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Outdoor Tips

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Tips For Saving Water Outdoors

With our hot, dry summers the amount of water used by our residential customers triples in the summer.  Implementing efficiency measures are generally less expensive than adding infrastructure (like larger pipes and more reservoirs) to meet the peak demand.

    Remember - no matter how much you water it, you can't grow pavement!

Below are some water conservation ideas to try:

Sprinkler Systems 

  • Check your sprinkler system, including the control valves, for leaks at the start of each season
  • Check you hose bibs for leaks
  • Check your irrigation controller at the start of the season, readjust your watering schedule as the temperature changes with the seasons.  In-ground sprinkler systems must be operated properly to be water efficient.
  • To reduce water being lost to evaporation water your lawn in the early morning or evening.  When watering during the heat of the day up to 30% of the water can be lost to evaporation.
  • Do not water when it is windy, wait until the wind dies down to get more efficient watering
  • Don't run your sprinkler system when it is raining - a rain shutoff switch is inexpensive and can be retrofitted to almost any system
  • Set a kitchen timer when watering your lawn or garden with a hose
  • Spy on your sprinklers at least once a summer - make sure that they are not watering your house, driveway or sidewalks
  • Install a micro/drip irrigation system or use soaker hoses to water plants directly
  • When your kids want to cool off, use the sprinkler in an area where your lawn needs water the most

Lawn / Landscaping 

  • Aerate your soil and lawn - this will increase the infiltration of water into the ground, reducing the amount of runoff
  • Raise your lawn mower cutting height - this will promote deeper root growth causing your lawn to be more drought resistant
  • If you don't like mowing your lawn get rid of it and replace it with native or drought resistant landscaping
  • Using the minimum amount of fertilizer needed can save water and money, plus it reduces the amount of pollutants reaching rivers and streams
  • When designing your yard group plants according to their water needs.  Also, use regionally appropriate, low water-using and native plants - once established these plants will require little water beyond normal rainfall.
  • Try to minimize steep slopes when landscaping your yard - slopes can be challenging because of the potential for erosion and runoff


  • Sweep your driveway, sidewalk and steps rather than hosing them off
  • Cover your pool or spa when not in use to minimize evaporation, check the pump for leaks
  • A 7mph wind at the surface of a pool can increase the water lost to evaporation by 300%, installing a wind break such as a fence or shrubs can help reduce this
  • Wash your car using a bucket an a hose with a shutoff nozzle or take your car to a car wash that recycles water