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Go Green!

HRGreen provides information on environmentally-friendly programs for the Hampton Roads area.
There is a new one-stop site for news about all of the environment-friendly programs underway here in James City County and in Hampton Roads – HR Green.

The blog is filled with information on water conservation, recycling, stormwater and proper grease disposal. Be sure to add a bookmark or subscribe to receive timely updates about how you can go green!

While there, you can also follow the development of the new HR Green initiative—an exciting regional awareness campaign set to launch in the summer of 2011. Stay tuned!

Maintaining Water Softeners

Just like other appliances and fixtures in your home, your water softener system also needs tender, loving care.

JCSA responds to quite a few calls regarding discolored water or pressure issues which are often directly related to the customer’s home water softener system versus the water distribution system. Our experiences include that the customer has been told by the builder or previous owner that these systems don’t require much attention. We have even found homes where the outside spigots are tied in to the system, thus further reducing the service life.

Unfortunately, there are a lot of customers who don’t really understand how a water softener system works and how important it is to perform maintenance. We offer this tidbit of advice... Get to know your in-home water softener system and its maintenance requirements by reading the owner’s manual, talking to a plumber, or even researching the Internet for information.

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Volume 15, No. 4                            April-June 2011

From the General Manager

The Master Gardener (MG) Program is one of the best governmentally sponsored programs available. It starts with the concept of giving back! The tuition cost is nominal but volunteering to share what is learned is part of the commitment to being accepted into the program. I had my first exposure to the MG Program in the early 1990s when I was asked to make a presentation about the local water supply. What an honor it has been to be asked to return every year since. One thing has been common since that first presentation, the people who desire to become MGs want to give back to the community. And give back they do – I see MGs at various community functions like the Williamsburg Farmers’ Market and James City County Fair sharing with others what they have learned through the program.

The MG Program is sponsored by the Virginia Cooperative Extension (VCE) and includes 10 to 12 half day classes focusing on urban agriculture – everything from lawn care, to the proper use of fertilizers, herbicides and insecticides, and the correct method of trimming shrubs. And much more! MGs are so committed that they became self sustained when funding to the program was reduced by the VCE. Every class creates its own leadership who carries on the tradition to the next class.

Why are MGs important to JCSA? They help JCSA get its message out about water conservation. They are our ambassadors for water conservation! In the winter, when there is no need for irrigation, JCSA’s average daily water demand is about 3.5 to 4.0 million gallons. When spring comes and homeowners’ hearts turn to their landscaping, water demands begin to increase to much higher levels – sometimes critically high. In periods of extended warm weather with little rain, JCSA’s water demands have reached 9.0 million gallons per day. This places great stress on our limited groundwater supply and the mechanical system, such as pumps needed to supply the water. So, our ambassador MGs are out there telling people how to maintain healthy lawns and landscape materials so it will survive in weather stressed time using the optimal amount of water.

We’ve also partnered with many of the key local businesses in the landscape industry. Universally they tell us that the tendency is for people to put too much water on their landscapes, at times doing more damage than good. MGs are out there VOLUNTEERING and educating their neighbors on how to have the best looking, healthiest landscape possible using tried and true techniques.

Over the past 18 to 20 years of making presentations to the MG, I’ve met hundreds of wonderful people. So it’s hard to single out one person, but in this case I have to; well, maybe two people. About 10 years ago Mr. and Mrs. Bob Winters were participants in one of the MG classes. Bob went on to play a vital role in establishing the Turf Love Program. He coordinates a group of MG volunteers that will visit your lawn to do an assessment of what is needed to optimize the turf. The volunteers take soil samples, measure turf area, and then make recommendations on what is needed to have healthy turf. Bob’s program also offers two classes per year on the how-to’s of turf, one of which has Ph.D.’s from Virginia Tech making presentations on the latest research on grass. I mention Mrs. Winters because she’s always there. Behind every great man there’s a great woman and this couldn’t be more true for the Winters. Thanks to the Winters for all they do!

Larry M. Foster
General Manager

How Do I Pay My Water Bill?

Customers may pay HRUBS bills:

If your water service needs to be restored after payment is made, please contact HRSD Customer Information Services at or
757-460-2491 during business hours (M - F, 8:00am - 4:30pm).

water hose

Outdoor Water
Use Regulations

Outdoor water use regulations are in effect annually for JCSA customers from May 1 to September 30. Details at or call the Outdoor Water Info Line at 259-4152.