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Outside the Home

It’s a fact of life that when more water is used outside, more is wasted there. But you don’t have to let your lawn turn brown or the car turn dusty to conserve water. Use common sense instead.

Lawn & Garden

Locations that enjoy warm weather during most of the year often find half, or more, of the water piped into homes goes right back out through hoses onto lawns and gardens. Even in northern climates the same thing happens in summer months.

  • The basic principle of lawn and garden watering is not to over water. Don’t follow a fixed schedule. Water when the grass or plants show signs of needing it. During a cool or cloudy spell, you don’t need to water as often.
  • Heat and wind will rob your lawn of water before it can use it. Avoid watering on windy days and you’ll avoid having most of the water go where you don’t want it. Water in the cool of the day to avoid excess evaporation and the chance of harming the lawn.
  • Weeds are water thieves, too, so keep the garden free of them.
  • Let water sink in slowly. Lots of water applied fast mostly runs off into gutters. Also, if you let water sink deep, the lawn will develop deeper roots and won’t need watering as often but will be more resistant to disease and wear.
  • Make sure sprinklers cover just the lawn or garden, not sidewalks, driveways, and gutters.
  • Keep track of how long you water. A kitchen timer is a handy reminder for turning off sprinklers.
  • Let grass grow higher in dry weather. Use drip irrigation systems and water timers. Try re-landscaping with low water plants and succulents. Use mulch.
  • Water slowly, thoroughly and as frequently as possible. Best time to water is very early in the morning to minimize evaporation. Aerate lawn, use drip irrigation systems and water timers.
Other Outside Use

Your garden hose can pour out 600 gallons or more in only a few hours. Thousands of gallons can be lost in a very short time.

  • When washing the car, use a bucket for soapy water and use the hose only for rinsing. Running water in the driveway won’t get the car any cleaner.
  • Another water waster is using the hose to sweep away leaves. Use a rake and broom to clean up sidewalks, driveways and gutters.
— American Water Works Association