As the dry summer weather sets in, people tend to adjust by overwatering, a tendency that harms both their lawns and the environment. Such a steep increase in water use can put a strain on water supply. The average use of water in American households nearly doubles throughout the summer months, and it is almost entirely due to the increase in outdoor lawn and garden watering. However, there are effective conservation methods that can keep landscapes healthy, along with reducing water usage.
With simple, sustainable conservation gardening, customers can significantly reduce outdoor water usage. This type of garden requires much less water than a traditional one to stay healthy and beautiful.
Select native and drought-tolerant plants and use water-wise gardening techniques to:
- Reduce your outdoor water use
- Create a colorful, natural garden
- Spend less time on garden maintenance
Visit your local garden center to find native and drought-tolerant plants for your area. Visit the EPA Water Sense website: https://www3.epa.gov/watersense/outdoor/what_to_plant.html for more tips on water-efficient landscaping.
Outdoor sprinklers can account for 40 percent of household water use during the summer.
Smart controllers automatically adjust irrigation run times in response to weather conditions. They use sensors and weather information to manage watering times and frequency. As environmental conditions vary, the smart controller increases or decreases irrigation. Replacing a standard clock timer with a WaterSense® labeled irrigation controller can save an average home nearly 8,800 gallons of water annually.
Water-efficient irrigation sprinklers deliver water more evenly to the landscape than traditional sprinklers and regulate pressure to help ensure a constant flow rate. These sprinklers have earned the WaterSense label, are best used with WaterSense labeled controllers and help provide more water-efficient irrigation equipment options to consumers and irrigation professionals.
Rotating Sprinkler Nozzles
The latest innovation in sprinkler technology, these nozzles turn a standard pop-up spray head into a precision device that saves water. These nozzles apply water more slowly and uniformly than conventional sprays, and heads are more resistant to wind, less likely to mist and significantly reduce run-off onto streets and sidewalks. In many cases, you can update your existing sprinkler heads with new rotary nozzles without having to replace the entire sprinkler body. On average, replacing one conventional fan spray nozzle with a rotating nozzle could save up to 1,300 gallons per year.
Drip irrigation, or trickle irrigation, is an irrigation method that saves water and reduces fertilizer by allowing water to drip slowly to the roots of plants, either onto the soil surface or directly onto the root zone.
Why Use a Drip Irrigation System?
- Minimal evaporation and overspray as well as lower water use than a traditional underground sprinkler system
- Direct connection to the hose spigot without the need to cut into the home water line
- Supply lines that can lie on the ground or under a layer of mulch, eliminating the trenches that underground systems require
- Flexibility as your plants grow and spread
- Customization for containers, raised beds, vegetable rows or shrubbery
- Exact delivery, preventing distribution of water where it’s not needed or where it can encourage weed growth
- Prevention of an overly moist environment that promotes fungal diseases
- Gentle, precise watering that minimizes runoff and erosion
- Drip irrigations systems use 20 to 50 percent less water than conventional pop-up sprinkler systems and can save up to 30,000 gallons per year
Learn more at www.EPA.gov/watersense.