Lawn Watering Tips
Looking for some ways to save water and money? Try these helpful watering
Delay regular lawn watering during the first cool weeks of
spring. This encourages deeper rooting and makes your lawn healthier for the
rest of the summer. It also delays the first time you have to mow.
Water any small grass areas by hand to avoid waste. On
steep slopes, try a soaker hose to help prevent wasteful runoff.
Sprinklers that throw large drops in a flat pattern are
much more effective than those with a fine, high spray. You will lose less
water to evaporation with the larger drops.
Water in the morning before it gets too hot. Your lawn will
absorb more moisture.
Make sure you water the grass only. Watering your sidewalk
or driveway is money down the drain.
Don’t water on windy days. You’ll lose water to evaporation
and your water may not go where you want it to go.
Step on the grass -- if it springs back you don’t need to
water; if it stays flat or leaves footprints -- it’s time to pull out the
Use short on/off sprinkler cycles (about 5-15 minutes on, 1
hour off, then repeat till well watered).
- Keep grass 1-3 inches long; the longer grass will shade itself and require
Lawn Watering Guide
Here’s a simple way to determine your lawn’s watering needs:
Refer to the chart below and read the number of minutes you
should water every third day. Record the times for future references.
Reminder: Use this chart as a guide only, and alter your water practices
according to climatic conditions.
Average depth in test cans
Minutes to water every 3rd day in spring
Minutes to water every 3rd day in summer
Minutes to water every 3rd day in fall
Decrease watering times and frequencies during cool and/or
humid weather. Skip at least one scheduled watering after any substantial
rainfall. Not all soil is the same. If your grass grows on mostly
clay soil, between 1/4- and 1/2-half inch of water per hour can be
absorbed before it starts running off wastefully. If you have sandy soil, you’ll
need to water more often and for shorter periods of time.
Xeriscaping: 7 Steps to a Water Wise Yard
Xeriscaping (pronounced zír uh scaping) is a method of
landscaping based on common sense that can save 30-60% of your water use. By
growing plants that thrive in our specific region and climate, your yard will be
easy to maintain so you will save money, time and water. You can be
creative as well as efficient with xeriscaping. Your yard can be as lush
and colorful as a traditional yard by following these seven steps
Plan ahead: Planning is the key to successful
landscaping. Consider: function, appearance, maintenance and budget. Your
local nursery, extension service, or landscaper can help.
Limit Lawn Areas: Turf requires the most water and
maintenance. Locate lawn space where it will be most functional. Decks or
patios are a replacement option. Contemplate using grasses more suited to your
area. It will use less water and be easier to maintain.
Choose plants with a low water demand: Use
water-thrifty groundcovers, grasses, trees, and shrubs that are well adapted
to your region. They will require less care and will thrive in your soil and
climate. Group like water users together. You will be able to give the proper
care to each grouping.
Prepare soil thoroughly: Turn and loosen soil at least
6” down and remove all rocks. Add organic material (such as peat or mint
slugs) to flower and shrub beds. This will increase the soil’s ability to
absorb and store water.
Use mulch: Adding 2”- 6” of mulch around plants helps
conserve water and keeps weeds from growing.
Use an efficient irrigation system: Consult your local
nursery or hardware store about purchasing sprinklers or drip irrigation.
Maintain your landscape properly: This includes
watering, weeding, fertilizing, pruning, and pest control.
Winter and cold weather can create some plumbing nightmares if you are not
prepared for it. Here are a few cold weather tips:
Around the end of October, protect your water meter by
covering it with fiberglass insulation. Cut a hole in the fiberglass so the
meter dial will slip through and will still be accessible by the meter reader.
Check your meter cover to make sure it is not broken, missing or out of place.
Any of these conditions will allow cold air and moisture into your meter and
should be reported to the office at 475-3849.
Locate your shut off valve and check to see that it works,
so that if you do have a problem this winter you can stop excessive water loss
and flooding. There is also a shut off valve at your water meter if all else
fails. Use a wrench and turn it to the right to turn it off.
Wrap outside faucets or hose bibs. Use fiberglass
insulation, or molded insulating covers to wrap faucets. (Molded foam
insulating covers are available at plumbing or hardware stores.) Don’t forget
to disconnect and drain your garden hoses.
Wrap all pipes in unheated areas such as crawl spaces,
garages, attics and basements. Use insulating tape or molded pipe sleeves to
wrap the entire length of exposed pipe. Cover all valves and pipe fittings
with insulating tape or fiberglass. This will protect them from freezing.
Stop cold winds from blowing into your house. Caulk around
pipes where they enter the house. Close off all foundation vents by sliding in
wood or Styrofoam blocks cut to fit the openings. Open foundation vents are
probably the greatest cause of frozen or split water lines.
If you leave your house vacant for extended periods in the
winter take the following precautions:
Turn off the hand-operated shut off valve
Turn off water heater at the circuit breaker box
Open indoor and outdoor faucets to drain pipes
Flush toilets once to drain the tank but not the bowl
Leave your heat on at least 55° F to help keep pipes from
freezing and to prevent mildew in the home.
If your pipes do freeze and you are not experienced with home
repair work, it is recommended that you call a plumber. There is significant
risk of injury or property damage if you are not sure of what you are doing when
you are thawing pipes.
Turn on inside water faucets
Wrap the frozen pipes with towels soaked in hot water.
Never use a flame torch to thaw frozen pipes because of extreme fire hazard
and the potential of bursting a pipe from steam pressure. Do not use
electrical devices (hair dryers, heaters, etc.) in areas where shock hazard
Be prepared and enjoy the winter without the worries!
Front Loading Washers
Are you in the market for a new clothes washer? Before you
buy, consider all of your options. While the initial cost may be greater, a
front loading washer saves money in ways the traditional top loading washer
First, it uses about a third of the amount of water the top
loading washer does. That saves on your water bill and if you
washing with hot or warm water it will save on your water heating bill
Second, your detergent costs will go down as well. The front
loading washers use only a fraction of the detergent the traditional washer
Thirdly, your clothes are cleaner and there is less wear and
tear on them. The top loading washer uses an agitation motion to clean your
clothes which is hard on them.
Many people are placing their washers and dryers on a
platform so there is no bending over to load
and unload their machines. Less bending over means less wear and tear on you
Tax credits for purchases of energy efficient appliances may
also be available. For more information go to: