This information courtesy of the EPA and WaterSense
Summertime in the south leads to most of us using more water, whether it's from children running through a sprinkler, filling a swimming pool, or just watering the lawn. Some homeowners can use two to four times as much water during the summer as they do the rest of the year. Learning how to use this water more efficiently is not only good for your wallet, but also good for the environment.
Facts About Summertime Overwatering
- Depending on the region, homeowners use between 30 and 70 percent of their water outdoors.
- Experts estimate that 50 percent of the water we use outdoors goes to waste from evaporation, wind, or runoff due to overwatering.
- Review your water bills and compare your winter water use with your summer use to get a sense of how much extra water you use outdoors when it's hot.
Simple Tips for Saving Water Outdoors
- Timing is everything: Know how much water your landscape actually needs before you set your sprinkler. Your local utility can offer recommendations for how much water certain plants need in your region and best times to water. Generally, it's best to water lawns and landscapes in the early morning and evening, after the sun goes down, because significant amounts of water can be lost due to evaporation during the heat of the day.
- Look for the label: If your system uses a clock timer, consider upgrading to a WaterSense labeled controller which acts like a thermostat for your lawn, using local weather data to determine when and how much to water, reducing waste and improving plant health. Replacing a standard clock timer with a WaterSense labeled irrigation controller can save an average home nearly 8,800 gallons of water annually.
- Go with a pro: Contractors certified through a WaterSense labeled program can audit, install, or maintain home irrigation systems to ensure water isn't wasted. Make sure you ask for credentials.
- Tune up your system: Inspect irrigation systems and check for leaks and broken or clogged sprinkler heads. Fix sprinkler heads that are broken or spraying on the sidewalk, street, or driveway.
- Play zone defense: When planting, assign areas of your landscape different hydrozones depending on sun/shade exposure, soil and plant types, and type of sprinklers, then adjust your irrigation system or watering schedule based on those zones' specific needs. This helps you avoid overwatering some areas or underwatering others.
For more information, visit the EPA WaterSense website.