Drought Solved

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Our four year drought has finally shown Californians that we do not live in a tropical paradise but in a desert.   We’ve got to start emulating our neighboring states (Arizona and Nevada) water saving practices.  Even better, we should follow the example of Israel who has been dealing with drought since it became a nation.  With less than 2 inches of rain per year, Israel has turned its nation into an oasis.  View The Israel Water Solution!  It has succeeded because it embraced a multifaceted approach where consumers, industry (especially agriculture), and government worked together as a team to find more water and not focus exclusively on conservation of their existing water supply.

Israel looked at every way to find new water, from digging deeper wells, to desalination (35 percent of supply), to employing drip irrigation and other methods.  It educated it’s populace on the worth of water, and now prices water on the open market so that it is valued like the precious resource it is.  There are no senior water rights holders like here in the Western United States, where farmers and ranchers with 100 year-old water rights, get free or very low cost water.  There is no favoritism and less politics involved.

green israel
Field’s of green in Israel due to the excess amount of water now produced.

Israel found its “holy grail” of water savings in “toilet to tap”.  Surprisingly, Orange County California recycles its wastewater and pumps it back into its aquifer (an underground layer of water-bearing permeable rock, from which groundwater can be extracted using a water well). View 60-minutes Video on Orange County’s “toilet to tap” .   Israel now purifies 90 percent of its sewage water, more than any nation in the world.  So much water is generated that Israel now “desperately needs more reservoirs”.


In Israel, a red pipeline means the water is unsafe to drink. Here a pipeline carries locally treated sewage to a holding pond, where it will be pumped out for irrigation.
In Israel, a red pipeline means the water is unsafe to drink. Here a pipeline carries locally treated sewage to a holding pond, where it will be pumped out for irrigation.

Until we match Israel’s best practices we need to first reduce our water waste, pick the low hanging fruit.  As homeowners, we can learn to cut our water use in half.  The EPA reports that the United States loses one trillion (1,000,000,000,000) gallons of water every year to water leaks.  The biggest water waste is found in irrigating lawns which consumes 30 percent of residential water use.  Repair leaking sprinkler heads, switch to drip lines and smart (weather reading) meters, replace your turf with xeriscaping (landscape in a style which requires little or no irrigation), or change your watering times to evening and you’ve got instant savings.  View Other HOA-landscaping Water-Saving Measures.


landscape water meter

The next largest water waste in your home is the toilet which consumes about 20 percent of residential water.  If you have one continuously running toilet you could lose 250 gallons of water a day costing you hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars per year.  If you hear phantom flushes or a low hissing sound (running water) coming from your toilet you need to stop that leak.  Toilet water leaks are often too slow to see. The best way to check if a it has a leak is to first fill the tank.  Then, turn the water off at the base.  Next, check the tank to see if the water level has dropped. If yes, then you have a leak and you’ll either need a new flapper, a new replacement kit, or another type of toilet repair or replacement.  Learn More About Toilet Leaks.


toilet leak

The HOA manager can be a hero in these dry times by saving their boards big money by cutting water waste.  After addressing your HOA’s turf issues, help your homeowners understand leaking toilets and how to repair them.  Another simple way to save hundreds of thousands of gallons of water each year is to install water sub meters on attached communities.  When owners and/or residents are not directly responsible for the cost of the water they use, they have NO incentive to conserve.  By sub metering, you not only force conservation of water but you can remove that very expensive line item from your HOA’s operating budget.  Hundreds of thousands of dollars can be saved by this method.  View 33 Water-Saving Tips




The third largest potential water savings is in air conditioning (AC) condensation.  Every air conditioned building in the United States dumps their condensate (distilled water) onto the ground or into the nearest storm or sanitary sewer – or often on the deck or roof of the downstairs condo unit.  In a single family residence, you can collect hundreds if not thousands of gallons of perfectly pure distilled water per year from your AC unit.  If you manage a mid or high-rise building, you could generate thousands or millions of gallons of water per year for your HOA.  Existing buildings would need some modification to capture this distilled water.

This process, known as condensate recovery, is especially effective in hot climates where air conditioners produce an extraordinary amount of condensation.  Another very smart (and dry) country, Dubai knows how to capture and use its condensate very well.  The Burj Khalifa, the world’s tallest building, located in the desert city of Dubai, produces fifty-one million gallons of condensation per year. This “free” water is then used in the buildings pool and irrigation systems.

condensate image


The next most common potential savings is in finding and repairing “slab leaks”.  This occurs where you have copper pipe embedded into the concrete slab.  Copper pipe often develops pin-hole leaks because of the amount and strength of chemicals that many water districts put in their water supply to keep it safe from bacterial and viral contamination.  These chemicals will find a pocket and begin to wear away the copper causing a leak.  At first the leak is small but can quickly grow.


cooper pipe slab leak

For slab leaks, irrigation leaks, toilet leaks, and all other types of leaks, it’s best to have an expert inspect your systems for proper operation – at least annually.  Your building maintenance expert will employ a FLIR (Forward Looking Infrared) camera to pinpoint the exact location of water leaks as well as electrical malfunctions (overheating circuits). Your building maintenance expert can also give you advice on how to best maintain these systems to prevent leaks from occurring in the first place (preventive maintenance).

