Please don’t respond to heat by watering every day

By Jennifer Nations, Water Resource Coordinator

Broken head2The summer heat wave started a little later than usual this year, but it’s here. If you don’t believe me, you haven’t been outside at mid-afternoon lately.

When it comes to your water supply, it’s not a surprise that higher temperatures mean a rise in the demand. Unfortunately, many of our residents have started watering every day while others have irrigation systems in disrepair.

As a result, our community’s water consumption has gone from 12 million gallons a day in early July to more than 21 million gallons just a month later. In fact, we’ve used more than 20 million gallons every day since July 22.

That’s stunning.

We aren’t in danger of mandatory water restrictions (yet), but with high temperatures expected to continue and no rain in sight, it’s essential to eliminate water waste and reduce peak water demand. Responsible measures ensure an adequate supply of safe, high-quality drinking water.

Here are eight common sense actions you can take immediately:

  1. Don’t water every day. Daily watering does more harm than good by encouraging grass to develop shallow roots that quickly become drought-stressed.
  2. Don’t water the concrete or street. Sprinkler heads can easily get out of alignment and hose-end sprinklers are sometimes positioned too close to the road. These issues can mean thousands of gallons of precious drinking water running down the street and hundreds of dollars flowing out of your bank account.
  3. Don’t water between 10:00 a.m. – 6 p.m. Up to 60 percent of sprinkler irrigation is lost to evaporation when watering in the hottest part of the day.
  4. Don’t assume a water leak has been reported. If you see a leak, report it to Utility Dispatch at 855-528-4278.
  5. Switch to the cycle-and-soak method. Set your sprinklers to run for 5-10 minutes, let the water soak in for an hour or so, then repeat. Do this 3-4 times, 1-2 days per week.
  6. Check your sprinklers at least monthly. Make sure sprinklers are watering grass not pavement and check for leaks. If you have a broken or missing sprinkler head, turn the system off until a licensed irrigator can make repairs. You can also get a free landscape irrigation checkup from College Station Water Services.
  7. Check out the Brazos Valley Water Smart website, which tracks landscape water needs throughout Brazos County. You can sign up to receive weekly emails with watering recommendations tailored to specific conditions in your neighborhood.
  8. Attend our free Smart Irrigation Workshop on Saturday, August 15 at 10 a.m. at Pebble Creek Country Club.

If you would like to register for the workshop or a landscape irrigation checkup, contact me at 979-764-6223 or jnations@cstx.gov.

jnbio

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