Outdoor Water Tips

Most people in Southwest Florida use too much water on their lawns. At least half the water used in a typical home is used to keep the grass green. Studies show that watering your lawn just 80 times a year, instead of the usual 150, will save thousands of gallons while maintaining healthy turf. Here’s how you immediately can cut your water and wastewater bill:

Need to Know Watering Restrictions? Click here for the City of Bonita Springs Water Conservation Ordinance 06-06.

Detect & Repair Leaks

  • Turn off everything that uses water in your home, and check your water meter dial for 15 minutes. If the triangular knob remains still, you are watertight! If it’s moving, look for leaks.
  • Fix leaks in sprinkler lines, hose connections and pool systems. Install Water-Saving Devices.
  • Use short on/off sprinkler cycles to allow landscaping to absorb the water. Set for large drops dispersed low to the ground, not high-flying mists. Water roots rather than leaves.
  • Use efficient drip irrigation and soaker hoses, which can save from 20 to 50 percent of the water needed to keep plants thriving. Keep lines and filters clean.
  • Install a new water-saving filter for your swimming pool.

Install Water-Saving Devices

  • Use short on/off sprinkler cycles to allow landscaping to absorb the water. Set for large drops dispersed low to the ground, not high-flying mists. Water roots rather than leaves.
  • Use efficient drip irrigation and soaker hoses, which can save from 20 to 50 percent of the water needed to keep plants thriving. Keep lines and filters clean.
  • Install a new water-saving filter for your swimming pool.

Economize

  • Use a moisture indicator to tell when lawn needs water.
  • Water only when necessary, when grass shows signs of stress, such as folded blades, different color spots and lingering footprints. Professionals suggest watering once every five to seven days in summer, and every 10 to 14 days in winter. One good rain can eliminate the need for watering for up to two weeks. Over-watering is unhealthy.
  • Group plants in “zones” that have similar water needs. Plant native and drought-tolerant grasses, ground covers, shrubs and trees to save as much as 30 to 60 percent of your water bill.
  • Shut off automatic sprinklers during the rainy season. Manually monitor them at other times. Rain sensors, now required by law, automatically will override the usual watering cycle when adequate rainfall is present.
  • Check periodically that timers are working properly. Set an indoor timer to remind you if you left outdoor water on.
  • Raise your lawnmower blade to three inches or more to protect the grass.
  • Apply slow-release fertilizers with water-insoluble nitrogen, and use them less often.
  • Dig trenches around plants to catch water.
  • Mulch controls water-hungry weeds and retains moisture for plants and trees.
  • Prune plants properly. Excessive or improper pruning increases the need for water.
  • Outfit your hose with an adjustable-stream trigger nozzle that automatically shuts off. When done, turn it off at the spigot to avoid leaks.
  • Install hose washers between spigots and water hoses to stop leaks.