Outdoor Water Conservation
From choosing low-water, native plants for your landscape to watering and washing techniques, to maintaining your irrigation system and pool properly, there are lots of ways to make your time in the great outdoors more water efficient. Click through for some resources and information, and make sure to join us on Facebook or Twitter for #WaterConservation Wednesdays: we offer a new water conservation tip each week!
Xeriscape Guide: Native Plantings for Low Maintenance
How to Install Rainwater Collection
IRRIGATION AND LAWN CARE:
In the United States, 9 billion gallons of water are used daily for residential outdoor water use, mainly for landscape irrigation. It's estimated that about 50% of this water is wasted, in part due to overwatering.
- Step on your lawn; if the grass springs back, it doesn't need water
- Let your grass grow - Longer grass absorbs more sunlight making it stronger, thicker, more resistant to weeds and less prone to water loss from evaporation
- Use a ran gauge. Put a rain gauge in your yard. If you get 3/4 to 1 inch of rain in a week, you can skip your next lawn watering.
- Check your garden hose for leaks; If your hose leaks at the connection to the spigot, replace the hose washer and wrap the threads with pipe tape.
- Find It, Flag It, Fix It Landscape Checklist
- Aerate your lawn: Lawn aeration helps strengthen and lengthen roots, so that your lawn will require less water in the future.
- Water your lawn early in the morning. Watering before 10:00am helps prevent water lost to evaporation.
- Keep track of how long you water - it's easy to forget that you've turned on the sprinkler. Set a timer in the kitchen or on your phone.
- Water only when the lawn needs it. Lawns rarely need water more than 2-3 times a week, and some weeks may not require any at all.
- Position sprinklers to prevent watering the pavement - driveways and sidewalks don't need water to grow!
- Consider a soaker hose to avoid runoff and allow the water to absorb slowly: Watering at a lower pressure uses the water more efficiently and makes for a happier lawn
CAR WASHING & GENERAL OUTDOORS:
- Use a bucket to wash your car - you'll save about 150 gallons of water each time you don't use a hose
- Wash your car on the grass; you'll be watering your lawn at the same time!
- Don't hose down the driveway, garage or sidewalk; use a broom instead
- Install porous walkways and patios, they keep water in your yard and prevent wasteful runoff
- Consider investing in a rain barrel. Rain barrels collect and store rain water runoff. Water collected can be used to water outdoor plants when needed instead of turning on your hose or sprinklers.
SWIMMING POOL TIPS:
- Use your pool cover. It reduces evaporation, saving you up to 1,000 gallons of water each month
- Turn down the pool heater; hotter water evaporates more quickly
- Keep filters clean, you'll prevent backwash and put less stress on the filter
- Plant a windbreak - small trees and shrubs around the perimeter of your pool can help block wind and reduce evaporation
- Is your pool leaking? A leaking pool can waste more than 100,000 gallons of water per year. If you think you have a leak, check at the filter, pump, heater and valves and check the ground for moisture. Turn the pump on and off to look for spraying water when the pump is turned off.