July is Smart Irrigation Month
The Board of Water Supply reminds water users that July is Smart Irrigation Month, which is the time when outdoor water use typically increases. Since it's hot and dry, many consumers unintentionally over-water. This wastes our precious water resources and costs money every time someone takes out the hose or turns on the irrigation system. This is why we must become responsible stewards by doing our part to conserve water and check for leaks.
The National Weather Service predicts an exceptionally hot and dry summer with below-normal precipitation. Like back in 2022, the BWS advises all water users to voluntarily cut water consumption by 10 percent. This is especially vital given the shutdown of three BWS water sources near Red Hill.
Did you know as much as 50 percent of the water used outdoors is wasted due to evaporation, wind, overwatering, and inefficient irrigation systems? By working together, we can maximize sustainability today and for generations to come.
Here are some ways where you can reduce outdoor water use:
Weather-Based Irrigation Controller: This smart device uses local weather stations and adjusts the irrigation system’s operating times based on the plant’s watering needs rather than on a fixed schedule.
This can reduce a household’s water use by 15%, saving up to 37 gallons of water every day.
The BWS offers a rebate of up to $100. Find how you can qualify.
Install a Rain Barrel: This is another effective way to conserve since you’re collecting rainwater and holding it for later use, such as on lawns, gardens, or indoor plants.
BWS customers can also qualify for a $40 rebate on a rain barrel that's at least 45-gallons or larger. Find out how you can qualify.
Sign up to purchase a Rain Barrel by attending the BWS rain barrel workshop. Barrels purchased from BWS do not qualify for a rebate.
What is Drip Irrigation: It involves long hose-like tubes laid beside the plants you want to water. Water drips out of each emitter tube at a more precise location, slowly delivering water to plants rather than irrigating by hand or with a sprinkler system. This system keeps roots moist but not soaked, using less water. This differs from a sprinkler system, which wets the whole soil area.
Benefits of drip irrigation:
- Prevents overwatering
- Conserve water
- Saves time and money
- Uses 30% to 50% less water
Use appropriate native and other drought tolerant plants to create a water-smart landscape that is beautiful, healthy, water efficient, and saves you money.
Use mulch around trees and plants. Mulch will slow evaporation.
Seven Principles of Xeriscaping
- Find out the seven fundamental principles that serve as guidelines on how to plan, plant, and maintain a garden that takes advantage of natural climate conditions to make efficient use of irrigation.
Watering and Leaks
- Check irrigation systems regularly for leaks. This includes looking for broken/misdirected sprinkler heads and leaking irrigation lines
- Patches of green grass could indicate an underground leak.
- Monitor your monthly water bill. An unusually high bill could mean you have a leak.
- Make sure to check your sprinkler timers.
- Water before 9 AM and after 5 PM. It’s always best to keep the water where you want it: in your lawn.
- Lawns only need to be watered a couple of times a week - this promotes deeper root growth. If you step on a patch of grass, and it springs back, it doesn’t need water.
- Put a nozzle on your garden hose to save over 100 gallons of water in just minutes.
Check the BWS's Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter pages in July to get simple tips and the benefits of using smart irrigation devices and practices. Let's all work together to make every drop count!