Water Conservation Outside

According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the average suburban home uses at least 30% of its water outside. This amount often increases during the summer months, for some households it can spike to 70%! Bad choices in outdoor use can cause half of that water to be lost to evaporation - a waste of money and resources.

Want one more statistics? The water use in our community spikes 20% in the summertime - that’s outdoor use! Continue reading about how water wise landscapes and native plants can reduce your use.

6 Easy Ways to be Water Smart Outside Your Home

Are you passionate about conserving one of our most precious natural resources? Or are you looking to save a few extra bucks on you water bill throughout the hot summer? Either way, check out these easy ways to be smarter with your water outside!

1. Maximize Rainwater:Take advantage of natural rainfall by installing a rain barrel (Don’t forget our about $30 rebate for rain barrels).

2. Water Early: Early mornings are typically when heat and wind are lowest, which means water is less likely to evaporate before your plants can soak it up!

3. Water Wisely: Figure out how much water your lawn and plants really need. It is probably much less then you think! 

  • Check your lawn and plants water needs.
  • Most grass varieties in Virginia only need approximately 1 inch of water per week in the summer. If grass springs back after you step on it, it doesn’t need to be watered.
  • Check the weather report for how much it rained previous and any predicted rain: Find a weather forecast for details
  • Also consider removing some of that grass and putting in drought tolerant plants. This will mean less work and watering long term, and more water and money saved!

4. Create a Water-Wise Landscape: A water-wise landscape requires less water because it works with local natural forces (sun, temperature, and precipitation). Simple things such as preparing soil properly, choosing native plants, and mulching your gardens can prevent use of excess water. To learn what plants are local to your area, use this tool from County of Albemarle with a searchable database: Learn about native plants. Learn even more about water-wise landscapes with this brochure (PDF).

5. Use the Right Hose: Did you know there are different types of hoses? Keep reading to find out which hose better fits your needs.

  • Soaker hoses are a great way to slowly water your plants; however, don’t forget to put them on a timer and make sure it is set to apply the appropriate amount of water.
  • Regular hoses can be great too as long as you use a spray handle adapter that allows you to turn your hose on and off. Make sure you aren’t over watering your plants and you are watering in the morning and late evening.

6. Fix Outdoor Leaks: A broken sprinkler can waste 25,000 gallons of water in six months. Prevent this water loss by checking your sprinkler for leaks at both the sprinkler head and where if connects to the hose.

Disclaimer: These videos are for educational purposes only, Charlottesville always encourages using professionals when doing any updates or work on your home 

Save Water Outside