Outdoor Conservation Tips
One-third of all the water used in El Paso is used outside. Some things are best left in the past. Here are some ways to conserve water outside, because less is the new more:
- Are you odd or are you even? El Paso's odd/even watering schedule is in effect year round
- Even-numbered residential addresses can water on Tuesday, Thursday or Saturday.
- Odd-numbered addresses can water on Wednesday, Friday or Sundays.
- Schools, parks, cemeteries, golf courses and industrial sites can water on Monday, Wednesday or Friday.
- Listen to your lawn. Don't water just because it's your watering day. Most of us give our lawns about twice as much water as they really need. Over-watering causes grass to develop shallow roots and become less drought-tolerant. Next time you turn on your sprinklers, place an empty tuna can in the yard. Once the tuna can is full, you've given your lawn all the water it needs. Also, lawns which go dormant in the winter need less water than they do during the growing season.
- Plan your planting. Some plants just aren't suited for the Chihuahuan Desert, but there are dozens of beautiful trees, shrubs and grasses which are. To find them, click here for EPWU's plant list and look for EPWU's Water Smart Plant placards at your local Home Depot.
- When it's windy, wait to water. Watering during windy weather is very inefficient. More water evaporates and less gets to your grass or plants. Let lawn-watering wait until winds die down.
- Get swept up in conservation. Using a broom instead of a hose to clean your sidewalk or driveway not only saves water, it's required by El Paso's Water Conservation Ordinance.
- Know your nozzle. Using an automatic shut-off nozzle on your hose not only saves hundreds of gallons of water while you wash your car, it's also the only way you're allowed to wash your car under El Paso's Water Conservation Ordinance.
It's been a long, hard winter for your yard. While your plants go dormant to cope with the colder weather, your sprinkler system can feel the effects of winter, too. Cracks in the pipes can lead to costly leaks, and broken sprinkler heads can waste water and money.
Now is the perfect time to spruce up your irrigation system before you ramp up your watering efforts this spring and summer. To get started, follow these four simple steps—inspect, connect, direct, and select:
- Inspect. Check your system for clogged, broken, or missing sprinkler heads. If you're not the do-it-yourself type, go with a pro —look for an irrigation professional.
- Connect. Examine points where the sprinkler heads connect to pipes/hoses. If water is pooling in your landscape or you have large wet areas, you could have a leak in your system. A leak as small as the tip of a ballpoint pen (1/32nd of an inch) can waste about 6,300 gallons of water per month.
- Direct. Are you watering the driveway, house, or sidewalk instead of your yard? Redirect sprinklers to apply water only to your lawn or prized plants.
Select. An improperly scheduled irrigation controller can waste a lot of water and money. Update your system's schedule with the seasons, or select a WaterSense labeled controller to take the guesswork out of scheduling.
Click here for dozens of other water conservation tips from the EPA's Water Use It Wisely initiative or call EPWU's water conservation department at 621-2000. For other tips find EPWU on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube.