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Ways To Save Water At Home
Water Meter Spinning Like A Top? Here Are Some Ways To Save Water At Home
Suffering from high water bills in the summer? Much of your water may be disappearing into thin air thanks to evaporation.
Rainbow Sprinkler, (Not Good)
When it comes to lawn sprinklers some are better at saving water than others. The oscillating "rainbow" type sprinklers that shoot water straight up in an arc from side to side are the worst when it comes to using water. Much of the water that is sprayed straight up on a hot day is evaporated into thin air.
Oscillating sprinkler set to large drop size. (Better)
A better alternative is a sprinkler like the rotating, clicker kind that are set on the biggest spray size to throw large drops of water close to the ground. The larger the drops the less evaporation.
Many clicker sprinklers have a hood or shield looking device on top that you can adjust to bring the flow closer down to the ground.
Soaker Hose. (Best)
An even better alternative is to use soaker hoses. This is more work when trying to water a large lawn since you will have to keep relocating the hose. They are very convenient to use however in flower beds and vegetable gardens.
Using a water timer with yard sprinklers is a good idea since even forgetting about turning off a faucet for a half hour can mean a few hundred gallons of water.
Professionally installed sprinkler systems are good as well but they need to be adjusted properly so that water is going where it is needed and not up against the side of your house or out in the street.
When To Water
It is best to water when it is cooler and when the sun has gone down. More water will end up on the lawn and not evaporated if you water in the early morning hours and late evening or night. You can set a water timer to turn sprinklers on when it is dark. Water timer cost as little as twenty dollars at discount stores. Be sure to use a short length of flexible hose between the tap and the water timer since most models are not that durable and could break off should the hose be pulled on. When leaving for an extended period of time always have a friend or neighbor check periodically to see that your automatic sprinkler system or water timer is functioning properly and not wasting water.
Checking Your Automatic Sprinkler
Check your system when it is on and adjust your sprinkler heads accordingly. If your installed sprinkler system is on a timer, install a rain sensor from a company like Smarthome.com that will shut the water off if it starts raining. Ask your sprinkler company if they can install a "smart" weather sensor that adjusts to forecasted rain in your area instead of watering just before a thunderstorm arrives.
Millions of gallons of water are wasted each year as automatic sprinklers come on during the rain when they are not needed. Set your automatic sprinkler system to come on late at night or early in the morning to prevent water loss from evaporation. For flower beds and gardens soaker hoses are the best for saving water. Placed next to the base of plants they keep evaporation low.
Xeriscaping Or Using Low Water Use Plants To Save Water
Low Water Use or Xeriscaping Plants.
To use less water try xeriscaping or planting native plants. There are low water use or xeriscaping plants for all regions of the country. You can find out which plants are best for saving water by contacting your local county extension agent or searching the Texas A&M University site below. Low water use plants for the Southwest include Buffalo Grass, Cenizo, Lantana, Yucca, Mountain Laurel and many other attractive grasses and plants. Native plants produce less allergy causing pollen and provide nectar and food to wildlife.
To save water, keep flower beds full of bark mulch to slow evaporation and also prevent weeds and grass from growing.
Consider Rain Barrels To Save Water
Consider buying or making a rain barrel. Many cities now offer rebates that cover almost all the cost of a rain barrel. You can place them under your gutters or downspouts to collect free water to use on your yard and garden. Below is an example of a homemade rain barrel.
Homemade Rain Barrel For Saving Water
Consider converting your old toilet to dual flush. It takes only about twenty minutes and $30 to convert a regular toilet to dual flush.