In many parts of the world, the word “summer” is synonymous with the word “hot.” In some areas, summer translates to mean “extra hot.” According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), water usage tends to rise correspondingly with summer temperatures, especially outdoors. But water is also becoming an increasingly scarce natural resource, and one that is wasted too often. Since water use does spike during summer, the summer months represent the most critical period each year to place the focus on water conservation. In this post, learn more about why saving water is so important and some practical ideals to do so starting now.
Summer Water Use and Water Waste
Nationwide, it is estimated that as much as half of all water used outdoors each summer is wasted. There are many ways that water is quickly consumed, but the number one reason is simply a lack of knowledge. Here is a list of ways that water is often wasted: – Overwatering. – Evaporation (in particular through watering in the heat of the day). – Run-off. – Watering the wrong places. – The wind blows the spray away. Here are some simple tips to decrease water waste in each area: – Use a handheld or timer system to prevent overwatering. – Water late at night or early in the morning to prevent evaporation. – Place sprinklers so that run-off benefits grass, not concrete. – Adjust the amount of watering to address the specific needs of your greenery. – Try not to water during extremely windy times of the day.
Some Easy Pre-Watering Tests
The more you know about when, how and how often to water your lawn and garden, the less water you will waste (and the less you will spend on wasted water)! Here are some easy tests you can do before you head for the sprinkler spigot: – Walk across your lawn. If the grass doesn’t stay flat after you lift your feet, it is still well hydrated, and you don’t need to water. – Raise your mower level. Longer grass has a greater ability to retain moisture and stay hydrated. It may not look as neat, but it will be healthier and cost you less in watering charges. – Don’t clean with water. Sweeping can take care of most dirt and debris on driveways, walkways, and sidewalks. Your car could probably skip a wash or two (or wait for the next summer shower).
One inch of water generally does the trick
In many locations, the average lawn needs just one inch of water per week to thrive, and this includes water from rain. Greenery with more extensive and deeper roots generally needs even less water because the roots can access the water table beneath the soil. In some cases, such as when you buy a new home, it may also be the case that you inherit a garden planted with the wrong species of greenery for your local climate. If this occurs, it can be very cost and time effective to consider changing out the existing greenery for hardier, less water-dependent species.
Avoid Waste by Harvesting Water
If you have never heard of “harvesting water,” this practice refers to the installation and use of rain barrels or drums to collect rainwater from gutters during storms. Harvesting can also refer to the practice of retaining gray water as it exits the home. Gray water is water that has been used to wash laundry or for showers and other similar uses. While it is no longer fit for human consumption, this water can still be quite useful for watering the lawn, and other outdoor summer water uses! There are many helpful guides for setting up a water harvesting system that works for your individual property. Your plumber can also advise and guide you in the best approach to collect as much water from rain and gray water as possible.
Make the Switch to “Smart” Irrigation
There are many different options for conserving the water you use for keeping your lawn and garden healthy and green this summer. Here are some popular options: – Using a timer system. If you can connect your irrigation system to a timer, you can pre-schedule your watering on/off times and also adjust when the weather forecast calls for rain, so you don’t waste water. – Maintain your sprinkler system. By regularly checking to see that your hose connections are secure and leak-proof, your washers fit well, and your hoses do not have holes or cracks, you can keep water from getting wasted without you even knowing about it. – Opt for micro-drip watering. Micro-drip systems are designed to administer water in slow and measured doses. This keeps any loss from run-off, evaporation or the wind very minimal while still getting the water where it needs to go. – Do a water meter use test. Set a time period, say of two hours, when no one will use the water indoors or outdoors. At the start of this trial period, read your water meter. When the test period time is up, read your water meter again. If the two numbers do not match, you will want to call your plumber to find out where the leak is coming from. By taking the time now to identify your own household’s primary areas of water waste and make plans for how to conserve water usage and capture re-usable water wherever possible, you can both lower your water bill and reduce your carbon footprint. It will feel great to know you are using the water resources you have in the wisest and most cost-effective manner. For amusement purposes, you may even decide to set a summer water conservation goal and use the funds you’ve saved to do something fun as a family! For recommendations on how to save water in your Chandler, AZ home, call ABC Plumbing and Rooter Co., Inc. at (480) 726-1600.