New regulations

plantladycoSeptember 30, 2002

In Colo Spgs, as of Oct 1,we can only water the lawn once a month--trees,shrubs and flower beds twice a month.

The lawn I could care less about(a good part of it is coming out soon)but I'm concerned about my new Fall perennials. I'm going to use my illegal rain barrel to keep them alive. Don't turn me in!!

Kathy

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stimpy926

Won't rat on you Kathy!! Yesterday, I moved around some little azealeas, put in two new beauty berry's, a mahonia belei (sp), and moved perennials around as well, then watered all with 55 gallons of Isadore H20 saved from my roof. Didn't feel guilty that way. Hope we get at least some more to fill it again, so I can give them a good soak or 2 b/4 winter.
Camoflauge your rain barrel as a giant pumpkin! :-)

    Bookmark   September 30, 2002 at 8:05PM
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plantladyco

How about the Michelin tire man??

    Bookmark   September 30, 2002 at 11:28PM
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webegardnr(7NC)

Kathy,
I've missed something. Rain barrels are illegal in CO?
I must admit, I was shocked when I watched the news last night and saw y'all are just going on maditory restrictions.

    Bookmark   October 1, 2002 at 9:47AM
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plantladyco

First of all, we have been on water restrictions all Summer--these are just tighter.
Rain barrels(or anything that hoards water) are illegal.
Water rights are a big deal in the West. All water is spoken for, and if you keep some, you're depriving someone downstream.

    Bookmark   October 1, 2002 at 10:43AM
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janet_a(MD 6b)

"Water rights are a big deal in the West. All water is spoken for, and if you keep some, you're depriving someone downstream."

well, but aren't you entitled to the water that falls on your property? (i.e., roof?)

    Bookmark   October 1, 2002 at 11:19AM
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plantladyco

Legally---NO!! If it falls on the ground then it's going back into the water table. If you hoard it, it's not.

    Bookmark   October 1, 2002 at 2:32PM
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janet_a(MD 6b)

mind boggling. but then, i should talk; i'm in maryland, where we're fighting with virginia about another intake pipe (for virginia) in the potomac. oi. i think we should just invade and have done with. ;-)

    Bookmark   October 1, 2002 at 5:17PM
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iann

Careful Janet ... the south shall rise again :)

--ian

    Bookmark   October 2, 2002 at 6:04AM
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Rosa(4ish CO Rockie)

All of Colorado's water is spoken for by surrounding states and/or the Denver Water Board. We used to joke about the "water police" before the drought. Now it's not a joke but reality!! It's bad here. We have 1/2 or less the normal precip this year. Even with some good winter precip the deficit is so great (we are in the 4th dry year with this year being the worst) we are unlikely to recover this year or next.

    Bookmark   October 2, 2002 at 8:06AM
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janet_a(MD 6b)

ian, i'm glad you mentioned that. :) i went to leesburg a couple weekends ago; it was a very educational trip. first, there were the several very tense moments trying to get the car on and off the ferry; the river is so low, flow controls nothwithstanding, that the pitch to drive onto the ferry is steep enough that i was seriously worried about my fenders. (fairly low slung sports car)

then there was the side trip i took to the monocacy aqueduct; the monocacy is stagnant and wade-able from shore to shore now (and had a hell of a hatch on too). my brother the military historian pointed out that had these conditions existed during the civil war, the outcome would have been quite different for the confederacy.

and finally, in leesburg itself, where it was starting to rain, EVERYBODY had their lawn sprinklers on. you'd think we weren't having a drought or anything. yeesh. ;)

as for the western states, wellll..... my mind still boggles. and isn't it in texas where someone is trying to suck the water out of aquifers that are actually under other people's property? oi! i don't have a solution for this. :(

    Bookmark   October 2, 2002 at 10:03AM
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glycera(z7a VA)

Mind boggling is right! Water collected in a rain barrel and used on the garden will end up in the water table just as if it is allowed to run out the downspout. This idea that collecting roof run-off is "hoarding" water is ridiculous!

And here in central Virginia we haven't been allowed ANY outdoor use of water for over two months now, so I envy anyone who can legally water plants once or twice a week!

And speaking of water police, I heard a hilarious story on NPR a few weeks ago. It seems a water policeman somewhere or other was citing a priest for watering his garden, and the priest told him he couldn't do that because the Constitution mandated separation of church and state!!

I do feel for the poor Louisianians, but oh my, we sure could use a bit of Lili's rain here.

---Margaret

    Bookmark   October 2, 2002 at 12:04PM
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stimpy926

I often theorize that future world wars will be over water....... makes me think of "Waterworld"..
maybe CO is worried people will save roof water for hot tubs, pools....then it doesn't get into water table...
LONG LIVE LILLI!!! Come north babe, spread wide, and steer east.

    Bookmark   October 2, 2002 at 3:22PM
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plantladyco

The law might be ridiculous, but it's still a law. I grew up in the East and I can tell you that it's different here in the wild, wild West!! But I love it here.

