Homes Plus

July, 2015

Homes Plus

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By Sara Rae Lancaster SPECIAL TO HOMES PLUS Extensive drought conditions in California have put a national spotlight on water conservation efforts. Closer to home, Wauke- sha County faces its own set of water challenges, prompting the city of Waukesha to work with residents to address their water security issues, especially during the hotter, drier months of the year. "People need to understand water is a finite resource, and so we need to use it responsibly when watering the lawn and land- scaping," said Dan Duchniak, general manager of the Wauke- sha Water Utility. But the issue runs deeper than responsible water use. Despite being surrounded by lakes, Waukesha and the surrounding municipalities sit on a deep aquifer, meaning the layer of water-bearing per meable rock from which ground water can be extracted lies at depths of 500 feet or greater below the surface. "With a shallow aquifer, it will recharge and the water level will get back to normal pretty quickly when you stop the water with- drawal," Duchniak said. "But that isn't the case with a deep aquifer because the water comes from so far away." Decades of expansion and development took its toll on the area's water table, lowering it by hundreds of feet. Nearby cities like Milwaukee and Racine, which also sit on a deep aquifer, can curb the effects of this issue by accessing water from Lake Michigan. But Waukesha County, which sits just outside the bound- ary lines to take advantage of this option, is left to find alterna- tive solutions. "We're in the process of apply- ing for access to the Great Lakes water, but in the meantime we continue to utilize the deep aquifer while being very aggres- sive in addressing and rolling out a water conservation program," Duchniak said. C O N T E N T S Getting hold of weeds before they get hold of your garden A yard so nice you won't want to leave when it's time for vacation The 7 most dangerous DIY projects that are best left for the experts Where to make upgrades Your Guide to Homes, Home Improvement, Lawn & Garden and MORE! A publication of the Waukesha Freeman and Oconomowoc Enterprise • July 2015 HOMES HOMES WAUKESHA + Learning to save water close to home Efforts range from sprinkler ordinance to native plants StatePoint Top: When it comes to water conservation messages, children are sometimes the best receivers — and best messengers. Below: Rain barrels are part of the water-saving movement in Waukesha County. See Water/Page 8

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