Greensburg Daily News, Greensburg, IN

News

July 27, 2013

Irrigate smartly, and take other steps to save on your water bill

Mid-summer is a good time to make sure you’re using water efficiently, both to preserve a critical resource and to save money on your bill. Governor Mike Pence has proclaimed July as Smart Irrigation Month, recognizing that residential and commercial lawn watering typically peaks at this time of year.

“We appreciate the steps consumers have taken to embrace new technology and make sure irrigation systems are working more efficiently and effectively,” said Indiana Utility Consumer Counselor David Stippler. “In many cases, more than 30 percent of the drinking water pumped by a utility goes toward irrigation. This offers a great opportunity for water conservation and consumer savings.”

If you water your lawn, make the most of it by:

--Only irrigating when you need to, and remembering that there is such a thing as “overwatering.” According to Purdue University research, most Indiana lawns only need watering once each week (there are exceptions, though, especially new lawns).

--Watering early in the morning. If you water between 4 and 8 a.m., you’ll minimize evaporation while maximizing saturation.

--Knowing about technological advances in irrigation systems. If you use an automatic irrigation system, consider a new or retrofitted system with a “smart controller” or sensors that will take rain or soil moisture into account and will prevent overwatering.

--Focusing on giving the grass a less-frequent “deep soaking” to help the roots grow more deeply (as opposed to watering it frequently and lightly).

--Not watering when it is windy and not using a “fine mist” from your sprinkler.

--Keeping an eye on sprinklers and making sure they are not watering the street, driveway, sidewalk, building or gutters.

--Raising your lawnmower blade to the highest setting. If the grass is a little longer, the roots don’t have to work as hard.

“Indiana is very fortunate to not be experiencing the drought-related issues we faced last summer,” said Stippler. “However, consumers should always be conscious about using water efficiently, and thinking of creative ways to do so.”

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