    Bookmark   October 2, 2002 at 3:25PM
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iann

I don't find that law ridiculous. I find it almost inevitable in a place where people's desire for water outstrips the supply. Applying the concept of hoarding to water stored in a barrel for a few days may seem excessive, but the line has to be drawn somewhere. How many weeks, months, or years should someone be allowed to store water, and how much, and for what purpose, and from what source?

--ian

    Bookmark   October 2, 2002 at 6:37PM
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plantladyco

You should know that I don't disagree with the law---and I'm being really good about not watering when I'm not supposed to. But I am cheating with my rain barrel. I need water for my new perennial beds. I never fill it with anything but rain. And since I'm about to take out 50% of my lawn, I guess I feel it's OK

    Bookmark   October 2, 2002 at 6:48PM
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Rosa(4ish CO Rockie)

I don't disagree with the law either and there has to be a line somwhere, but what bugs me about this is that last week on the way to dinner in the RAIN, all the businesses one one side of the street had their sprinklers going because it was their specific "day" to water. And plantlady could be fined for using a rain barrel even though she's giving up 50% of lawn and replacing it with less water guzzling plants.
Instead of just fining people for misuse or overuse and raising water rates, credits ought to be given for taking out the bluegrass and replacing it with more drought tolerant plants, installing low flush toilets, etc. If there was some reward instead of punishment attached more people might conserve.

    Bookmark   October 2, 2002 at 9:38PM
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plantladyco

Colo Spgs utilities does offer rebates for those things---I'm hoping to get a rebate for eliminating lawn. You get credits on your water bills.

    Bookmark   October 2, 2002 at 11:10PM
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Rosa(4ish CO Rockie)

Cool, what else are they rebating for plantlady?

    Bookmark   October 3, 2002 at 7:34AM
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plantladyco

Low flush toilets.

    Bookmark   October 3, 2002 at 10:36AM
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merj13

As a new twist, the town that I live in taxes us for "rain water runoff". Have we had any rainwater this year? Except for Isidore, very, very little. But they're still billing us for it every month....
merj

    Bookmark   October 3, 2002 at 1:42PM
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plantladyco

What is rainwater runoff? Does that mean you get taxed if the rain runs into the street?

    Bookmark   October 3, 2002 at 2:52PM
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iann

Every town taxes you for rainwater runoff (they all build drains and sewers, right?), its just that some of them list it explicitly.

My town (well, large city actually) charges me separate fees for sewage service (taking it away, not supplying it!), rainwater runoff (unless I can prove that rain falling on my property does not enter the public drains), both based on the size of my property, and charges by volume for water supplied. When I was younger, there was just a single local property tax, but all those water fees were still there somewhere, just not listed out for all to see.

--ian

    Bookmark   October 3, 2002 at 5:57PM
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plantladyco

Oh!! I guess it's probably in my Wastewater charge?

    Bookmark   October 3, 2002 at 7:07PM
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Crumpet(SW)

Rain barrels out?! Baloney! As stated earlier, the water is going into the ground anyway. Does this mean you need to realign your downspouts so they flow onto walks and driveways so as to go into the street/gutter/stormsewer/river? Won't this be a great way to turn the home into an iceskating rink come snow time? What about the runoff detention ponds? Maybe your communities don't have these. Mine does because the storm sewer system is inadequate. The retention ponds hold parking lot runoff, allowing it to seep back into the ground. For those redesigning your landscape, go big on land recontouring to hold onto that water.
I remember the 1950's Colo. drought where people had to buy the right to water their lawns. They paid a special fee and got a sign for their yard.

    Bookmark   October 9, 2002 at 11:16AM
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Fireraven9(z5ManzanitaMtNM)

We put in swales and the water does not run off the land for the most part. The whole issue of all the water being spoken for is just sick. Sure it is spoken for ... some idiot down stream wants to water their lawn. Cut out watering lawns in the West (un-watered native grass would be OK) and the water problem will be no where near as difficult.

Lee AKA Fireraven9
Las cosas claras y el chocolate espeso. (Ideas should be clear and chocolate thick.)
--Spanish proverb

    Bookmark   October 9, 2002 at 9:45PM
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plantladyco

My lawn should be greatly reduced(by 50%) in a few weeks!! I've been waiting all Summer for a great xeriscape woman to come and do it. She's been very busy--isn't that great?
My grass is going to be replaced with wood chip mulch and interesting gravel paths. I may plant some ornamental grasses in the Spring. My sprinkler system can be converted in some areas to drip irrigation. I'm psyched!!

    Bookmark   October 10, 2002 at 10:51AM
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stimpy926

plantladyCo, that sounds great! No, or less mowing!!! Save gas, save atmosphere, save time (better spent doing other things!) That's a great thing to look forward to! Good Gardening to ya!

    Bookmark   October 10, 2002 at 11:23AM
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plantladyco

There'll be more (less guilt ridden) watering of my perennials and veggies!

    Bookmark   October 10, 2002 at 2:09PM
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