According to the U.S. EPA’s WaterSense program, water consumption in the average home spikes up to 1,000 gallons per day in the summer. Conversely, the average home only consumes roughly 260 gallons per day in the winter. We all know the reason behind additional usage. Water is an essential part of summer and necessary to keep lawns and gardens healthy. Fortunately, environmental experts share some simple solutions for watering lawns and gardens that save water (and money).
Why is conservation needed while watering lawns and gardens?
First and foremost, environmental experts estimate that 50% of the water used outside is wasted due to evaporation, wind or runoff due to overwatering. Additionally, depending on the region, homeowners use between 30-70% of water outside, which means lots of wasted water and money for homeowners.
As a result, reduce wasted water usage by comparing winter and summer usage, which helps homeowners understand how much watering lawns and gardens consume.
Therefore, homeowners possess a few simple solutions that help conserve and save water. For example, as a general rule, it is better to water your lawn in large amounts of water for longer periods of time vs frequent applications of small amounts.
Shallow watering encourages shallow rooting.
In very hot weather, a ballpark range for watering is every other day for perennials and every three to four days for shrubs. Finally, most towns and municipalities throughout Connecticut (and the Northeast) restrict unlimited water usage for watering lawns. However, the guidelines typically include the best watering hours such as early mornings and evenings.
How do homeowners maintain a nice lawn and garden without wasting water?
Part of the joy of homeownership is showing off a beautiful lawn. In the summer, this requires water. To help maintain a nice lawn without waste, here are some smart ways to conserve water. Plus, these solutions help reduce your water bills at the same time!
- Adjust sprinklers to ensure they water the lawn, not the sidewalk.
- Water early in the morning (before 10 AM) or later in the evening (after 6 PM).
- Inspect your overall irrigation system for leaks, broken lines or blockage in the lines.
- Consider replacing some turf area with low water use plants and ornamental grasses.
- Group plants with similar watering needs.
- Add a shut-off nozzle to the hose to save about 5-7 gallons each minute of use.
What other ways can homeowners preserve water in the summer?
In addition to reducing waste while watering lawns and gardens, homeowners have options that help save water around the house during the summer (and all year long).
- Hand washing cars uses about 150 gallons of water versus about 50 gallons at an automatic car wash. Plus, the automatic wash is quicker and easier.
- Shorten showers by 2 minutes, which saves about 150 gallons per month. Plus, it’s summer so there are many more things to enjoy compared to an extended shower.
- Rinse fruit in a bowl instead of under a faucet by filling bowl with water to wash produce. Plus, pour any leftover water on a plant outdoors.
- Set your lawn mower one notch higher to make your lawn more drought-tolerant.
- Use a broom instead of a hose to clean your sidewalk, driveway or patio.
- Run dishwashers and clothes washers only when they are full (and use cold water).
- Keep a bottle of cold tap water in the refrigerator.
- Turn off the tap while you brush (and save 8 gallons per day).
- Regularly check your toilet, faucets and pipes for leaks and fix them promptly.
- Collect rainwater in barrels to water gardens.
- Re-use water from dehumidifiers or air conditioning condensers for irrigation.
What are other solutions that help save while watering lawns and gardens?
Beyond when to water and ensuring no wasted water leaks through your hoses or irrigation system, environmental and landscaping experts happily share other solutions that help conserve water, while also enhancing your lawn and garden.
Ensure you water the soil.
“Water at the root zone to keep evaporation to a minimum. Keeping water off your plants’ leaves will also help control fungal diseases and prevent sunscald. A professionally-designed irrigation system – drip or otherwise – is far better at proper water delivery than the simple lawn sprinklers you can buy in the hardware store. It is an investment that will pay for itself over time in reduced water bills and healthier plants.”
Vary amounts of water around your yard.
“Shady areas will need less water than sunny areas. Sloped areas need more watering, but with less time per watering, which prevents runoff. South facing areas will dry out faster than North facing areas. It is important to vary watering times and amounts according to conditions in each area.”
Keep the clippings.
“Leave the grass clippings on your lawn. When mowing, leave the clipping on the lawn. Grass clippings break down quickly and return beneficial nutrients to the soil. Mow often enough so too much of the grass blade isn’t removed at once. Removing too much of the grass blade shocks the grass and leaves clipping piles on the lawn that also can smother grass.”
Rely on mulch and/or compost.
“Mulch or compost (which you can make in your backyard) is a great way to help soil retain moisture, limit weed growth and save water. Place a thick layer of mulch around trees, in flowerbeds, around the plants in your vegetable garden and anywhere else in your yard where you have living things that require water.”
Check your irrigation system annually.
“All irrigation systems are required to have backflow protection installed and most must be inspected annually. Backflow protection prevents the mixing of irrigation water that may have been exposed to fertilizers and other outdoor chemicals with drinking water. Contact your local water provider for specific information on rules and regulations – be sure to ask for the cross connection or backflow specialist.”
If your home lacks a backflow prevention contact SolvIt today to discuss what is involved in installing a preventative device in your home and how it protects you from contaminated water. SolvIt provides professional backflow testing and prevention to our services areas.
How can SolvIt help?
No matter what the water condition problem is, SolvIt has the experience and skill that provides homeowners with long-lasting solutions. If you notice leaks in your water system, then SolvIt offers some summer savings!
For example, water leaks really add up depending on the type of leak.
Drips consume about 1 gallon of water every 15 minutes. Over the quarterly billing cycle, drips waste roughly 8,640 gallon (57% more than average consumption) and costs between $36 to $78 in additional costs.
Trickles consume about 1 gallon of water every 4 minutes. Over the quarterly billing cycle, trickling water wastes roughly 32,400 gallon (200% more than average consumption) and costs between $137 to $294 in additional costs.
Streams consume about 1 gallon of water every minute. Over the quarterly billing cycle, streaming leaks waste roughly 129,600 gallon (800% more than average consumption) and costs between $548 to $1,176 in additional costs.
Finally, for any other water issues, we install the very best water softening and filtration equipment. Plus, we repair all makes and models should anything go wrong with your current system. As a result, SolvIt offers a one-stop shop for your home water needs.