  • Adopt preventive maintenance inspections: at least annually
  • Address turf issues: replace turf; install smart irrigation meter; install drip lines
  • Install water sub meters
  • Capture AC condensate (especially buildings built in the future)
  • Inspect slabs and building envelopes for water leaks (FLIR)
  • Inspect common area (and resident) bathrooms for toilet and other leaks

As consumers, we can cut our water use by at least 30 percent.  Plus, if we use Grey Water and other capture systems, we can save up to 50 percent of the water that we discard.  Now multiply those savings by our population and ponder the enormous savings.

Many HOA managers are now leading the way for their associations with turf renovation and/or removal.  Next, we need to move on to other water saving steps outlined above and show these same associations how to save countless billions of gallons of water annually, and save money in the process.

Israel’s water supply solution was complex.  The water issues here in the Western United States, now exacerbated by our 4-year drought, are complex too.  It seems so simple, but all we have to do is follow Israel’s example.  Even if the drought continues for another 5 or 20 years, we have no shortage of water.  We do have a shortage of political leadership.













J. David Rauch Bio

Dave Rauch is the Founder and President of ProTec Building Services (ProTec). He ensures that work quality is consistent.  Dave maintains a consistent presence within the company.  While managing the growth of ProTec, he strives to improve everything that ProTec does, especially exceeding client expectations.  At Mr. Rauch’s previous company he designed the original HOA manual and monthly building maintenance programs specific for each HOA. In 1996 Dave opened ProTec, which now provides maintenance programs to over 600 communities and other services to 2,000 communities.

George Van Oosbree Bio

George Van Oosbree is the Senior Vice President and Director of Operations in Nevada. He has been a manager with ProTec for 17 years. He holds a California/Nevada General Contractors and painting license; as well as, certifications in Playground Safety and SWPPP. He is also a United States Green Building Counsel LEED Accredited Professional and EPA Certified Lead Renovator.  Developers rely on George’s knowledge (nearly 100 High-rise and Mid-rise Projects) and 30 years of experience to construct sustainable and maintainable projects.

Andy Henley Bio

With over 20 years’ experience in construction management and janitorial, Andy knows what it takes to repair and maintain your largest asset, your homes and common areas at your community. Not only will Andy provide unparalleled customer service for all ProTec’s work but he will ensure that all jobs and service exceed client expectations. Call Andy and request to meet at your community. He will walk your community, detailing what maintenance and repairs are needed to keep your property values increasing.

Candy Allen Bio

ProTec’s controller, Candy Allen, has over two decades of experience in accounting and brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to the executive team.  Candy also has extensive HR, office management and organizational skills derived from her years of experience in the service industry.  What truly sets Candy apart from her peers is her energy and zeal to get the job/challenge done correctly and immediately.  She’ll explain that her success comes from devoting herself to creating a team environment in which the company can accurately track and maintain their various business and accounting systems.  Teamwork, honesty and hard work are all core elements of Candy’s work ethic.

Laura Swirski Bio

As ProTec’s Human Resources Manager, Laura Swirski, brings knowledge and experience in HR and Organizational Development from a variety of industries ranging from property management, non-profit, government, public utility, and hospitality.  Laura enjoys an employee focused and hands-on approach to HR.  She believes employees are a company’s most important resource.  An organization is successful when employees are in the right job and are involved, committed, and work together toward shared goals.  Laura is conscientious, a hard worker, and desires to learn, improve, and make a difference.

Fernando Urrea Bio

Fernando Urrea began his ProTec career in 2009. After a short leave he returned to ProTec in 2014 as the San Diego Maintenance Division Manager. He holds a General Contractors License; as well as, EPA Certified Lead Renovator. Fernando worked at Standard Pacific Homes and Pacific Bay Homes in the San Diego Divisions and has over 15 years’ experience in new home construction management. While working in Military Housing for 10 years he was able get hands on experience on all trades and management skills. His new home building and maintenance knowledge are unparalleled and is what makes Fernando a great asset.

