Sacramento Valley Cemetery wins EPA Federal Green Challenge award for water conservation

SAN FRANCISCO – October 30, 2015 – (RealEstateRama) — The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Regional Administrator Jared Blumenfeld presented the Federal Green Challenge award to the Sacramento Valley National Cemetery for reducing water consumption by more than 22% — nearly 14 million gallons — in 2014. The award presentation was followed by a turf moisture sensor demonstration and a tour of the cemetery’s irrigation monitoring system.

“California is in the fourth year of a major drought and experiencing one of the driest periods in its recorded history,” said Jared Blumenfeld, EPA Regional Administrator for the Pacific Southwest. “Through innovative technology and planning, the Sacramento Valley National Cemetery was able to conserve water and preserve the green landscaping our veterans and their families deserve.”

“We’re thrilled that our dedicated staff is being recognized by EPA for honoring our veterans’ sacrifices through environmentally sustainable landscape management,” said Cynthia D.F. Nuñez, Director of the Sacramento Valley National Cemetery. “We’re proud to be able to maintain a beautiful facility worthy of our Nation’s heroes while simultaneously doing what’s right for the environment.”

In 2014, the cemetery purchased a Moisture Monitoring Sensor and Irrigation Control System to measure the moisture of the site’s turf areas and ensure efficient water usage. Additionally, it re-programed the cemetery’s irrigation system to turn off after a rain event, audited their sprinkler system and re-aligned all irrigation heads to ensure that no water was wasted by improper distribution. Overall, it reduced potable water use by nearly 100,000 gallons, and cut water used for landscaping by 22% in just one year – putting it on track to achieve the statewide water conservation goals.

Reducing outdoor water waste is a critical component to meeting the water reduction goals established by Governor Jerry Brown’s 2015 executive order. A typical clock-timer-controlled irrigation system that isn’t properly programmed or maintained wastes water. Irrigation controllers, such as those with the WaterSense label, that use local weather and landscape conditions to tailor watering schedules to plants’ actual needs can save homeowners and businesses thousands of gallons of water annually.

The Federal Green Challenge is a national effort under EPA’s Sustainable Materials Management Program encouraging federal offices to reduce their environmental impact. Agencies strive for annual improvements in waste, electronics, purchasing, water, energy and transportation. In 2014, agencies diverted over 390,000 tons of waste from landfills, saved nearly 80 million gallons of water, sent 450 tons of end of life electronics to certified recyclers, and saved U.S. taxpayers over $24 million.

The 561-acre Sacramento Valley National Cemetery opened for burials in 2006, and was designed to serve veterans’ needs for the next 50 years. The cemetery is 27 miles southwest of Sacramento along Interstate 80 between Dixon and Vacaville.

Learn more about the Federal Green Challenge: http://www2.epa.gov/fgc/
Learn more about WaterSense: http://www3.epa.gov/watersense/

Contact Information: Monica Lee, , 415-972-3165

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U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) leads the nation's environmental science, research, education and assessment efforts. The mission of the Environmental Protection Agency is to protect human health and the environment. Since 1970, EPA has been working for a cleaner, healthier environment for the American people.

EPA employs 17,000 people across the country, including our headquarters offices in Washington, DC, 10 regional offices, and more than a dozen labs. Our staff are highly educated and technically trained; more than half are engineers, scientists, and policy analysts. In addition, a large number of employees are legal, public affairs, financial, information management and computer specialists.

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