In an effort to maximize water savings through conservation measures and innovative practices, Public Works and the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission (SFPUC) will replace the landscaping and retrofit the irrigation system along the center and side medians of Sunset Boulevard, between Rivera Street and Sloat Boulevard.
The Sunset Boulevard Water Efficiency project will replace one mile of outdated automatic irrigation systems with new, low-flow systems and rain and solar sensors that help optimize water usage. In addition, approximately 161,000 square feet of existing high water usage turf will be replaced with native Bentgrass, which uses half the water of the current species, and other climate appropriate, low water plants.
The Sunset Boulevard Water Efficiency project complies with the SF Water Efficient Irrigation Ordinance and is slated to save up to seven million gallons of water per year— enough water for 120 single-family households for one year.
This $1.2 million project is funded through a grant from the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission Grant Assistance for Large Landscape Retrofits and complies with the State Model Water Efficient Landscape Ordinance and the 2010 San Francisco Water Efficient Irrigation Ordinance. These ordinances were established to protect water resources and plant and animal habitats; reduce outdoor water usage and increase climate appropriate plantings; reduce runoff and maximize water retention in soil and plantings; and reduce the impact of rising water costs on citizens. The SF Water Efficient Irrigation Ordinance went into effect January 1, 2011 and encourages the use of low-water use plants, efficient irrigation techniques and alternatives to potable water.
The species of grass selected for the project was intended to conserve water and reduce the costs of maintenance and water usage. The grass tends to grow longer than conventional species and its appearance may seem to necessitate more mowing. However, in order to fulfill the intention of the project, Public Works will be following recommended guidelines by maintaining the longer length to maximize water savings. The native bent grass is expected to grow 8-12 inches.
San Francisco Public Utilities Commission