Helix Water District customers could save money in the long run on their water bill thanks to some goats.
The district has hired dozens of goats from Hire-A-Goat in Ramona to plow down the weeds on the property surrounding its water treatment plant and the Chet Harritt Dam at Lake Jennings.
"Perfect eating machines; they eat eight, nine times a day. They take a couple breaks," said Hire-A-Goat owner Brad Woolf.
By eating all the weeds, the goats are protecting the water district's property from future wildfires. In 2003, the Cedar Fire came very close to burning district property.
"The fires went all the way up to the top of the fence line and came pretty close to the water treatment plant," said Helix Water District Field Service Coordinator Richard Gilroy.
The goats are also a "green" alternative to paying people with weed trimmers and mowers. No exhaust is involved and vehicles don't need to cart off the clippings, as the goats eat them all.
Additionally, Helix Water officials said the goats are cheaper than hiring crews.
"From what we normally pay and then what we're going to pay now, this is a huge savings for us," said Gilroy. "Cost-wise, fiscally, it's a great way for Helix to save."
District officials said it is savings they will pass on to their water customers.
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