Reduce Water Use Now, Save Money in 2021

Mark Peterson

Evergreen shrubs, trees and even your St. Augustine lawn go dormant this time of year. But watering less not only makes sense for your plants. It’ll also lower your sewer bill.

Your landscape is your single biggest water user. So turning your irrigation system way down, or even off, is a surefire way to save water and lots of money.

 Here’s how: SAWS sewer charges are based on your average winter water use. That means the less water you use from mid-November to mid-March, the lower your monthly sewer service charge will be starting in March or April 2021. 

I know you’re thinking your landscape needs to be watered, but that’s not true. Evergreen shrubs, trees and even your St. Augustine lawn go dormant in the fall and winter. And, of course, native and adapted plants seldom require supplemental water beyond natural rainfall.

Use the seasonal adjust on your irrigation controller. This reduces or adds minutes to the run time for each zone. For example, the normal recommendation for turf grass is 20 minutes. Reducing the seasonal adjust to 20 percent would equal a run time of four minutes. We recommend zero to 15 percent from December through February.

Use the holiday method. Select one holiday each month and run your system manually with normal run times. As an alternative, set your system to run on your permitted watering day during watering restrictions and then just turn it on that day. Just remember to turn it off after you run it. 

If you follow either of these methods, or if there’s plenty of rain during the winter, you’ll help reduce next year’s sewer bill tremendously. 

 

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