Conserve Water, Save Money and Keep Your Lawn Looking Great
’Tis the season — chances are you’re already watering your lawn. With an early start and a warm, dry spring, that water bill can add up quickly. Here are our top five tips to prepare your plumbing for the season and save yourself from dripping away dollars.
Is Your Hose Bib In Good Working Order?
The first step each spring is to turn on the hose bib. A small leak here will add up surprisingly fast once you’re using the hose regularly — without you even realizing it! Hose bibs wear out over time, with the speed of wear determined by the quality of the tap.
After turning on the outdoor water valve, turn on the water outside and check for leaks along the faucet outside, as well as along the pipe inside. A slow leak inside the home can lead to a lot of damage over time. Find out more here about getting your hose bib ready for spring, and call us if you need a leaky hose bib replaced!
Check Your Hose, Spray Nozzle and Sprinkler
Once you’ve confirmed your hose bib is not leaking, or replaced it if it is, it’s time to check your hose, spray nozzle and sprinkler(s).
Here’s a simple step to prevent your hose from leaking: replace the washers in your hose each year. These rubber washers, located inside both ends of the hose, tend to get hard over the winter, leading to leaks during watering season. These are an inexpensive purchase at the hardware store, and replacing them prevents dripping while you use your sprinkler or spray nozzle, also preventing that noticeable spot of pressurized water wear on your lawn.
Once these are replaced, you can check your sprinkler and spray nozzle to see whether they are leaking.
Another simple water-saving tip: place a timer on the sprinkler. This keeps you from accidentally running the sprinkler all night, or running out in your slippers after bedtime to turn it off once you remember. It also saves a lot of water! This is another inexpensive purchase at the hardware store.
Knowing When to Water…
First: check the forecast! If it’s going to rain in the next couple of days, hold off. When you do need to use the sprinkler, do it before 11 am. Set your sprinkler timer for first thing in the morning and you’ll save water from evaporating in the heat of the day before it even hits your lawn.
…And for How Long
According to the City of Calgary, your lawn only needs 1 inch (2.5 cm) of water each week — including rain! To keep track, you can try their suggested “Frisbee trick.” Place a Frisbee open-side up on your lawn and once it’s full of water, from your sprinkler or rain, your lawn has had all it needs for the week. According to the City’s suggestions, you can reduce the water needs of your grass by keeping it to 3 inches (7.5 cm) high.
Another tip from the City: you’re better off filling that sprinkler in several shorter bursts over the week, rather than one or two long ones.
For more water conservation tips from the City of Calgary, check out their Lawn Care Conservation Tips.
Other Tools to Save Water and Money
As per City suggestions, consider installing rain barrels to supplement your outdoor water needs. You can find these at hardware stores and gardening centres, or find out what the City has to offer on their website. And if you have messy sidewalks or driveway, use a broom! Spraying off paved surfaces wastes a lot of water.
If any component of your outdoor plumbing isn’t functioning as well as it should be, give us a call! We can fix and prevent any leaks or those drips. Happy Gardening!