Mark Adams Bio

Fascinated by construction from an early age, Mark developed the skills and knowledge to construct and repair any building. Prior to ProTec, Mark honed his skills at Quality Built Consulting on construction defects/diagnostics nationally. Mark is a licensed California General Contractor and a certified applicator in Excellent Coatings (Waterproof Coatings), SIKA Products (Sealants), PROTECTO Wrap (Waterproof Membranes) and Superkrete (Overlay Concrete Systems). Mark has been a manager at ProTec for 15 years and is the top HOA estimator in San Diego County. He prides himself on being able to assist HOA Boards and Community Managers resolve any type of repair or construction project.

Lee Sterling Bio

While attending Arizona State University pursuing a degree in engineering, Lee Sterling enlisted in the United States Army prior to Desert Storm. After completing his service he began working in the property service industry. Duly licensed as a Building (B1) and Roofing (C39) contractor, Lee rose through the ranks of the industry becoming the Division Manager and acting Chief Engineer for properties in San Diego, Irvine and Brea. His commitment to quality and superior service has earned him recommendations from his peers, clients and customers.

Cesar Ibarra Bio

Cesar Ibarra is ProTec’s Janitorial Manager and has been with the company for 8 years. He ensures that the janitorial work quality is consistent and manages the planning of large level custodial projects. He prides himself in his knowledge of janitorial services and has over 10 years of experience in the Commercial Cleaning Industry. He and his team devote themselves to our clients and provide customized janitorial services that are specifically tailored for each community or project.

Paul Mayeski Bio

Paul oversees ProTec’s Maintenance Manuals and Inspections Division. Before joining the ProTec team in 2000, Paul spent 4 years converting his Industrial Arts education into becoming a trained cabinetmaker, followed by 13 years building custom homes and then 7 years administering building maintenance programs and overseeing maintenance manual implementations for one of San Diego’s largest community management companies.  Because of his combined experience in the building and community management industries, he is uniquely suited to ensure that our clients’ projects are successful.

Chris McHenry Bio

Chris has over 25 years of construction experience in the residential and commercial industries. He has done everything hands on from operate heavy equipment, ro build and remodel custom homes, and commercial tenant improvements. He started working in his family’s business building custom homes during the summers in high school. He moved on as a Project Manager for an apartment maintenance construction company in Rancho Santa Margarita. He proceeded to get his contractor’s license and owned his own company for 7 years. Chris also holds the positions of superintendent on a high rise construction project and Project Manager with an industrial/commercial company.

Sal Mendoza Bio

Salvador Mendoza is our Los Angeles regional manager for ProTec Building Services. Since starting with the Company in 2008 he has devoted himself to the challenging world of maintenance for mid and high rise buildings. Salvador’s past experiences of running his family owned construction business, along with his real estate and mortgage banking experience, provide him with a unique perspective within our industry. He has a created the company’s first Planned Maintenance Contract (PMC), which allows for a custom annual maintenance calendar of the building components for each individual building, enabling clients to plan ahead and have an annual maintenance budget

Mirzet Velic Bio

As ProTec’s Vista Maintenance Division Manager, Mirzet brings immense experience in the HOA industry and knowledge of maintenance, repair and construction methodology. Mirzet joined ProTec in 2006 as an Account Manager.  Prior to ProTec he honed his experience at All American Construction as a Maintenance Technician.  With over 15 years of experience in contract management, construction, electrical, and property management Mirzet can solve any technical problem. However, Mirzet’s true tour de force is his Customer Centric service model; he takes care of clients’ needs before they even know they have a need. 

Timothy (Ty) Haisch Bio

Ty is ProTec’s Construction Division Manager for the North County San Diego region, working out of the Vista office.  Ty joined ProTec in 2010 as a Project Supervisor.  He has moved up in the management ranks due to his excellent work record, supervisory skills, hard-work and dedication to getting jobs done in a timely manner that have made him a “go-to” manager at ProTec.  Prior to joining ProTec, Ty was a manager at TDT Construction.  Yes, Ty has many years of experience, but it is mostly his excitement with solving complex problems, that cause Ty to stand out among his peers.  Ty loves challenges and will happily solve our clients most vexing or technical problem(s).

John T. (JT) Anderson Bio

John learned the value of hard work at his family business at the early age of 5, where he started out as a janitor.  He went on to learn additional trades and skills, where he eventually left the business world to attend college at The University of Hawaii and the University of Utah.  He received his degree in Political Science and Business.  After moving to San Diego in 2004 he founded Elite Services, which provided building services to Commercial and HOA clients.  In 2016, John saw an opportunity to join the ProTec team where he has put his many talents to work, expanding ProTec’s list of 172 services and engaging new clients.