How water-wse are you?

Are You Watering Wisely?

As we happily move into warmer weather and bright Carolina Blue skies, sprinklers and garden hoses spring into action. With increased water rates this year now is the time to be evaluating your irrigation strategy.

Does Your Landscape Have a Drinking Problem?

Many people use more water outdoors than indoors over the course of a year. Using the Southport volume metric data from April 2021, it was revealed that irrigation utilized 61.4% of the volume of all household water in that period.

Water-wise Planning and Planting

Efficient irrigation practices and water-wise landscape planning and planting can make a huge difference in preserving water resources and in keeping your monthly bill under control!

Tips to help you save:

  • Use native plants or plants that require little water to thrive in your region.
  • Plant turf grass only in areas where people will use it actively for recreation.
  • Organize your landscape into hydrozones with a distinct watering schedule for each. Hydrozones are areas of landscape with plant and vegetation that have similar water requirements. This prevents over-watering some plants and under-watering others.
  • Keep soil healthy and add mulch to prevent water loss through evaporation.
  • If watering with a hose, make sure it has a shut-off nozzle.
  • Water in the morning to prevent water loss due to evaporation. Avoid watering when it is windy.
  • Use a rain barrel to collect water for use in the landscape.
  • Add a greywater system to collect water from your washing machine, shower, or bath, and use it in the landscape.
  • If an irrigation system is used, be sure that it is properly set up and maintained.
  • Install a WaterSense-labeled weather-based irrigation controller.
  • Install and maintain a rain sensor, either wireless or wired, on the irrigation controller if it does not have one built-in.
  • Regularly inspect the sprinkler heads to make sure they are not damaged or malfunctioning.
  • Adjust sprinklers so they are not spraying water on paved surfaces such as the sidewalk or driveway.

These resources offer more ideas on how you can use your irrigation water more efficiently:

Alliance for Water Efficiency

EPA WaterSense

Water Use Calculator

Home Water Works