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Early August 2010
Water conservation reminder; Always on Spotlight - Unclaimed property search; General Plan approved; Preservation Minute - Historical Downtown Buildings; Development Services Office now open; 5k for Clay and Recreation registration.
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  • Winter Waterland

    I've started hearing the question: "how much to I water the lawn in the winter?"  from the newly moved here Texans; of course, the answer depends on who you talk to!  As you know, the winter months are a great time to cut back on water use, reduce water bills, and make sure things are running properly and efficiently at your property.  Winter is ideal, because during these cooler months, your irrigation system doesn't need to run as often, or at all, and many utilities use the average of the winter water consumption to determine the wastewater charges for the rest of the year. 

    Central Texas doesn't typically have the long, hard freezes that more common to the northern areas of the state and country, so often "winterizing" the irrigation system isn't as a necessity as it is where freezes are more prolonged.  In our region, the most valuable adjustment you can make is to reduce the watering schedule or simply turn off the irrigation controller during the winter months.  Because the temperatures are cooler, less water is lost to evaporation and transpiration and plants simply do not need as much to replenish what is lost.

    In addition to cooler temperatures, winter is typically our rainy season too, so it's best to take advantage of the free, nitrogen-rich rainfall.  During normal winter conditions, the irrigation doesn't need to be turned on more than once per month, if at all. 

    If you DO want to turn it off completely and winterize your system as a precaution and to ensure water savings, there are a few quick steps to take, or call a licensed irrigator to do it for you.

    1. First locate the backflow prevention device or the main valve to the sprinkler system.  Both are usually located very close to the water meter.  The backflow is located in a box that typically has a green, rectangular, plastic lid.  See the picture on the right.

    2.  Next, turn the water off to the system at the backflow device.  Do this by opening up the green lid and turning one of the handles so that it is perpendicular to the metal device.  In the picture, the handles of the backflow are blue.  The arrows are pointing to the handles.  It's not necessary to turn them both, just one will be fine.

    3. Then manually run each station for a minute or less to blow the rest of the water in the lines out; this eliminates the chance of any residual water freezing in the lines and causing pipe breaks or cracks.

    4. Turn the system controller off when all the stations have run and leave the system off for the duration of the winter.

    Again, this type of winterizing is not always necessary here, due to the lack of long, hard freezes; however if your irrigation system isn't going to be used all winter, it certainly is worth the time to turn it off and clean the lines out.

  • Round Rock Night before Christmas 2014 (or, The Truth about Our Favorite Public Library Customer)

    ‘Tis Christmas Eve night, and Round Rock ’s slumber-bound, In the mood for a holiday story profound. We desire an account of Saint Nick’s successes With gifts all conveyed before dawn coalesces. But what if, instead, this page shared revelations Concerning the hero of our expectations? For Santa’s not... MORE»
    Posted to Reader's Exchange (Library) by Linda Sappenfield on 12-05-2014 | with no comments
  • The gift that keeps on changing

    Feeling gratitude and not expressing it is like a wrapping a present and not giving it. –William Arthur Ward There! With someone else’s graceful expression, I address the ThanksgivingBlackFridayChristmas mash-up constructively-- unlike what happened at home: Schlepping laundry across the TV-viewing area... MORE»
    Posted to Reader's Exchange (Library) by Linda Sappenfield on 11-26-2014 | with no comments
  • Top 10 Reasons to Aerate your lawn

    I came across a good website ( the other day about lawn aeration, and the numerous benefits associated with it. It was timely for me, as I was discussing the same topic with some colleagues recently. Lawn aeration is crucial to having a healthy yard that requires less water. We'll... MORE»
  • Keep Water use Low in Winter & Save Year-Round

    Winter seems to have come quickly this year! I t's already the middle of November and wastewater averaging (WWA) is upon us. What is wastewater averaging , you ask? Well, let me tell you... In the winter months (November, December, January, and February) the City assumes that our water usage is lower... MORE»
  • All I want is a room somewhere (else)

    It’s tempting to channel Eliza Dolittle, imagining what would be architecturally “loverly” even before blueprints for the new library get underway. Recently I speculated how our workflow would benefit if staff offices were situated close together, so that we could quickly step over and consult with someone... MORE»
    Posted to Reader's Exchange (Library) by Linda Sappenfield on 11-10-2014 | with no comments
  • Pre-owned and priceless

    Some museum curators travel the globe to acquire items of significance. A more budget-friendly strategy: pick up the phone and graciously accept when, out of the blue, a caller offers to donate and deliver something exceptional. Actually, that’s the only approach if your institution operates on almost... MORE»
    Posted to Reader's Exchange (Library) by Linda Sappenfield on 10-24-2014 | with no comments
  • Fall is Here--You Can Water Less!

    Now that we're officially into Fall and we've been enjoying the cooler temperatures; it's time to reduce the watering times on your irrigation controllers. With less evaporation occurring, the landscape doesn't need to be watered as often as during the summer months. My general rule of... MORE»
  • That ship has sailed. Hope there were books aboard...

    Did you celebrate New Year’s last week? Beginning October 1, City of Round Rock is operating in fiscal year 2014-15. Friends of the Round Rock Public Library hosted a clever “End of Fiscal Year” event on September 30 for staffers with homemade goodies, non-alcoholic fruit "champagne" in glamorous... MORE»
    Posted to Reader's Exchange (Library) by Linda Sappenfield on 10-08-2014 | with no comments
  • Catch the rain before it's gone!

    Once again, the huge amount of rains in the last weeks have made me think a lot about how to take more advantage of rainwater, or really, just collect more. Which leads me to a question I was asked once that was along the lines of "I feel like I should be collecting rainwater, but don't have... MORE»
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