LAWN WATERING TIPS

Looking for some ways to save water and money?  Try these helpful lawn watering tips.











LAWN WATERING GUIDE


Here’s a simple way to determine your lawn’s watering needs:






Reminder: Use this chart as a guide only, and alter your

water practices according to climatic conditions.

 Average depth in test cans

1/8”

1/4”

3/8”

1/2”

5/8”

3/4”

1”

1-1/4”

 Minutes to water every 3rd day in Spring

30

15

10

7-1/2

6

5

4

3-1/3

 Minutes to water every 3rd day in Summer

60

30

20

15

12

10

8

6-2/3

 Minutes to water every 3rd day in Fall

24

12

8

6

4-3/4

4

3-1/3

2-1/2


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


  1. Plan ahead: Planning is the key to successful landscaping. Consider: function, appearance, maintenance and budget. Your local nursery, extension service, or landscaper can help.


  1. 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.


  1. 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.


  1. 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.


  1. Use mulch: Adding 2”- 6” of mulch around plants helps conserve water and keeps weeds from growing.


  1. Use an efficient irrigation system: Consult your local nursery or hardware store about purchasing sprinklers or drip irrigation.


  1. Maintain your landscape properly: This includes watering, weeding, fertilizing, pruning, and pest control.


For additional ideas on using Xeriscaping for your landscaping, check out HGTV’s design website here. (No affiliation with DVWD)



Oregon State University Extension Service has come up with a great web guide to Xeriscaping in Central Oregon (click the graphic to open)


GETTING WINTERIZED


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


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 does not.


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 are washing with hot or warm water it will save on your water heating bill additionally.


Second, your detergent costs will go down as well. The front loading washers use only a fraction of the detergent the traditional washer uses.


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 too.


FYI - Just remember that the seals on the doors of front loading washers are made to seal very tight and if you close the door after your washing is done, and there is still even the slightest bit of moisture inside,  mildew odors will develop.  Try to leave the door open or at least cracked between loads.



PROFESSOR FAUCET

Professor Faucet Answers Some Frequently Asked Questions About Water


Professor Faucet is a spokesperson for the National Rural Water Association. He has dedicated his life’s work to answering all kinds of questions about the water we drink. He knows how important it is to have clean, quality water in our homes.


Q. Professor Faucet, how do I know the water in my house is safe to drink?

A. Public drinking water is tested against State and Federal drinking water standards. If your water fails a test, your water company will let you know, with appropriate directions on what to do.


Q. What does it mean when my water looks white or milky? Is it safe to drink?

A. When there is air in the lines, your water will appear white or milky. This may be caused by our crews opening the lines to make a repair or to add a new installation. Ordinarily this will clear itself in a few days just by regular use of the water. It is perfectly safe to drink.


Q. Our water usage is measured in cubic feet. How many gallons are in a cubic foot?

A. There are approximately 7½ gallons in a cubic foot of water. (For example: 700 cubic feet = 5,250 gallons)


Q. One of my faucets drips. Will that increase my water bill?

A. Yes, little leaks add up in a hurry. A faucet drip or invisible toilet leak that totals only two tablespoons a minute comes to fifteen gallons a day. That’s 105 gallons a week and 5,460 wasted gallons a year.


Q. Which uses more water--the shower or the tub?

A. It all depends. A partially filled tub uses much less than a long shower, while a short shower is much more efficient than a brimful tub. If you shower in a bathtub, check yourself by plugging the tub to see how high the water comes when you are finished. Do you use more or less than that amount when you take a bath?


Q. Every once in a while my water tastes and smells like chlorine. What can I do about it?

A. Chlorine, used by water suppliers to kill harmful germs in drinking water, is a particularly volatile (easy to smell) chemical. What that means to you is that it is easy to get rid of the “medicinal” taste and smell of chlorine in drinking water. You can boil water for about 5 minutes; after you are done, store the water in the refrigerator in a closed glass container. Cold water always tastes better. This should not be a frequent problem with the "District" since they rarely have to chlorinate.


Q. Can I test my toilet for invisible leaks?

A. Yes. You can test it by dropping about 10 drops of food coloring into the tank. Do not flush for 15 minutes. If the colored water shows up in the bowl, the tank is leaking.


Q. I have heard that an aerator will help cut my water usage. What is an aerator?

A. An aerator is a simple device that mixes air with water from your faucet. The air cuts the flow so you use less water. It also keeps the water from splashing so much in the sink.


Q. Is a spray tap the same thing as an aerator?

A. Spray taps work very much like aerators, except that they spray water like a miniature shower. You can swivel them from side to side to direct the spray wherever you want it in the sink. These are great on the kitchen faucet.


Q. Is there a way to cut my water flow in the shower, too?

A. The easiest way to cut back on water usage in the shower is to turn the water on half way instead of full blast, but if you have kids or teenagers that may not be realistic. Water-saving showerheads cut the average flow from about 4.5 gallons per minute to as little as 1.25 gallons per minute. Any showerhead manufactured in the United States is now required by law to release no more than 3.2 gallons per minute. On the average, they will cost about $10.00.


An even less expensive method of slowing water flow is with a shower restrictor. A shower restrictor is a round piece of metal or plastic with a small hole in the center that fits between your showerhead and the faucet pipe. The small hole slows down the flow of water.


If you have questions you would like Professor Faucet to answer please e-mail them to us here.  He will try to respond to as many as possible.

WANT TO SAVE MONEY?   HERE ARE SOME IDEAS TO HELP OUT



Tax credits for purchases of energy efficient appliances may also be available. For more information go to:  https://energytrust.org/residential/incentives/Appliances/

Updated: October 13, 2017