Water Wise Wendy is Here to Share her Water Conservation Tips
Not sure where to start when it comes to saving water? Wondering if little changes actually make a big difference? Well, not to worry - Water Wise Wendy is here to guide us all from water-wasting to water-wizard in no time!
Tips for Water Conservation Around the Yard
In honor of the California Department of Water Resources Water Awareness month held annually in May, Water Wise Wendy is here to share her favorite water wise tips to get your outdoor areas prepped for the hot summer days. With help from her friends at Zone 7, Water Wise Wendy provides tips and tricks for saving water in your yard and garden, all year round.
#1 Become a Mulch Master
Ready to become a mulch master? It’s time to upgrade our outdoor garden areas with mulch!
Mulch can do so many great things for your garden. Mulch boots soil health by adding organic material, regulating temperature, preventing evaporation, giving a home to helpful bugs, and it looks nice too! Ready to get started? Prepare your site by trimming down weeds, then grab some mulch and apply a two to four inch layer around your plants or shrubs! Reapply each season as needed to refresh and keep weeds at bay. To learn more about how to sheet mulch, visit lawntogarden.org What are you waiting for? Mulch it up!
#2 Get rid of your thirsty lawn
Kick that thirsty lawn to the curb! Replace your old lawn areas with water-wise plants and generous amounts of mulch to create a water-wise lawn that will save water and look beautiful. The best part? We offer a Water-Efficient Lawn Conversion rebate that will pay you to remove your irrigated lawn! To get started on the rebate and transforming your yard, submit your plans and application to firstname.lastname@example.org
#3 Be careful not to water when it rains
Is rain expected in the forecast? Has the afternoon brought in an unexpected rainstorm? (We can dream!) Be sure to turn off your sprinklers or irrigation systems. The small act of not letting your yard or garden get watered more than necessary can save water and help not overwater yards and gardens. If you would rather not watch the forecast, we also offer a Weather-Based Irrigation Controller Rebate!
#4 Use your broom!
When it comes to keeping driveways, walkways or outdoor areas looking clean and debris free, turn to your broom for a helping hand. Although a hose may seem more convenient, that is a water-wasting habit we need to leave in medieval times! Grab your trusty push broom or in the case of our water saving wizard, a wizard's broom and start sweeping your outdoor areas clean.
#5 Divide your garden into zones
When planting your garden, assign areas of your landscape into different zones. These zones will create clusters of plants who have similar sun/shade exposures, soil or plant types and watering needs! Once you’ve created your different zones, adjust your irrigation system or watering schedule based on a zone’s specific needs. Creating zones will help you avoid overwatering or underwatering!
#6 Water when the time is right!
Having a good watering schedule for your lawn or garden is just as important as regular beauty sleep. The best time to water is in the early mornings and not just because the early bird gets the worm. Watering early reduces water loss from factors such as wind and evaporation, plus it is better for healthy plants. Be sure to set your irrigation controller so you don’t need to wake up bright and early every morning!
#7 Protect your pool water
Keeping your pool water where it belongs is especially important during hot summer months. Not properly covering your pool allows water to evaporate. Even on cool nights, your pool could lose about a quarter of an inch of water each day! Make sure to put a cover on your pool to prevent evaporation.
#8 Install water efficient irrigation
Step up your irrigation by installing water efficient irrigation like drip irrigation. Drip irrigation lets water drip slowly to the roots of the plants, minimizing evaporation and maximizing the water being absorbed by plants, making sure water is making the most impact! Drip Irrigation can be installed by choosing one or two sprinklers to attach the drip system to and capping off the remaining sprinklers. Not an irrigation wizard? That's okay, there are specially trained Qualified Water Efficient Landscapers (QWEL) that can help you get the job done! Click here to find a local QWEL Pro!
Fix Leaks Around the Home
Household leaks can waste nearly 1 trillion gallons of water annually nationwide, so Water Wise Wendy is here to help you check your home for those pesky leaks.
#1 Check your water meter
Water Wise Wendy’s first tip is to check your water meter. First, turn off all the water faucets in your house, and make sure you do not have any water using appliances running like the washing machine or dishwasher. Then, locate your water meter. It is usually near your curb, but could be in your basement, or garage. Read your meter, then wait two hours. Check the meter again...if there has been movement, it could indicate you have a leak and need to find and repair it.
#2 Check for toilet leaks with food color drops
Toilet leaks are not always simple to spot because the water leaks from the tank into the bowl. Water Wise Wendy has a simple trick to help with that - food coloring! Put a few drops of food coloring into the tank then wait for 10 minutes and check the bowl. If the water in the bowl has changed color, you can install a new toilet flapper to stop the leak.
#3 Listen for running water
The sound of running water is normal for a minute or so after you flush. However, if it keeps running for longer than that, you could have a leak. Water Wise Wendy always likes to keep an ear out for the sound of running water to make sure none of it is being wasted.
#4 Look for signs of moisture
Put on your detective cap and grab your magnifying glass to search your house for signs of moisture. Water Wise Wendy says water-wasting clues include bubbling paint, bulging wallpaper or tell-tale water spots on walls or ceilings. These could mean there is pipe leaking inside your wall and it is time to call a plumber.
#5 Don’t forget your outdoor faucets
We see our indoor faucets everyday, but Water Wise Wendy is here to tell you that our outdoor faucets also need some attention and care. Make sure to inspect your hose bib, also known as an outdoor faucet or the place you connect your water hose, to be sure there are no signs of rust or leaks.
#6 Listen for dripping faucets
Listening for dripping faucets may be easier when you have super hearing like bunnies or Water Wise Wendy, but this simple tip can help you save thousands of gallons of water per year! Keep your ears open, and be sure to get leaks repaired quickly.
#7 Look for signs of leaks under sinks
Water Wise Wendy is no stranger to the places pipes, and leaks, lurk! Check under your sinks for pools of moisture or signs of rust on pipes.
#8 Check your sprinkler heads
Although a magnifying glass isn’t required to check your sprinkler heads, Water Wise Wendy thinks it makes the inspection process more thorough. Look for any signs of damage or if water is spraying in the wrong direction.