Landscape irrigation accounts for 22 percent of water consumption on commercial properties, and up to 40 percent on multifamily properties. Here are three water saving tips property owners can use to help conserve water this fall, according to water conservation firm WaterSignal.
Irrigation schedule changes
As autumn brings in cooler temperatures and shorter days, an outdoor irrigation schedule will need tweaking. The ideal autumn irrigation schedule:
- Uses a rain shut-off device to reduce unnecessary watering
- Irrigates three days a week in 10-15 minute intervals
- Only runs at night (starting between 3 and 4 a.m.) to minimize evaporation
- Never irrigates if the soil is wet
The advantages of harvesting rainwater include:
- Reducing water bills
- Easy to maintain; basic technology
- Can be used without purification in lieu of drinking water for a number of purposes (flushing toilets, washing vehicles, watering landscape, etc.)
- Reduces soil erosion and flooding caused by run-off
Leave the leaves for a healthier lawn
Recycling leaves on a lawn will also keep them out of storm drains and away from surface waters where they encourage algae blooms and negatively effect clean water sources. Rather than bagging and dumping leaves, consider recycling them using one of the following methods:
Natural process: This method takes time, but as a result, the lawn will benefit for years to come. When leaves are transformed by worms, bacteria and other soil organisms, nutrients are released into the soil that feed trees, shrubs and other plants. Natural process promotes healthy plant growth and saves money normally spent on ineffective fertilizers.
- Mulching: Nearly all new lawnmowers have a standard mulch option that allows you to chop up grass/leaves in a process commonly know as “mulching.” Mulching allows for leaves and grass to be spread evenly as it’s mowed, quickly turning a sea of leaves into a thin lair of easily composted pieces. For best results, run the lawnmower at a standard 3-inch height and go slowly. That gives the blades time to shred the leaves.
- Other uses: Shredded leaves can be used as mulch for an extra kick of nutrients in plant/tree beds. Using leaf mulch also maintains a uniform soil temperature and prevents frost upheaval caused by thawing and freezing.