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Save Water Outdoors
Try planting drought-tolerant and regionally adapted plants in areas that are hard to water or that receive little use. This may include narrow strips near sidewalks or driveways and steep hills.
Cover pools and spas to avoid evaporation.
Sweep your driveways and sidewalks with a broom instead of spraying them off with a hose.
Check outdoor faucets, pipes, hoses and pools for leaks.
Change your lawn mower to a 3-inch clipping height and try not to cut off more than one-third of the grass height when you mow.
Consider replacing infrequently used lawn areas with low-water use plants or ground covers.
Apply as little fertilizer to your lawn as possible. Applying excess fertilizer increases water consumption and actually creates more mowing for you! Use iron-based fertilizers to simply “green-up” your lawn instead.
Recycle and reuse the water in fountains and other ornamental water fixtures.
Check the level in your pool using a grease pencil. Your pool shouldn’t lose more than ¼ inch each day. If it is losing more than this, check elsewhere for leaks.
Avoid bursting or freezing pipes by winterizing your outdoor spigots.
Use a bucket of soapy water to wash your car, or simply place a shut-off nozzle on the end of your hose.
Conserve Water in the Landscape
Visually inspect your sprinkler system once a month during daylight hours. Check and fix any tilted, clogged or broken heads. Although watering at night is recommended, you won't notice problems with your system unless you see it in operation.
Avoid watering your landscape during the hottest hours of the day (10 am until 6 pm) to minimize evaporation.
Water your landscape in cycles by reducing the number of minutes on your timer and using multiple start times spaced one hour apart. This allows the water to soak into the soil and avoids runoff.
Water your lawn only when it needs it. If you leave footprints on the grass, it is usually time to water.
Turn your sprinkler system off during or after a rainstorm and leave it off until the plants need to be watered again.
Consider installing an automatic rain shutoff device on your sprinkler system.
Install drip irrigation systems for trees, shrubs and flowers.
Check your sprinkler valves for leaks when checking all your heads.
Avoid watering your lawn on windy days.
Try to add more days between watering. Allowing your lawn to dry out between watering creates deeper roots and allows you to water deeper and less often.
Place a rain gauge in your backyard to monitor rainfall and irrigation.
Set the kitchen timer when you water by hose.
Test soil moisture with a soil probe or screwdriver before you water. If the soil is moist, don’t water!
Watch out for broken sprinklers, open hydrants, broken pipes and any other significant water losses in your community. Be sure to notify the property owner or the water district of the problem.
Make sure the water coming out of your sprinklers is not misting and drifting away in the wind. This is usually caused by too high of pressure—if necessary, install a pressure reducer on your sprinkler line.
Turn back your automatic timers in the spring and fall. Water only once or twice a week during the spring and fall.
Tips from the Utah DWR
© 2011 Weber Basin Water Conservancy District
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