UPDATE (7/14/22): The city has used 24 million gallons per day every day since July 6. “I don’t believe we have ever had that level of usage for this long. EVER. And I’ve been here basically forever,” Jennifer Nations said.
By Jennifer Nations, Water Services Program Coordinator
In 2015, College Station had what’s become known as a flash drought — hot, dry weather that came on quickly after a relatively mild spring and summer. It took until August to reach triple-digit temperatures.
Fast forward to 2022.
We had a streak of nine straight days of 100-degree temperatures this month, breaking a record set in 2009. That led to a rapid rise in water demand as we went from averaging 14 million gallons per day in May to more than 20 million daily for nearly two weeks.
The spike in water demand is driven by irrigation. So, before that translates into an astronomical water bill, here are some tips to help you maintain your landscape while using our precious water resources efficiently:
- DON’T water every day to keep things from drying out. Daily watering encourages grass to develop shallow roots that quickly become stressed. And watering every day makes your lawn looks worse. Instead, ensure the soil is thoroughly soaked when you water.
- DO switch to the Cycle and Soak method of watering. Set your sprinklers to run for 5-10 minutes, let the water soak in for an hour, and then repeat. Do this 3-4 times, 1-2 days per week.
- DON’T run systems with broken or missing sprinkler heads. Sprinkler heads can frequently get out of alignment, resulting in thousands of gallons of drinking water running down the street — and hundreds of dollars flowing out of your bank account. Instead, turn the system off until you or a licensed irrigator can repair it.
- DO check your sprinklers monthly, or even weekly. Ensure they are watering grass, not pavement, look for missing or broken heads, and check for leaks. Your controller may have a test setting allowing each station to run for a few minutes, or you can use the single station setting and run each one individually.
- DON’T water from 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Up to 60% of sprinkler irrigation is lost to evaporation by watering in the hottest part of the day. Besides, watering from 10 a.m.-6 p.m. is a city ordinance violation.
- DO check out the Brazos Valley Water Smart website. The site tracks rainfall throughout Brazos County and emails weekly watering recommendations.
- DON’T assume someone else has reported a water leak. If you see a leak, report it to Utility Dispatch at 855-528-4278.
- DO contact Water Services for a free landscape irrigation checkup if you have a high water bill or want to learn to operate your irrigation system efficiently.
Together, we can eliminate water waste, reduce peak water demand, and ensure an adequate supply of safe, high-quality drinking water for everyone.
For more information, contact me at 764-6223 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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