Outdoor Water Tips
Irrigation is often the largest source of wasted water. Take advantage of the rainy season and let nature water your lawn. Read below for tips on how you can immediately reduce your water and wastewater bill.
Know Your Watering Restrictions
Detect & Repair Leaks
- Turn off everything that uses water in your home and check your water meter dial for 15 minutes. If the triangular knob remains still, you are watertight! If it’s moving, look for leaks.
- Check for broken or misdirected sprinkler heads. Turn on your irrigation system manually. Look for areas where water may be shooting into the air or spraying incorrectly.
- Look for soft, wet spots that may be forming on your lawn or plant bed areas while testing your irrigation system or after your irrigation system finishes a scheduled run. This may indicate a leak.
- Check to ensure your rain shut-off device, most commonly a rain sensor, is working properly to avoid overwatering.
Install Water-Saving Devices
- Use short on/off sprinkler cycles to allow landscaping to absorb the water. Set for large drops dispersed low to the ground, not high-flying mists. Water plant roots rather than leaves.
- Use efficient drip irrigation and soaker hoses, which can save from 20 to 50% of the water needed to keep plants thriving. Keep lines and filters clean.
- Install a new water-saving filter for your swimming pool.
- To stay informed of when your lawn needs water, use a moisture indicator.
- Water only when necessary, when grass shows signs of stress, such as folded blades, different color spots and lingering footprints. Professionals suggest watering once every five to seven days in summer, and every 10 to 14 days in winter. One good rain can eliminate the need for watering for up to two weeks. Over-watering is unhealthy.
- Group plants in “zones” that have similar water needs. Plant native and drought-tolerant grasses, ground covers, shrubs and trees to save as much as 30 to 60% of your water bill.
- Shut off automatic sprinklers during the rainy season.
- Raise your lawnmower blade to three inches or more to protect grass.
- Apply slow-release fertilizers with water-insoluble nitrogen and use them less often.
- Dig trenches around plants to catch water.
- Mulch controls water-hungry weeds and retains moisture for plants and trees.
- Prune plants properly. Excessive or improper pruning increases the need for water.
- Outfit your hose with an adjustable-stream trigger nozzle that automatically shuts off. When done, turn it off at the spigot to avoid leaks.
- Install hose washers between spigots and water hoses to stop leaks.