It’s the middle of summer, and if you’re spending time outdoors, there’s at least a fair chance you’re doing so around water, whether it’s at the beach or in a home pool. Of course, with summer heat comes increased water use; however, this consumption doesn’t necessarily need to break the bank and run your water bill through the roof.
As reported by the EPA, summer water use for the average family can be as much as 1,000 gallons per day (if not more); this is a huge spike over the regular average of 320 gallons per day. There are steps you can take to lower your consumption and make the most out of your water use, even during the blistering summer. In this blog, we highlight some summer water use tips you can follow to use water smarter, while still beating the heat.
Tip 1: Water Your Lawn in the Early A.M. Hours
One way homeowners can stay ahead of the heat - and its effects on water consumption - is by watering lawns early in the morning, before daytime evaporation really kicks in. Configure your home sprinkler system to automatically start early in the morning, and consider upgrading your irrigation system with a rain-sensor (why water your lawn when nature does so for you?). Conversely, you could also lower your lawn in the late afternoon or evening to the same effect.
Tip 2: Maintain Your Irrigation System
While we’re on the topic of watering your lawn, make sure to react quickly to any sprinkler head leaks or clogs. Broken sprinkler heads can waste thousands of gallons of water in a single month, resulting in unanticipated water bill increases. Actively maintain your sprinkler system, and contact a plumbing professional if you think replacing a broken sprinkler head on your own could pose challenges.
Additionally, consider installing a WaterSense-certified irrigation system controller in your home, which can automatically detect local weather patterns and reduce sprinkler water consumption by as much as 15%.
Tip 3: Lawn Mowing Tips to Save Water
In the summer, there are a fe things you can do to limit water use and keep your lawn hydrated with less water. For starters, when mowing your lawn, consider setting your mower blade high and leaving grass taller than you normally would. Taller grass means deeper roots, and reduces the effects of evaporation on your property.
When mowing in the summer months, you should also leave clippings in place on your lawn, as this can help contain moisture despite the heat. Where applicable, you can also use a layer of mulch to preserve moisture, while also protecting your lawn from nutrient-sapping weeds.
Tip 4: Cover Pools and Use Recirculating Pumps
Throughout the rest of summer, you should cover your pool whenever not in use; this prevents quick evaporation in the July/August sun, and the added water consumption that comes with it. Also, consider equipping outdoor water fixtures like fountains and artificial ponds with recirculating pumps, as this eliminates otherwise wasted water from continuous pump-and-drain configurations.
Tip 5: Use Your Local Car Wash
While you may think washing your own cars saves money, as opposed to going out for a wash, the opposite is often true; washing you car at home, you can easily use 100+ gallons of water for each vehicle. Commercial car wash facilities, on the other hand, typically use 40 gallons of water per wash, if not less.
Tip 6: Make Smarter Landscaping Decisions
When choosing plants and trees to add to your property, you should always try to pick native species to your region, as opposed to exotic plants from others. Plant species acclimated to your local conditions will require far less water than those from other regions, particularly during the summer months.
Additionally, non-native plants can drain nutrients and water from other plants on your lawn, pushing you to water them more frequently than normal.
Tip 7: Don’t Use Your Garden Hose to Clean Pavement
On common, high-consumption mistake many homeowners make in the summer months, and at any time for that matter, is using a garden hose to clean the driveway or sidewalk. This is an unnecessary waste of water, accomplishing what could be done with a broom or leaf blower.
Just because it’s summer doesn’t mean you have to spend more on water and irrigation. Follow the tips in this blog, and you can beat the heat without breaking your budget.