Tips to Reduce Water Use in the Summer
With hot temperatures breaking records and a heat advisory in effect throughout much of the state, many Minnesotans are wondering how to keep their plants from dying without running up a huge water bill.
According to the Environmental Protection Agency, the average American home uses about 260 gallons of water a day, and that amount can increase to four times that amount during peak watering season.
The city of Roseville is offering advice to homeowners to help reduce the amount of water used – which helps the environment and your wallet. Here are some of their tips:
• Choose native grasses, ground covers, shrubs and trees with a deep root system. Once established, they do not need to be watered as frequently.
• Raise the lawn mower blade to at least three inches. A lawn cut higher encourages grass roots to grow deeper, shades the root system and holds soil moisture better than a closely clipped lawn.
• Water lawns and gardens in the early morning or evening when evaporation is lower. As much as 50 percent of water used outdoors goes to waste from evaporation or runoff.
• Use mulch to retain moisture. It slows weed growth and reduces the need for fertilizers.
• Avoid over-fertilizing your lawn. Fertilizer increases the need for water.
• Position your sprinklers so that water lands on the lawn and shrubs... not on paved areas.
• Do not leave sprinklers or hoses unattended. Use a kitchen timer to remind yourself to turn them off.
• Check hoses, connectors and spigots regularly for leaks.
• Outfit your hose with a shut-off nozzle that can be adjusted to a fine spray so water flows only as needed. When finished, turn it off at the faucet instead of at the nozzle to avoid leaks.
• Use a broom to clean leaves and other debris from your driveway or sidewalk. Never wash leaves or debris into the street.