Mon12222014

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LAH researches ways to reduce water bills


Town Crier File Photo
The Little League Fields at Purissima Park in Los Altos Hills require copious amounts of water to maintain. The town is pursuing ways to reduce water consumption and save money.

Keeping the town’s baseball fields green is costing more green than the Los Altos Hills City Council wants to spend.

Taken aback by water bills for the town-owned Purissima Park that totaled an estimated $110,000 cumulatively over the past six years, the council is reviewing its options to conserve water – and money.

“We are in a drought situation,” said Councilman Gary Waldeck at last month’s council meeting. “What I would like to do is direct the Water Conservation Committee to look at alternatives and come back to us in two months with recommendations.”

Waldeck’s colleagues supported the idea, suggesting that the committee and the town’s engineering staff develop proposals for reducing water consumption and costs at Purissima Park.

With water rates at $26 a unit (748 gallons) and expected to rise, according to Waldeck, the cost of keeping the park green could exceed the $23,500 the town paid in 2012.

Cost-saving options include installing artificial turf, drilling a well, adding an underground water tank and delivering water by truck.

Los Altos and Los Altos Hills Little League pays to play at the park. Councilwoman Courtenay C. Corrigan suggested that the town examine renting the fields to additional organizations to defray expenses.

“There is a dire need for fields, so this ought to be discussed in the full context of who will pay to use these fields,” she said.

Councilmembers requested that staff and the committee examine water use at the town-owned Westwind Community Barn. The horse boarding and training facility has an on-site well with limited storage capacity, which requires Los Altos Hills to purchase additional water.

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