Neponset River Watershed Association Provides Water Conservation Tips
The following summer tips for water conservation were provided by the Neponset River Watershed Association.
Summer time generally means an increase in outdoor water usage, which puts stress on the groundwater that sustains our local streams and ecosystems. As we enjoy our lawns and gardens, it’s important to obey local watering restrictions, which are put in place for the health and safety of the entire community.
Please take a look at the following water conservation tips and consider what you can do to become more water efficient. Working together, we can protect our environment and water infrastructure, while saving energy and money at the same time!
In the Yard:
- Don’t assume that your lawn needs water. Step on a patch of grass; if it springs back, it doesn’t need water.
- Pay attention to the weather forecast before you run your sprinkler. A lawn needs only about 1 inch of water per week from rain/irrigation to stay green.
- Prevent runoff by ensuring that sprinklers spray lawns and gardens, not sidewalks or driveways.
- Upgrade to a weather or moisture based irrigation controller that will automatically track the weather for you and apply just the right amount of water.
- Maintain irrigation systems on a regular basis to catch leaks and ensure even distribution of water. Do a thorough tune up and leak check each spring.
- If you work with an irrigation professional, make sure they are recognized as an official WaterSense Irrigation Partner. www.epa.gov/watersense/meet_our_partners.html
- Avoid evaporation by not irrigating when it’s windy, or in the middle of the day.
- Keep a rain gauge in the yard to monitor precipitation.
- Aerate your lawn to improve drainage and allow roots to absorb more water.
- Create a layer of rich, organic loam 6” to 8” thick to retain moisture and encourage deep roots by top dressing with compost.
- Supplement topsoil by letting grass clippings decompose on your lawn.
- Mow regularly and remove less than 1/3 of the grass each time that you mow. Taller grass shades roots and slows evaporation.
- Replace water dependent bluegrass with drought tolerant “fescue” grasses. Overseed your lawn in early fall.
- Clean the driveway, sidewalk, or deck with a broom instead of a hose.
- Use a cover on swimming pools to reduce the loss of evaporated water by 90 percent.
In the Garden:
- Design your garden to include native, drought tolerant plants. Learn more at: www.umassgreeninfo.org/
- Landscape according to the various zones in your yard. (hot/sunny, cool/shady)
- Organize in-line drip tubing to deliver water to the base of plants, where they need it most.
- Set up a rain barrel to harvest rain water for plants and shrubs.
- Redirect downspouts towards shrubs and trees.
- Mulch plants to keep roots moist.
- Use pistol grip nozzles on your garden hoses.
- Fix garden hose leaks at the spigot, by replacing the rubber hose washer and ensuring a tight connection to the spigot using pipe tape and a wrench.
The above release was provided by the Neponset River Watershed Association.