Foster City speaker series stresses saving water 

Foster City is going green by encouraging residents to take a more active role in conservation and energy efficiency.

As part of its free “Go Green” speaker series, the City Council and Environmental Sustainability Task Force will offer a monthly conservation-oriented workshop to teach residents how to be energy-conscious.

“These are practical issues for residents,” assistant city manager Kristi Chappelle said. “There are easy things people can do in their homes and businesses to benefit the environment and to help save money.”

The first workshop, “Water-Wise Ways: Stopping the Drain on your Wallet,” was held last week. Anthony and Geno Caccia, co-owners of James Caccia Plumbing in San Mateo, discussed ways to reduce household water consumption. The brothers also make frequent appearances on the Home and Garden Television show “House Detective.”

“There’s a lot of information out there, but it isn’t always credible, especially with the Internet,” Geno Caccia said. “We know the before-and-after results of conservation measures and we want to give back to our customers and the community through education.”

Deferred maintenance accounts for a large percentage of water overuse. Through leaking faucets and toilets, almost 10,000 gallons of water are wasted per year in the U.S., Caccia said. One of the easiest ways to reduce household water consumption is by switching from a 3.5-gallon toilet to a 1.3-gallon toilet.

“Toilets account for about 26 percent of indoor water use,” Caccia said. “The little things make a big difference in the grand scheme of things.”

Other simple changes include installing efficient clothes washers and reducing water pressure by using a different shower head. Another helpful tip is to be conscious of how much water is being lost while washing dishes. Caccia recommends filling the sink with water instead of just letting the faucet run.

“By filling the sink, you will only use about 2 to 5 gallons of water, but if you let the faucet run, you will use about 25 gallons,” Caccia said. “By altering your dish-washing routine, you can save at least 20 gallons of water a day.”

The goal of the city’s “Go Green” initiative is to not only promote conservation but to help residents understand that small changes can make a huge impact.

Also, Foster City will be launching a new recycling program in January.

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