Consider conservation when watering lawns

Everyone loves having a lush, green lawn. But as people prepare to turn on their sprinklers and irrigation systems, Aquarion Water Company is reminding customers that minimizing outdoor water use will both save money and help preserve this valuable natural resource.

In a typical lawn irrigation system, each quarter acre of lawn will have about 15 sprinkler heads. Each will use an average of three gallons of water per minute, for a total of about 45 gallons per minute per quarter acre.

In the spring, people generally use their irrigation systems three times a week for 30 minutes each time, which amounts to approximately 4,000 gallons of water used per week per quarter acre. Summertime usage increases to 6,750 gallons a week per quarter acre.

Compare that to the 1,400 gallons a typical family of four uses each week for all their indoor needs — drinking, bathing, laundry, cooking, flushing toilets and other uses. Even watering a relatively small lawn of a quarter acre could use three or five times that amount.

Individual sprinklers can consume large quantities of water, too, mainly through overuse or poor aiming.

Aquarion recommends several ways for homeowners to minimize lawn and garden water usage:

• Water only when the grass doesn’t spring back when stepped upon, instead of on a set schedule

• Water early or late in the day to reduce losses caused by evaporation during midday heat

• Water by hand whenever possible, and fix leaky hoses

• Use directional sprinklers aimed towards lawns and gardens, and away from driveways, sidewalks and patios

• Capture rain water running off roofs in a rain barrel, and use it on lawns and gardens

Water is a finite resource, as demonstrated by the huge shortages confronting drought-stricken California and other western states. However, applying water conservation tips can help save water and money.

For more tips and information on water conservation, visit aquarionwater.com/conserve.

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