4 Baby Steps to Using Water Efficiently Outdoors
Some tips for reducing water waste in your yard include intimidating to-dos like replacing all your sprinklers with soaker hoses or creating a graywater reuse system from scratch. But you don’t have to go all in with these major projects to show your support for the environment. If your budget or time is limited, you can still make small changes that add up to a big impact.
Here are five baby steps you can take to use your outdoor plumbing in a water-efficient manner.
1. Schedule Watering to Reduce Waste
Whether you’re using a hose, a sprinkler, or an irrigation system, watering your lawn or garden is the most efficient in the early morning or later in the evening. That’s because when the sun is up, it will cause water to evaporate faster, meaning that less of the water actually reaches the plants’ roots. Watering at night has a couple of drawbacks; it can encourage fungi and rot, for example.
Choosing to water in either the early morning or late evening, rather than during the day, is a small step. But it can help you use less water, meaning you’ll save more and more water over time.
2. Use a Rain Barrel
Sticking a rain barrel under a downspout couldn’t be easier, and once that’s done, all you have to do is wait for it to fill up and then attach your hose to the spigot. This not only allows you to save hundreds of gallons of water, but can also save a significant amount of money on your water bill.
You should keep a couple of considerations in mind when using your rain barrel. For example, because of the chemicals and heavy metals it could pick up from your roof, some people recommend using the water for only non-edibles (such as your lawn and ornamental plantings).
3. Add a Smart Irrigation Controller
If you have an irrigation system for your lawn, garden, or both, you may already have a watering timer that lets watering happen automatically on schedule. If not, you definitely should, since it can save water by delivering exactly the amount your garden needs and no more.
The addition of a smart component to this can allow you to save even more water. That’s because these smart irrigation controllers offer features such as communicating with your smartphone (so that you can change the schedule even while you’re not at home if needed) and adjusting based on the weather (so if there’s a lot of rain, the irrigation system won’t turn on unnecessarily).
4. Choose a Broom or Power Washer
Using a hose to clean off sidewalks and driveways may simply be a habit of yours, but you should think about whether or not you actually need water each time you clean off your driveway. Bird droppings may require water, for example, but if you have just dead leaves to clean up, a broom may do the trick.
If you do need to use water for cleaning exterior surfaces, a pressure washer may be the best choice. Pressure washers not only deliver high pressure to get the cleaning done fast, but they also have a much lower flow than your hose does. Of course, there is a slight trade-off because they also use electricity.
One thing to keep in mind is that pressure washers can be too powerful for some tasks. For example, you should never use a pressure washer on your roof.
These baby steps can help you to head in the direction of water efficiency outdoors as well as inside your house. For more help with efficient plumbing and to avoid water waste, get in touch with Mitchell Plumbing, Heating and Cooling today.