.” Legal adviser Tom Bunn said the district is within its right to deny Downs Electric. The discussion was tabled for the next scheduled meeting on May 11.
Gould also reported that water usage has been down 29.1% compared to last year at this time, and 27.8% less than the five-year average. The probable reasons could be customers are paying attention to the increased rainfall and not using as much water themselves, as well the district’s continual stressing of conservation. CV does not expect the decreased amount to continue that pattern.