We had some very good rains in early August, between 3 and 4 inches depending on where you live.  However, after such a long dry spell we still need to conserve water usage as much as possible.  Remember, what goes up also comes down.  That includes the water level in the aquifer.  Stay abreast of water use restrictions; currently, Stage 1 in effect: once a week on the day that corresponds to the last number of your address, and before 11:00 a.m. or after 7:00 p.m.  Use sprinklers that disburse water close to the ground rather than into the air to reduce evaporation, and be sure they are not over-spraying onto streets or sidewalks. 

Homeowners are responsible for maintaining tree limb height clearance of at least 14 feet high over alley bed by 15 feet wide for vehicles to enter.  The alley bed must be reasonably free of debris and passable to vehicles (City code Ch. 14-64).  Low overhanging tree limbs need to be trimmed to 8 feet above the sidewalk.  

Don’t try to trim tree limbs that are growing onto power lines – it’s dangerous and you could be electrocuted!  If you find yourself in this situation, call City Public Service at 210-353-2222 to report it. 

To see San Antonio’s Property Maintenance Code, visit sanantonio.gov/dsd/codes.  For all City Codes, go to municode.com/library/TX/San_Antonio.

You may or may not have noticed that residential water rates have inched upward.  To conserve water and save on your water bill, SAWS customers can apply through October 31, 2017, for coupons worth up to $800 to help replace lawn grass with drought-tolerant garden beds and/or permeable patios.  For details, check the SAWS newsletter that comes with your water bill or go to www.gardenstylesanantonio.com/coupons-and-rebates.  

We have been cutting lawns for a while now, so it is time for my annual appeal to reduce air pollution by recommending that readers switch from a gas powdered lawnmower to an electrical mower.  It has been reported that gas mowers pollute as much in an hour as a car in a day.  Another plus for electricity is that electric mowers hardly ever need repairs other than to perhaps have the blade replaced which would also be required with gas mowers.  Just plug it in, flip the switch, and go.