Monday, June 28, 2010

Unbelievable and Wonderful - Customer Photo

Last summer, Barbara Ennis replaced her 60-year-old boiler with a "super efficient boiler and hot water on demand called Smart H20 heater." She also purchased a new thermostat with auto control, and reports she is saving "lots of money. The difference in how the boiler heats up my radiators is unbelievable and wonderful. The hot water never runs out, ever! I saved about $100 a month last winter already! My clothes dryer is also natural gas."

Share your natural gas savings with us. Send photos here.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Mosquito Control

This is National Mosquito Control Awareness Week! Mosquitoes are insects belonging to the Diptera order, or True Flies. They have two wings, but their wings are scaled. If a mosquito bites you, it's probably the female since they have a long, piercing and sucking proboscis and need to feed on blood in order to produce eggs. "Mosquito" is a Spanish word for "little fly."

Some mosquitoes spread disease such as malaria, yellow fever, encephalitis and West Nile virus.

Mosquitoes lay their eggs in fresh or stagnant water whereever they find it, including cans, barrels, troughs, ornamental ponds, swimming pools, puddles, creeks, ditches, or marshy areas. A raft of mosquito eggs looks like a spec of soot, no more than 1/4 inch long and 1/8 inch wide, but it can hold up to 300 eggs. A female mosquito can lay a raft of eggs every three days. The eggs hatch within 48 hours. The larvae live beneath the surface of the water for four to 14 days and shed their skins four times before becoming a pupa. Pupas float on the water for another one to four days. The adult mosquito then bursts out of the pupa case.

The most efficient way to eliminate mosquitoes is to eliminate their breeding sites. Homeowners should dispose of cans, old tires, buckets, unused plastic swimming pools or other containers that hold water. To not allow water to accumulate in the saucers of flowerpots or pet dishes.

Clean debris from rain gutters which may be creating pools of water. Check around outside faucets and window air conditioning units to ensure puddles are not collecting underneath.

Change the water in birdbaths and wading pools at least once a week. Stock ornamental pools with top feeding minnows, known as "mosquito fish," or treat the pool water with a larvicide.

To prevent bites from adult mosquitoes, install bug zapper lights, use skin repellant, and cut down weeds on your property where mosquitoes like to rest.

The city's stormwater division begins spraying storm drains for mosquitos beginning in April each year.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Gas Range Your Beautiful Blue Flames

Richmond's Great Drinking Water

More than 300 years ago, Richmond's drinking water came from numerous springs and from an open stream flowing from the Capitol area across Main Street. Richmond's Water Treatment Plant was built on the banks of the James River in 1924. Over the years, the plant has been upgraded and enlarged to meet growing demand.

Today, the Department of Public Utilities' water plant can produce up to 132 million gallons per day. Last year, DPU treated an average of 58.9 million gallons per day of water and distributed it to more than 60,000 residential, commercial, and industrial customers in the metro Richmond area. DPU provides water to Henrico, Chesterfield, Hanover, Goochland and Powhatan counties.

DPU has invested millions of dollars to ensure it will meet or exceed federal regulations and meet the increasing demands for reliable, high-quality, clean drinking water. Water utility employees perform numerous water tests every day and maintain more than 1,200 miles of water lines so that when you turn on your tap, your family receives clean and safe water.

How does that happen? Water from the James River is brought into the Water Treatment Plant where settling basins remove large and medium particles. Filtration removes small to minute particles. Aeration and disinfection improves the taste and kills bacteria. Chemicals are added to buffer water and provide dental protection. The water then leaves the treatment plant through a distribution system of pipes that carries water into homes.

For a copy of the Consumer Confidence Report on Drinking Water Quality 2009, call 646-5224 or email your address here.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Manhole Blockage Fixed

The Department of Public Utilities has fixed the blocked manhole that was causing the problem discovered by WTVR.