No Drought about It: How to Reduce Your Outdoor Water Use

Is your water bill getting out of control? Are you sick of seeing sprinkler runoff? Whether your area is experiencing a drought, you want to save money, or you're simply looking to conserve water, there are many reasons to reduce your outdoor water use. Here are a few ways to do so.  

Stop Sprinkler Runoff

Do you sometimes feel like your sprinklers water the sidewalk more than your lawn? When your irrigation practices aren't efficient, you end up wasting water. Here are a few ways to stop sprinkler runoff:

  • Change your watering habits: If you're seeing runoff, you're probably over-watering. To make sure the soil is able to absorb all the water, you'll want to use the cycle-soak method. This technique focuses on using smaller amounts of water and then giving the water time to soak into the soil and the entire root system. For instance, you might turn on your lawn sprinklers for about five to six minutes and then allow the water to penetrate into the soil for about an hour. Then repeat this process one or two more times. For help with this, contact a company like Krupske Sprinkler Systems.
  • Prevent low head drainage: If you notice water streaming onto the sidewalk after you turn the sprinklers off, your sprinklers probably have low head drainage. Green algae on the sidewalk is another red flag your sprinklers have low head drainage. Typically, this phenomenon occurs when your yard is on a slope. As your sprinklers run, the pipes fill up with water. Then, when the system turns off, gravity causes all of that water to drain out of the lowest sprinkler heads. To stop this problem, you can install anti-drain check valves that keep the excess water in the pipes after the sprinkler system is turned off.  
  • Use drip irrigation: A drip irrigation system utilizes a hose with small holes that allows water to slowly drip into targeted areas. Along with eliminating runoff, this irrigation method uses 30 to 50 percent less water than conventional systems.

Smart Landscaping

The types of plants you choose can also greatly reduce the amount of water you use in your yard. When choosing plants, you should look for varieties labeled as low water use or drought tolerant for your specific climate zone. Likewise, native plants, or those that occur and have adapted naturally in a specific region, are more efficient than non-native plants. For this reason, they need less water.

Other Water Saving Tips

You can easily reduce your outdoor water use with these additional tips:

  • Keep your grass longer: Longer blades means less water will evaporate from your lawn. Adjusting your lawn mower to a slightly higher cutting height will reduce evaporation and save water.  
  • Don't let your hose run: A running hose can waste several gallons of water a minute. Putting an automatic shut-off valve on your hose can eliminate this problem.
  • Utilize your rain gutters: Put rain water to good use. Direct gutter downspouts towards your flowerbeds, grass, and tree bases.  

There is no doubt that with a few modifications to your sprinkler system, mowing habits, and landscaping, you can conserve water and save yourself a little money in the process.