Tips: Be water smart when watering lawns
With the arrival of summer, it is
time to focus on water conservation and prudent water practices. Long Island
American Water offers these water
smart tips for watering lawns.
"As a purveyor we are responsible to promote prudent water usage practices
to our customers," said Walter Lynch, Long Island American Water President.
"Taking a few small steps can make a big difference when it comes to
conserving our water supply."
The following are recommended tips:
- Minimize evaporation by watering during the early morning hours, when
temperatures are cooler and winds are lighter. It
would be best for any area, if automated sprinkler system timers were set
to start and run between 3 am and 6 am.
Watering this early helps reduce system demand during peak periods and
results in deeper watering that is better for the lawn and better for
sprinkler system performance.
- Check your sprinkler system frequently and adjust sprinklers so that you
are only watering your lawn and not the house, sidewalk, or street.
- Use a layer of organic mulch around plants to reduce evaporation and save
hundreds of gallons of water a year.
- Divide your watering cycle into shorter periods to reduce runoff and allow
for better absorption every time you water.
- Only water your lawn when needed. You can tell this by simply walking
across your lawn. If you leave footprints, it's time to water.
- Adjust your lawn mower to a higher setting. Longer grass shades root
systems and holds soil moisture better than a closely clipped lawn.
- Install a rain shut-off device on your automatic sprinklers to eliminate
- Remember to check your sprinkler system valves periodically for leaks and
keep the heads in good shape.
- Don't water your lawn on windy days. After all, sidewalks and driveways
don't need water.
- When watering grass on steep slopes, use a soaker hose to prevent wasteful
- Remember to weed your lawn and garden regularly. Weeds compete with other
plants for nutrients, light, and water.
- Teach your family how to shut off your automatic watering systems. Turn
sprinklers off if the system is malfunctioning or when a storm is
- Use sprinklers that throw big drops of water close to the ground. Smaller
drops of water and mist often evaporate before they hit the ground.
This article originally appeared in the 06/01/2005 issue of Environmental Protection.