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Beat the Peak! Tips to Reduce Summer Water Use and Save Money from WaterSense

By Watersense EPA
August 14, 2011
File under: Gardening, Resource Management

Summer’s rising temperatures mean rising outdoor water use, especially during “peak season,” which typically occurs anywhere from July through early August, depending on your region of the country.

The average American home uses about 260 gallons of water per day; during peak season some homes can use 1,000 gallons per day. Some homes even use as much as 3,000 gallons per day, the equivalent of leaving a garden hose running for nearly 8 hours!

Check out these five simple tips from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s WaterSense program to help you save money and water this summer.

Five Tips to Beat the Peak:

  1. Step on it: Grass doesn’t always need water just because it’s hot out. Step on the lawn, and if the grass springs back, then it doesn’t need water. You can also use an inexpensive soil moisture sensor to show you the amount of moisture at the plant’s roots and help you avoid overwatering.
  2. Time it right: Water lawns and landscapes in the early morning or late evening.  Experts estimate that 50% of the water we use outdoors goes to waste from evaporation or runoff due overwatering.
  3. Tune-up your system: Inspect irrigation systems and check for leaks and broken or clogged sprinkler heads. Replace sprinkler heads that are broken and make sure they are spraying your lawn or garden, rather than your sidewalk, street or driveway.
  4. Play “zone” defense: Assign areas of your landscape different zones depending on sun/shade exposure, soil and plant types, and type of sprinklers, then adjust your irrigation system or watering schedule based on those zones.
  5. Give the hose a break: Sweep driveways, sidewalks and steps rather than hosing them off.  And don’t forget to check for leaks at your spigot connection and tighten as necessary.

For more information and tips on peak water use, visit www.epa.gov/watersense/outdoor

WaterSense has a whole gallery of photos of water-efficient landscapes that have been submitted by homeowners across the United States if you would like an image to include with your post.

WaterSense, a partnership program sponsored by EPA, seeks to protect the future of our nation’s water supply by offering people a simple way to use less water with water-efficient products, new homes and services. Since the program’s inception in 2006, WaterSense has helped Americans save 125 billion gallons of water and more than $2 billion on their water and energy bills.

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