Easy Ways to Save Water at Home
How to Program Your Sprinkler System
Most sprinkler systems available today have the same basic settings for the date, time, and duration of watering zones. Many systems also offer a “cycle and soak” feature, which helps reduce run-off, and a “seasonal adjust” feature, which allows the user to adjust the monthly water usage and run time for changing weather based on percentages. Follow us on Facebook for updates on the percentage to adjust your system each month.
Watch these videos on how to program some of the most popular irrigation system controllers. You can also sign up for Water My Yard and get free weekly watering recommendations sent to your email. Always consult the system manufacturer’s user guide for the most accurate information. Links to videos below.
How Long and How Often Should I Water?
Most lawns only need about 1” of water per week to stay green and healthy. Every sprinkler system is different, but this is a good guideline to get you started:
|Sprinkler Type||Sun or Shade?||Days Per Week||Minutes|
What is a Rain Sensor?
Most sprinkler controllers include a port to connect a rain sensor that will automatically turn the system off if it’s raining. Consult the system manufacturer’s user guide for more information.
Adjusting Sprinkler Heads to Prevent Wasting Water
- Find the small screw on the top of most sprinkler heads. If you can’t find it, try wiping away some of the soil from the top of the sprinkler head.
- Use your flat head screwdriver and rotate the screw clockwise to reduce the angle of the spray until the water no longer hits the sidewalk or other unwanted areas.
How to Cycle and Soak
Watch this short video on how to program your sprinkler system to “cycle and soak” and help prevent run-off.
What is a Smart Controller?
An irrigation system smart controller allows you to use your smartphone and your home wifi to program your system. Many smart controllers utilize information such as recent rainfall, weather forecasts, types of plants, and more. Here are some videos to help you set up some of the most popular types of smart controllers.
Do Smart Controllers Conserve Water?
Smart controllers make conserving water easy, if programmed correctly. Many smart controllers can be programmed to reduce watering time or skip the next watering cycle if it has rained recently or if rain is expected.
Use Your Rebate
What is a Rain Barrel?
It’s a smart idea to capture rain water with a rain barrel. For each inch of rain that runs off a 1,000 square foot roof, you can collect about 600 gallons of water.
A rain barrel attaches to your gutter system and collects rainwater for future use around the house and yard. You can make your own rain barrel or pick one up at your local home and garden store.
- Water Your Garden
- Wash Your Car and Windows
- Flush Your Toilets – See these videos for how you can even connect a barrel to your indoor toilets.
The good news is rain barrels are pretty simple to make. Any container from a heavy-duty trash can to a fancy collection barrel can be used to store your rainwater. By following these simple steps, your home could have a new green addition in just a few hours. Check with your Homeowners Association (HOA) for any specific rules about rain barrels, then watch this video for more instructions and guidance.
Periodically, when your rain barrel is empty, give it a good bath. Scrub the inside, outside, and bottom with dish soap, and use a broom to remove collected sediment along the sides.
What Is A Native and Adaptive Plant?
When many people hear the words “native and adaptive,” they think of sandy, dry deserts that include rocks as the focal feature. Yet native and adaptive plant gardens can be lush and green. Gulf Coast native and adaptive plants are great additions to the landscape because they’re used to our specific weather patterns.
Why Should I Use Native and Adaptive Plants?
Native and adaptive plants used in landscaping require far less water than many thirsty exotic neighbors, and also maintain their appearance even during prolonged periods of rain or drought.
Want to learn more about my native and adaptive plant friends? Watch this video.
Native and Adaptive Plant Examples
I hate to pick favorites, but here are some of my favorite native plants:
For more native and adaptive plant ideas, check out the Lady Bird Johnson Wildlife Center’s database.
Small Leaks Can Cause Big Trouble
A leaky toilet may not seem like a big problem, but it can waste around 6,000 gallons of water per month and cost up to $1,000 a year! Dripping faucets and leaky pipes can also add up to huge amounts of water wasted.
You Can Fix It
Most household leaks are easy to fix. Here’s how to fix a leaky toilet:
Step 1: Turn off the water to the toilet and stop that water loss in its tracks.
Step 2: Grab your cellphone and take a picture of the seal and the mechanism in the tank of your toilet or take the broken parts with you to the local hardware store.
Step 3: Find the necessary replacements parts. Don’t hesitate to ask an employee for help. They assist people with minor household repairs all the time.
Step 4: Fix it! If you forget any of the instructions on installing your particular part, search for videos on YouTube. (There are plenty to choose from.)
Step 5: Turn off all appliances using water inside and outside of your home. Check your water meter. If the red dial is still spinning – there is water being used somewhere.
Step 6: Make sure you tell everyone on social media how great a job you did fixing the leak. Don’t be afraid to use words like “super handy” and “wrench wizard.”