Easy Ways to Save Water in Your Yard and Garden PART 1
Saving water in your landscape doesn’t have to be hard or time consuming. Many of the most effective things you can do to reduce your water bills and protect your community’s water supply are simple and easy. Here are a few suggestions that are either one-time investments in water-saving equipment that you can do or have someone else install for you, or simple changes of habit.
- Install an automatic rain-shutoff device. This is an inexpensive device you can install on your irrigation system controller that tells it to shut off when a specified amount of rain has fallen. It protects your lawn (and your water bill) from accidental overwatering. An automatic rain shutoff typically costs under $200 to install, including labor. In many parts of the country, it can save enough water to pay for itself within the first season.
- Update your irrigation system with a smart controller. A slightly larger investment ($300 to several thousand dollars) will buy you a weather-based irrigation controller capable of improving your watering efficiency by up to 40%. If your water bill has been large it will probably pay itself back within a couple of years.
- Upgrade to water-efficient emitters. The pas decade has seen growth of leaps and bounds in emitter technology. If your sprinkler heads, rotors, or drip irrigation emitters are more than a couple of years old, ask your local irrigation expert to inspect your system and recommend more efficient alternatives if appropriate.
- Eliminate leaks. According to the EPA, a single 1/32′ diameter leak on a hose, emitter or outdoor faucet can waste more than 6,000 gallons of water in a year. Imagine the cost if you have multiple leaks! Outdoor leaks are especially prone to waste because they often aren’t noticed. If you hire a competent landscape company to maintain your lawn, you won’t have to worry because they will check for leaks at each visit. However, if yo do your own maintenance, be sure to put leak inspection on your weekly list.
- Install a rain barrel. It’s good for plants because it’s free of many of the salts and chemicals that are present in most underwater or city-water sources. Many municipalities are now offering incentives to homeowners who install these expensive water-saving devices. A landscape-irrigation expert can help you decide how best to integrate your rainwater with your existing irrigation system.