Outdoor

Most obvious water waste can be seen outdoors. Often times landscaping is watered too often and too long. Inefficient irrigation systems and practices can be viewed with wet sidewalks, driveways, and water running down the gutter.

Please follow these simple tips outdoors to help ensure that your household uses water wisely:

    Don’t over water your lawn. Lawns don’t need as much water as most people think. Watering every 4-5 days, depending on temperature, should be sufficient. Position sprinklers to reduce water on pavement.
    Water at the right time of day. Water lawns in the early morning hours when temperatures and winds are the lowest. Watering at the hotter times of the day can result in a 30% increase in required water and can burn your landscaping.
    Raise lawn mower level to 3 inches. A lawn cut at 3 inches encourages grass roots to grow deeper, shades the root system and holds soil moisture better than a closely clipped lawn. Your lawn will not need to be watered as often and will be healthier.
    Water lawn for short periods of time. Consider installing a digital sprinkler control and electronic valves. This will allow programming of several short waterings on the same day. Several short waterings reduce run off and increases the amount of water soaking into the ground. Instead of one 30 minute cycle, three 8 minute cycles are more efficient.
    Sprinkler selection. Install sprinklers that are the most water efficient for each use. Micro and drip irrigation and soaker hoses are examples of water efficient methods of irrigation.
    Plant selection. Select plants that are native to the Sacramento Valley. These and other similar plants are drought tolerant. Once established, they do not need to be watered as frequently and will survive a dry period without any watering. Group plants together based on similar need. The Garden Spot at www.bewaterwise.com, a website of Southern California Metropolitan Water District, is a great resource for finding landscaping tips and plant recommendations for California communities. Check out the Water-Wise Garden!
    Driveway cleaning. Do not hose down your driveway or sidewalk. Using a hose can waste 100 gallons in 10 minutes. Use a broom to clean leaves and other debris from these areas.
    Use a hose nozzle. Use a shut off hose nozzle which can be adjusted down to affine spray so that the water only flows as needed. When finished turn off the hose at the faucet to avoid leaks. Use hose washers at the faucet and the nozzle to reduce leaks.
    Car Washing. Consider using a commercial car wash since most commercial carwashes recycle their water.
    Pool Filters. Consider installing a new water saving pool filter. A single backflushing with a traditional filter uses 180 to 250 gallons or more of water.

ACTIVITY

INEFFICIENT USE

EFFICIENT USE

Lawn Sprinklers

Watering an extra 30 minutes per week = up to 300 gallons

Water early mornings, only when needed, with minimal runoff

Car Washing

Hose running, 10 minutes = 100 gallons

Bucket, hose rinse w/shut offnozzle = 10 gallons