If you’re like many Hoosiers, you enjoy spending time in your yard, tending to your garden and taking care of the grass. This takes a little bit of elbow grease, as well as the right amount of water.
But how much water should we use outside? Using too much is wasteful and can cause your water bills to skyrocket. It’s important to find a happy-medium. The professionals at Indiana American Water recommend using the six tips below to conserve water this summer.
Tips to Use Less Water Outside
According to the Environmental Protection Agency, outdoor water usage can account for 30 to 70 percent of your home’s total water consumption in some regions of the country and, unfortunately, much of it can go to waste.
By implementing some of the following tips, you can significantly reduce your water consumption outside.
1. Water Your Grass Smartly
Your lawn doesn’t need nearly as much water as many homeowners think. In fact, grass only needs about an inch of water per week to stay healthy, according to Indiana American Water. You can save water outdoors by simply watering your lawn or garden at the right times.
If there has been a lack of rainfall and you decide to water your lawn, do so early in the morning or in the evening since as much as 30 percent of water is lost due to evaporation during the heat of the day. Water runoff from overwatering can also lead to water waste.
An easy test to see if your grass needs watering is to walk on your lawn. If the grass bounces right back, it probably doesn’t need to be watered; if you leave footprints behind as you walk through your lawn, the grass is likely thirsty.
Also, consider watering your plants and flowers during the early morning or evening hours.
2. Set Your Mower a Notch Higher
Another one of our ways to save water includes raising your mower’s blade one notch to keep the grass a little longer. This results in a more drought-resistant lawn with fewer weeds and reduced evaporation.
3. Upgrade Your Sprinkler System
Have you driven by homes and noticed their sprinkler system running shortly after it rained, or sometimes even while it’s raining? This is an incredible waste of water.
According to the EPA, upgrading your clock-based controller to a WaterSense-labeled controller can save the average home up to 15,000 gallons of water per year. WaterSense controllers have access to the moisture level of the soil and local weather data to determine when and how much to water. Installing a WaterSense controller with a smart spray sprinkler body can save water and significantly lower your water bills.
4. Plant Appropriately
Another of our water-saving tips is to find the right plants for the region. Planting the right types of plants can also save you money on watering. Look for non-invasive and drought-tolerant plants. Check out the Environmental Protection Agency’s Online Plant Guide to learn more.
5. Use Drip Irrigation Hoses
When you do water plants, consider installing drip irrigation hoses. Drip irrigation systems will save you time and money on your water bill, and use about half of the water a sprinkler system uses. While a sprinkler system will often water areas between your plants and walkways, a drip irrigation system allows you to water only the plants that need it. Drip irrigation also gives the soil more time to soak up the water and leads to less runoff.
6. Put the Hose Away
Instead of using the hose to clean off your driveway, walkways and decks, grab the broom instead. It’s harder work, but you’ll thank yourself when you see your next water bill.
Indiana American Water Is Committed to Water Conservation
Indiana American Water is constantly looking to share water conservation tips to ensure there will be plenty available in the future. If you would like to learn how much water your home uses, consider using the Water Calculator provided by the Alliance for Water Efficiency. You can enter information about your daily water usage and receive tips on where you can conserve water.