Last Thursday (Jan. 23, 2014), our own Debra Watkins was on Channel 17 News to talk about tips on how to conserve water (click to view story). The average person uses about 100 gallons of water a day, says The Environmental Protection Agency. However, we can make simple changes to our daily habits to cut down on our water consumption.
Our last blog gave tips on how to conserve water in the home. However, outside of the home, one of the biggest water wasters is our sprinklers.? For example, with a household that has 5 zones (waters 5 areas of their yard) that’s approximately 1125 gallons a cycle. Here are some simple tips on how to conserve water in your yard and garden.
Water your yard only when it needs it: A good way to tell if your grass needs watering, is to step on it. If the grass pops back up, it does not need watering. If the grass stays flat, it’s ready to be watered. Most lawns only need about 1 inch of water each week.
Don’t water the gutter: Position your sprinkler to reach only the yard and garden and not to reach pavement. Also, don’t water on windy days.
Plant drought-resistant lawns, shrubs and plants: There are many beautiful shrubs and plants that can thrive with far less watering. Native plants, for example, will use less water and be more resistant to local plant diseases.
Put a layer of mulch around trees and plants: Adding 2-4 inches of organic material, such as compost or bark mulch, will increase the ability of the soil to retain moisture.
Deep-soak your lawn: When watering the lawn, do it long enough for moisture to soak down to the roots where it will do the most good. A light sprinkling can evaporate quickly and tends to encourage shallow root systems.
Water during the early or late parts of the day: Early morning watering and late watering (at dusk) reduce water loss to evaporation.
Don’t run the hose while washing your car: Clean the car using a pail of soapy water. Use the hose only for rinsing. This simple practice can save as much as 150 gallons of water. Also, make sure to use a broom, not a hose, to clean driveways and sidewalks.
Check for leaks in pipes, hoses, faucets and couplings: Leaks outside the house don’t seem that bad because they are not as visible. However, they can be extremely wasteful. Check for leaks to make sure they are drip-free. You can use hose washers at spigots and hose connections to eliminate leaks.
If we get into these simple habits, we can greatly eliminate our water waste.? Please talk about these water conservation tips with your friends and family.