Be A Wise Water User and Irrigate Efficiently
You can manage your water bill by monitoring your water usage when you irrigate. This is especially important in the summer months when outside watering can double or even triple your water bill. Here's why:
- The amount we charge for water use is based on the Residential Equivalent Unit, or REU assignment.
- The average residential customer is assigned one REU (300 gallons a day, or approximately 9,200 gallons a month).
- When you use more than 9,200 gallons, water rates double (for the amount you use over the 9,200.) If you use more than 18,400 gallons a month, the charges triple. Excessive Use Charges are part of the volumetric water rates designed to recover the excessive expenses associated with peak water demand.
- Remember, you also pay wastewater charges for every gallon of water consumed.
Consider installing an irrigation meter if you water a large area or water frequently. You pay a slightly higher cost per gallon, but there are no wastewater volume charges added.
A 3/4 inch line (hose) to a sprinkler uses between 5 and 8 gallons per minute (GPM). That's between 300 and 500 gallons of water in only one hour
When is the best time to water?
Early morning watering ensures adequate water is available for uptake by the plant during daylight hours before much of the water drains through the soil below the root system. DO NOT irrigate between 5:00 to 9:00 a.m. or 7:00 to 11:00 p.m. during drought conditions.
What else can you do to help retain essential ground moisture?
You can promote a healthy root system by raising the mowing height of the lawnmower to help keep the soil cool, and allowing the grass clippings to remain as mulch.
Use efficient irrigation hardware:
Drip or soaker hoses are excellent in planted beds. Low volume direction spray heads work well for grassy areas.
Make your own drip irrigation device:
Place holes randomly in a water hose 2-3 inches apart using a nail or ice pick. Snake the hose through the bed and turn the faucet to about 1/4 open, just enough for a small flow.
It doesn't take a lot of water to get sufficient moisture to the roots.
1 to 1-1/2 inches every five to seven days (including rainfall) is fine for most lawns.
Make sure that sprinkler heads are checked periodically.
This will ensure that your lawn and garden will be watered, not the sidewalk or street.
For more information about efficient irrigation practices, check out the Sustainable Building Sourcebook.