Pictured: Rain barrels are able to capture rainwater for later use in yard irrigation.
Last week’s rainstorms brought incredible wetness to our dry climate. These storms are becoming rare so it is worth reviewing some of the opportunities and warnings that rain can bring.
Smart irrigation controllers
Local water agencies offer discounted or free irrigation controllers that can sense the weather at your location, adjust your irrigation schedule, and more. Last week, my controller via a service texted to me, telling me that it would not water because it was expecting rain. If you don’t have a smart irrigation controller yet, call the number on your water bill to ask your water purveyor for a discount. Check your battery if you have an irrigation system with a backup. The system can be set to default to factory settings if it has dead batteries, and water too often, even when it rains.
Cary Svoboda is the Ventura County Environmental Health Division’s Vector Control Program Lead. She says that tire swings and tire sandboxes can be mosquito breeding hazards after rains. No matter how well-angled a tire is, water will still collect on it if it is exposed. Worse, even after the rain stops, the tires will collect water. The tires black rubber heats the water and makes it attractive to mosquitoes. It is dangerous and difficult to puncture tire walls to drain water. Therefore, it is important to cover tires to prevent water from collecting.
While rainwater capture and reusing barrels are both great actions for your garden and the surrounding environment, it can be difficult to combine the two. Many repurposed barrels don’t have the proper screening devices to prevent breeding mosquitoes. If you’re looking to buy a rainbarrel from an entrepreneur listing a home-made version on Craigslist or Facebook Marketplace, ensure that the openings are covered. Svoboda recommends using a 1/16-inch mesh screen for mosquito protection. Commercially produced rainbarrels are typically better. They come with tight mesh screens or a solid roof and a side-hose fitting to insert into a downspout. Brands available at home improvement stores or garden stores such as Green Thumb typically cost around $100.
Redirecting rain downspouts from low-lying areas to avert flooding slows, spreads, and sinks water flows. These areas can be graded to allow water to infiltrate and stay on site. Gapped paving materials can be used to replace asphalt and solid concrete. You can also remove a section of driveway and fill it up with gravel. This allows water to soak into ground for future use. United Water Conservation Districts Freeman Diversion. Casitas Municipal Water Districts operates water spreading grounds north of Ojai. The Ventura County Government Center, which is made up of paving material from the past, captures, treats, and infiltrates stormwater runoff on a 39-acre lot.
Visitors from wet regions make fun of how slow the locals drive in rain. People have never seen so much rain fall from the skies before. They ask. Local drivers are actually being smart. Oil and other slippery substances build up on pavements when there is not much rain. These substances can cause dangerous driving conditions, especially during the first rains of the year. It is important to drive slowly.
Keep the roads clean
Avoid slick roads after rare rains by keeping roads clean. It is important to fix any oil leakage in your vehicle immediately. Wash your car at home on a clean surface so that the soapy, dirty water doesn’t run into the street. ASpray on, rinse off wheel and engine cleaners are not recommended. Keep trash cans closed so birds and wind don’t spread litter. Street sweep days are the day after trash pickup.
We need the rain to enjoy its benefits.
David Goldstein, Environmental Analyst at the Ventura County Public Works Agency can be reached at 805-658 4312 email@example.com.