The Lakes in Discovery Bay

The Lakes

The Lakes in Discovery Bay is a beautiful gated community with many healthy Robinia, Palm and Ash trees lining the streets, walking trails and play areas. The Acacia shrubs along the lake walks are artistically trimmed to give a natural, but manicured look and the Phormium provide an architecturally sharp contrast in the landscape.

If you live in the community you would recognize Cleary Bros’ onsite foreman, who is frequently seen working under a wide brimmed straw hat to shield himself from the relentless Discovery Bay sun.  Along with his crew, they work tirelessly to maintain this vast landscape every week.

As is all of California, Discovery Bay is under the mandatory 25% water conservation mandated by the state. However, in addition to the state restrictions, the Town of Discovery Bay has been asked to conserve an additional 16% for a total of 36% reduction in water use. This number is a significant reduction and creates a difficult environment in an area where it is not uncommon to reach temperatures over 100 degrees midday.

Our crew not only works daily to keep the property neat and tidy, but they have done an excellent job managing the water usage within The Lakes. The foreman rotates sprinkler heads, repairs breaks and adjusts the time on the irrigation clocks every week to maintain a healthy balance in the landscape. Although, the irrigation system within The Lakes is on a looped system, making it difficult to determine the water quantities used between by the HOA and the onsite developer, the foreman and his crew take the responsibility seriously and are constantly managing the water distribution on the property.


Let it Rain by Karine’ Stuimer, VP of Maintenance at Cleary Bros.

Let It Rain

Each time we step outside, we’re greeted by russet-colored lawns, stressed shrubs and trees that are in desperate need of a deep soaking.

With these daily reminders that we’re in the midst of a severe multi-year drought, the predictions of a winter so wet, some are calling it the Godzilla El Nino, seem unfathomable.

But don’t let the sunshine and warm breezes deceive you. Winter is just around the corner and the planning you do now will greatly affect how drastically the anticipated rains impact you and your property.

In preparation for the wet weather, we recommend the following measures to help reduce the risk of flooding, erosion, landslides and tree-related damages.

  1. Concrete V-ditches – check to make sure all V-ditches are clean and in good repair. Cracks should be patched or repaired prior to the rainy season.
  2. Slope Protection to Reduce Erosion –
    1. Make sure the toe of steep slopes have straw wattles or other erosion control devices in place to prevent soils from washing onto sidewalks and into v-ditches. Use wattles to redirect water to an appropriate drain inlet.
    2. Protect bare slopes with jute netting, coco matting or other geotextile fabrics.
    3. Plant ground covers and other shrubs in conjunction with the installation of netting or matting to provide more long-term soil stabilization.
    4. Hydroseed with a native grass mix suited to your area to promote vegetation and reduce run off.
  3. Drainage:
    1. Catch Basins and Storm Drains – ensure these are clear of vegetative obstructions and have protective grates and silt protection devices in place to prevent them from becoming clogged. Check these prior to and after any anticipated rain event.
    2. Make sure all drain lines are clear and water flows freely through them.
  4. Trees – though it’s hard to anticipate all tree and limb failures, preventative structural pruning to remove diseased and decaying limbs, heavy end-weight on branches and crown thinning can greatly reduce the risk of damage to you or your property.

Our Cleary Bros. team is happy to assist you with tree risk evaluations, drainage work, concrete repair, hydroseeding, erosion control or anything else on your winter landscape checklist so you can sit back and let it rain!


California keeps on saving water, reduces use by 31% in July

California residents reduced water consumption by 31 percent in July, the largest savings in one month since the state began tracking urban water use more than a year ago, state officials announced Thursday.

The level of water conservation exceeded the governor’s 25 percent mandate for the third month in a row, resulting in a combined statewide savings of 30 percent for June and July as compared to the same months in 2013.

“Californians’ response to the severity of the drought this summer is now in high gear and shows that they get that we are in the drought of our lives. This isn’t your mother’s drought or our grandmother’s drought, this is the drought of the century,” said Felicia Marcus, chair of the State Water Resources Control Board.

Savings in July equaled 228,940 acre-feet of water or about 74.6 billion gallons; the cumulative amount saved for June and July equaled 414,800 acre-feet, or 35 percent of the savings goal of 1.2 million acre-feet by February 2016, the state board reported.

