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Tue, Oct. 15

Column: New product offers low-maintenance outdoor surfacing

Question: We have a dirt driveway that has been a joy for many years; however, it has become a burden. The side ditches are eroding and undermining the driving surface.

We cannot afford concrete or asphalt and my husband does not want chip seal. There is a light coating of decomposed granite and we want to hold down the dust. The goal is a stronger and firmer driving surface. - Ed and Kathy, Paulden

Answer: There is a great product on the market that is currently being applied to many applications here in the area. TJ Ricketts of Ricketts Landscaping is the local representative and is very knowledgeable about this up and coming VOC-free and EPA-compliant product known as G3Commerical Surface, manufactured by TechniSoil. This product is eco-friendly, safe for use around animals and plants, helps control dust, weeds and erosion and is relatively low-maintenance. G3 Commercial Surface is a commercial-grade stabilizer that bonds crushed aggregate for use with walkways, patios, light RV storage areas and driveways. This product lends efficiency and innovation to natural surfacing technology. G3 Pathway Stabilizer is also a simple solution for enhancing landscapes with custom pathways and patio areas. The product when applied forms aesthetic natural surfaces for your yard. TechniSoil also makes a 2-in-1 joint stabilizer and sealer that is good for pavers, bricks, flagstone and natural stone, which helps protect and helps maintain the natural beauty of most paving surfaces.

You can meet TJ and see samples of this terrific product at the Fall Home Health & Lifestyle Expo. Info on the expo is at the end of this column.

Question: I have noticed over the past few days that our water pressure is low. How can I measure the pressure? - Mike, Prescott Valley

Answer: To test water pressure, you must have a water pressure gauge, which you can purchase at most hardware stores. The next step is to turn off every plumbing fixture inside and outside the home. This includes all faucets, landscape irrigation/sprinkler systems, ice makers, dishwashers, washing machines, toilets, pool/spas, and evap cooler if you have one. Then, find the outside water hose bib that is the closest to the front of the home. This hose bib location is critical because this is where the water enters the home from the city water supply.

Take the water pressure gauge and attach it to the hose bib. Turn the water spigot on. The needles on the gauge will move and will stop on a number that will indicate your water pressure. This test should be repeated approximately three times during the day, during the early morning hours, early evening, and at night before retiring. There will more than likely be some sort of variation every time. The range for water pressure is a minimum of 35 to 65 pounds per inch or PSI. If your pressure is low, call your water provider. If the pressure is high, a water pressure regulator should be installed, and you will need a plumber for that job.

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As we all know, drought can strike almost anywhere, thanks to climate change. In some parts of the country, water conservation is law and fines are being issued.

There are many ways to keep water usage low and, by changing our approach to water management. we can ensure a prosperous future and trim our water bills at the same time.

I ran across a water-sipping toilet that makes conserving water a no-brainer. Did you know your home's biggest indoor water hog is the toilet? Approximately 30 percent of a household's yearly indoor water use is flushed down the loo. Toilets that were manufactured before 1992 can use up to 6 gallons per flush (gpf), but a commode that's earned the WaterSense label uses a mere 1.28 gpf. Installing one of these hog-less toilets could reduce the amount of water used for flushing by up to 60 percent. The Stealth Dual Flush by Niagara is a dual-flush toilet high-efficiency commode that saves water by providing a separate flush for solid and liquid wastes. The Stealth uses less than a gallon for solids and a mere half-gallon for liquid waste, which is almost double the efficiency required by WaterSense. You'll save nearly 20,000 gallons of H2O, and think of the bills you can trim.

Mark your calendar - save the date - don't miss it! The second annual Home, Health & Lifestyle Expo is coming to Tim's Toyota Center, Prescott Valley, Sept. 13-14. Saturday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Admission is free! Everyone is encouraged to bring non-perishable food items for the Yavapai Food Bank. All attendees will have the opportunity to register for a drawing for one of five $500 gift certificates to be used with any of the show's vendors. Sponsors of these $500 gift certificates are the Prescott Valley Chamber of Commerce, The Daily Courier, the Prescott Chamber of Commerce, the Chino Valley Chamber, and YCCA. See you there!

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