Tips & Hints


Top 10 Tips for Water Conservation:

  1. Reduce irrigation by 20%.  Most customers apply much more water to their landscapes than the plants truly need.
    • Reduce your irrigation run-times by lowering the minutes per cycle or reducing the days per week the system runs.  For example, if you currently run your system for 10 minutes, lower that to 8 minutes.
    • Install a drip irrigation system for shrubs, vegetable gardens, flower beds or pots and save up to 50% in outside water use.  It’s easy, inexpensive and an efficient way to water. Learn how to use your irrigation system controller. 
    • All irrigation controllers will ask you to enter the same information, just in different ways.  Have the following information ready when you begin to program the controller:  Days per week, cycles per day and minutes per cycle.  If you no longer have the user manual, look up the manufacturer on-line.  Most manufacturers allow you to download the manual from their site, at no cost. 
    • Adjust your controller at least once each month to compensate for changes in weather.  Based on historic weather data and spray-type sprinklers with a precipitation rate of 2 inches per hour, the most you should be watering turf (grass) in July/August is about 47 minutes TOTAL for each week.
  2. Find and repair leaks now. Once found, repair them quickly.  Most indoor leaks are found in toilets.  Put a few drops of food coloring in the toilet tank and wait 15 minutes.  Don’t flush!  If the color seeped into the bowl, you either have a leaking flapper valve (around $6.00 to replace) or you need to adjust the float arm to keep water from passing over the overflow tube.  Learn how to read your water meter.  It is an important conservation tool. It not only measures the amount of water you use, but can also tell you if you have a leak.  Refer to the handout.
  3. Inspect and tune-up irrigation system monthly. Inspect your sprinkler systems. Even at a glance, sprinkler problems may be discovered. 

    Fix any leaks and broken equipment quickly.   Install a pressure regulator on your irrigation system.  Most irrigation systems are designed to work at 40 psi (or less).  Higher pressure wastes water by causing broken heads, blown drip emitters, misting and poor distribution uniformity.

    Irrigate between midnight and 6:00 a.m. to reduce water loss from evaporation and wind. By watering between midnight and 6:00 a.m., you allow the water time to soak into the soil before it can evaporate.  Watering in the afternoon is inefficient because of the loss to evaporation and wind.
  1. Use a broom, not a hose, to clean driveway, deck or patio.
  2. Use a bucket and a hose with an automatic shut-off nozzle when you wash the car, or take your car to a carwash that recycles.
  3. Cover pools and hot-tubs to reduce evaporation.  Postpone any non-essential repairs if they require draining and refilling.
  4. Use front-load washing machines.  New clothes washers use up to 65% less water than old, top-load models.
  5. Run the dishwasher and clothes washer with full loads only.
  6. Prevent and report water waste.  By splitting your watering time in half, and repeating it again about one hour later, you will reduce water runoff and water more deeply, which encourages deeper, healthier root development.  It also allows the turf to go without water for longer periods of time.  Most clay soil can only absorb water for 5 – 7 minutes before it will start to run off.   

 

Take Advantage of these Existing Programs:

Residential:

  • Call the Water Smart Home Program at (707) 547-1910 to schedule a FREE water use survey of your home and garden.
  • Look into replacing your high-flush toilets with High Efficiency toilets (HETs) that use 1.28 gallons per flush or less.  The City of Rohnert Park offers rebates up to $150 per toilet.
  • Replace your high-flow showerhead and faucet aerators with FREE low-flow models.  They are available at the City of Rohnert Park Finance Department.
  • New High-Efficiency washing machines are available that use up to 50% less than older models. Considering purchasing one now, while rebates are available.
  • Visit the City of Rohnert Park website (www.rpcity.org) for weekly lawn watering requirements.

 

Commercial:

  • Call the Business Water Project at (707) 565-6455 to schedule a FREE water use survey of your business and landscape.
  • Look into replacing your high-flush toilets and urinals with High Efficiency models (HET/HEU) that use much less.  The City of Rohnert Park offers rebates up to $150 per fixture.
  • Replace any high-flow faucet aerators or showerheads with FREE low-flow models.  They are available at the City of Rohnert Park Finance Department.
  • Improve the efficiency of your existing irrigation systems by taking advantage of the City of Rohnert Park’s Landscape Equipment Rebate Program.  Receive up to 100% rebate on improvements to your irrigation system.  Call (707) 547-1906 for additional information.
  • Visit the City of Rohnert Park website (www.rpcity.org) for weekly lawn watering requirements.

 

Sonoma County Water Agency

The Sonoma County Water Agency was created to provide flood protection and water supply, waste treatment and disposal services to portions of Sonoma and Marin counties.
A full staff of dedicated water conscious professionals are available to help you with most your water concerns.
http://www.sonomacountywater.org/water_conservation/


WaterSense
WaterSense is most recently known for their popular label which indicates both savings and performance. WaterSense "seeks to protect the future of our nation's water supply by promoting water efficiency and enhancing the market for water-efficient products, programs, and practices."
http://www.epa.gov/watersense/

H2ouse.org
This is a fun site which can familiarize you with your home water use. Look for all the places leaks can occur and learn how to prevent or repair them.
http://www.h2ouse.org

Waterfootprint.org
Learn some important facts about your water foot print.  How much water is used to make one cup of coffee?  Check it out and calculate your personal water footprint.
http://www.waterfootprint.org/?page=files/home