Southern California scored a record-high 28 percent savings in July, surpassing its previous monthly high of 26 percent in May as compared to same-months in 2013.

“We’ve got a lot of people hitting home runs,” Marcus said. Simi Valley reached 40 percent conservation in July, reducing its average residential gallons per capita per day (R-GPCD) to 85 gallons. Los Angeles saved 21 percent, dropping R-GPCD to 113 gallons for the fiscal year ending June 30 from 131 in fiscal year 2014, said the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power. Valencia Water Company in the Santa Clarita Valley saved 40 percent. El Monte, which increased usage in June, showed a 29 percent savings in July, with a low, 51 R-GPCD. Statewide, the average R-GPCD was 98 for July, down from 133 in July 2014.

“We are really proud of our residents and businesses for working so hard to reduce water consumption,” said El Monte Mayor Andre Quintero.

July 2015 savings were helped along by scattered rain showers in many parts of the state, causing residents to turn off outdoor sprinklers, officials said.

Also, the savings may have been boosted by temporary water surcharges inserted into residential water bills for overusers, said Cris Carrigan, the state water board’s chief of enforcement. He predicted continued savings as more water users open their bills in August and September.

“We still haven’t hit that tipping point or that point of equilibrium yet. There is still some savings to be gained,” he said.

Still, state officials say most of the savings comes from allowing lawns to turn “California golden,” said Marcus, since outdoor watering accounts for at least 50 percent of residential consumption. Come winter, percentages will drop because there’s less outdoor watering.

The state board may consider adjusting its emergency regulations if the expected El Niño brings welcome rainfall and snow to California this winter.

“We need to hope for as much rain as we can safely handle,” Marcus said. “But to quote Yogi Berra, ‘it ain’t over until it’s over.”

The first-ever state-mandated water-reduction ordinance began June 1 and runs through Feb. 29, 2016, putting cities and urban water agencies on a nine-month water diet requiring between 8 percent and 36 percent conservation.

The ordinance adopted May 5 by the board implements the governor’s emergency order of April 1 requiring an aggregate, 25 percent reduction statewide from 411 urban water suppliers. Agencies that do not meet targets can be fined, from $500 a day to $10,000 a day. However, Carrigan said no fines have been issued.

In July, only four suppliers received notices of noncompliance for missing the mark by more than 15 percent — a 75 percent drop in scofflaws from the previous month. Those four are: Livingston, Hanford, Blythe and the Phelan/Pinion Hills Community Service District in the high desert, Carrigan said. In addition, nine agencies will receive conservation orders, asking for more measures such as limiting outdoor watering days and additional enforcement.

Last month, 290 water suppliers serving almost 30 million Californians met or exceeded conservation standards, an increase of 25 since June, while 98 surpassed conservation targets by 10 percent, and 67 by 15 percent or more, the board reported.

Source: California keeps on saving water, reduces use by 31% in July

San Jose: City offers lawn conversion program to save water

The city of San Jose has rolled out a new lawn replacement program to encourage homeowners to save more water during the drought.With help from the city’s new Lawn Buster program, eligible homeowners can convert a lawn to a drought-friendly landscape at a heavily discounted price.Only customers of the San Jose Municipal Water System who live in single-family houses with an in-ground irrigation system and controller are eligible for the package.By paying $500 into the program, eligible customers get a package that includes drought-tolerant plants, landscaping materials and drip irrigation conversions for yards measuring up to 1,500 square feet, plus the labor involved in designing and planting the new yard. A makeover can be worth up to $6,000.”The water district and the city are paying for everything except the $500,” city spokesman Ed Bautista said. “It’s much cheaper and quicker than the rebate they did in the past.”With approximately $120,000 available to convert 20,000 square feet of lawn to drought-efficient landscaping, Bautista said there is enough funding for 20 to 30 homes.The program will help save an estimated 500,000 gallons of water a year, he added.City officials announced in early August that customers made substantial strides in saving water, exceeding the 30 percent reduction threshold mandated by the state.Sixteen applications were received over the Aug. 8 weekend when the program launched, and although some people did not qualify, Bautista remains optimistic.

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