Saving Water Outside Your Home is Easy as 1..2..3
Saving water is not only good for the environment, but also for your wallet, since conserving water could mean a lower water bill. There are numerous ways to save water outside your home, but there are three things that if done right, can result in you seeing a substantial water savings over time.
The first way to save water outdoors is to know the right time to water your lawn. However, this means more than knowing your watering days. While that is important, there are other determining factors related to when you should and should not water your lawn. For example:
- If it is raining, or has recently rained, skip an irrigation cycle by turning your system off. Depending on the size of your yard you can save between 1,500 and 2,500 gallons of water each time you do this.
- To reduce evaporation, water your lawn during the cool parts of the day, like in the early morning or late evening, and don’t water the lawn on windy days.
- When using your sprinklers, make sure that they are truly watering your lawn, and not also watering your driveway and sidewalks. Test your irrigation system by turning the system on to each zone for less than 5 minutes and visually looking for broken or misdirected heads.
The second thing you can do to save water outdoors is to set up your landscaping and lawn so that they are as water-efficient as possible. This includes:
- Mow your grass to the highest setting possible (3 to 4 inches) and never mow more than 1/3 of the grass height. This helps to increase plant root depth and to make it to more tolerant to dry conditions.
- Make sure your landscape beds have at least 3 inches of organic mulch around each plant but not touching the plant trunk. Mulch cools the plant roots and helps retain moisture.
- Plant species native or naturalized to our region. The UF/IFAS Extension has local offices in Hillsborough, Pinellas and Pasco counties that offer classes and online information on Florida-Friendly Landscaping.
Finally, the third thing to remember when using water outdoors is that a little bit of wasted water today can result in a huge water bill at the end of the month. Watch out for these water wasters:
- Use a hose nozzle when hand watering or washing your car. It saves water by keeping the water from running constantly.
- Make sure your rain shut off device on your irrigation system works and is set correctly.
- Use broom or leaf blower to clean debris off driveways, pathways and sidewalks instead of using a hose.
- Avoid recreational water toys that require a constant flow of water.
Follow these three guidelines when watering outdoors, and you can lower your water usage dramatically, along with your water bill.
For more tips on saving water outdoors, click here.
About Tampa Bay Water
Tampa Bay Water supplies wholesale drinking water to Hillsborough County, Pasco County, Pinellas County, New Port Richey, St. Petersburg and Tampa. It supplies water to more than 2.3 million people through the governments it serves.