♪♪ Toby: The majority of our
community’s water use occurs outdoors, especially
in the summertime when residents ramp up
their landscape watering. It’s really important to
monitor your landscape and only add water as needed. Otherwise it’s just a
waste of our resources. In the hottest months, most Valley homes use most
of their water outdoors to water their landscapes. And you’ll really feel the pinch if you’re still
watering thirsty grass. Summer watering restrictions made through August allow
watering up to six days a week. But the SNWA says
you may not need it. Summer watering
restrictions allow customers to water six days a week,
but do landscapes really need that much water in early summer? Usually not. In the summertime,
like in May, June, the nighttime temperatures
are still cooler so you don’t need to water, you don’t need to jump
from three days a week basically to six days a
week, especially for grass. You can kinda gradually
increase your watering. So we always suggest go from
three days to four days, kinda monitor how your
landscape is doing and you kinda gradually
do that as we work our way into the hotter months
in the summertime. Drip irrigation obviously
you don’t need to increase to six days throughout
the year actually. In the summertime you
can get by with watering three or four days a week,
especially for trees. Bushes you can get by
with for, same thing, three, four, maybe five days. But you don’t need
to go to six days. So you just, the
biggest thing is, you just gotta
monitor your landscape and see how the plants are doing and how they’re responding
to what you’re watering. But the biggest
issue we always have with residential people is they jump up to
like the six days, whatever our maximum watering is and we don’t need to do that. You kinda gradually work your
way up through the summer. (water gushes) Christine: As you
balance smart water use with your landscape’s
survival in the heat, these tips can further help
manage your water bill. First, set your sprinklers
to cycle and soak. Several short cycles
help avoid run off. The water authority recommends
three sprinkler cycles of four minutes each spread over several
hours before sunrise to give most lawns the water
they need when they need it. Turf areas that are shaded or
protected may need less water. To help grass retain
moisture in the heat, adjust your mower to cut
grass higher in summer months. Mowing to about a
three inch height creates a shade
canopy over the soil that can reduce
water evaporation. The time of day you water
is important as well. In the summertime when
it gets really hot it’s obviously very critical
to water as early as you can. Ideally you water
before sunrise. At that time most of the water
gets into the plant roots. For the grass you get most
of the water into the plant, to the grass. Also you don’t have evaporation
if there’s wind occurring. All those things kinda
happen once the sun comes up. So ideally you wanna
water before that, as early as you can. Also there are
watering restrictions, which you are not allowed to
water between 11:00 and 7:00. So obviously you don’t wanna
have any issues with that. So you wanna make sure and
water as early as you can. The final thing is we also
put in new restrictions in the last couple years where
you can’t water on Sundays. So basically all
outdoor watering is prohibited on Sundays. Watering between 11:00 a.m.
and 7:00 p.m. in summer or on Sundays any
season of the year could also result in
a water waste fine. If you have stressed
or dry areas use a hand held hose
to target these. It’s much more efficient than running your
entire system longer. And it’s permitted under
watering restrictions. Next, turn your focus
to your drip system, which most likely waters
your trees and plants. The trick to watering smart
with drip is a longer cycle less frequently. Drip systems vary
from home to home but the SNWA recommends
one drip cycle 30 to 90 minutes long,
three days a week in summer. In scorching July
and August heat, you may opt to
add a watering day or increase minutes on
existing drip cycles. But daily drip watering
won’t be needed and can actually
harm your plants. Maintaining your
irrigation system is just as crucial as following
your watering schedule to support conservation efforts. As you watch your
water use this summer, remember these four steps
to stay water smart. Inspect, connect,
direct and select. First, inspect your
hardworking irrigation system. Since sprinkler malfunctions are a common source
of water waste, check your sprinklers
weekly in the summer. Briefly turn on each
watering station and look for broken
or misaligned heads. Check drip systems as well, looking for broken
or clogged emitters and cracked or broken tubing. Exposed drip tubing is
especially vulnerable in the harsh summer sun. So bury lines or
cover them with mulch. Next, examine points where
sprinkler heads connect to pipes and hoses and
ensure you have no leaks. If water is pooling
in your landscape or you have suspiciously
mushy or wet areas you could have an
underground leak in your irrigation system. According to the Environment
Protection Agency, a leak as small
as a ballpoint pen can waste about 6,300
gallons of water per month. (bright music) Last, select an
irrigation controller with smarter technology. Today’s smart controllers
take the guesswork out of scheduling. They use weather data to
control your watering schedule and shut off your
system when it rains. You can still view and
control the entire system from your phone or tablet. Look for a smart controller
rebate on SNWA.com.