Winter Watering Schedule and Conservation Tips, 11/13/15

Recently we received a “Door Hanger” from the City of Sacramento, Department of Utilities entitled, “WINTER WATERING SCHEDULE.”  I am a bit confused as the very first line reads as follows,

“Drought Call For Action – Voluntarily Water no more than one day per week.”

Then the very first bullet listed reads,

  • “Beginning November 1, 2015: Mandatory one day per week watering schedule, either Saturday or Sunday (your choice).

The reverse side of the door hanger list water saving tips for around the home and the estimated savings.  I am listing these for you here, along with other tips from home and internet.

  • Shorten your shower to 5 minutes.      Saves 5-25 Gallons per day!

  • Wash only full loads of laundry.           Saves 16 Gallons per load!  Based on 7 loads per week avg.

  • Fix leaky toilets and faucets.                 Saves 20-50 Gallons per day!

  • Install high efficiency toilets.                 Saves 19 Gallons per day!

  • Adjust your sprinkler system for leaks and overspray.      Saves 50+ Gallons per day!

  • Replace your lawn with River Friendly Landscape*.                                                                                                                                                 Saves 30-60 Gallons per day for every 1,000 sq. ft. of turf removed!

  • Install a smart sprinkler timer                Saves up to 25% of your watering consumption!

  • Always water in the early or later part of the day to save 50 gallons of water every time you water.

My tips and other internet related tips:

  1. When waiting for a shower or tub to warm up, place a 5 gallon bucket under the running water and save 5+ gallons per day.  Every other day I use this water for my aboveground garden of (7) fruit trees, raised 5’x3′ planting bed and (4) pots of cauliflower and broccoli. The other days I save the water in 55 gallon barrels for future garden areas.

  2. Install rain diverters on your rain gutters catching any water in barrels (size of your choosing).  Use this to water plants, gardens and more.

  3. Always use a spray nozzle on your hose to keep water from just running into the sewer drain.

  4. After making a meal that require hot water, let the water cool first and then use to water indoor or even outside plants.

  5. Plugging the sink when shaving instead of keeping the water running can save up to 30 gallons a month.**

  6. Turn off the shower when you’re shampooing your hair and save 150 gallons a month.**

  7. Use a broom instead of a hose to clean patios, sidewalks and driveways, and save water every time.

  8. When you give your pet fresh water, don’t throw the old water down the drain. Use it to water your trees or shrubs.

  9. Use a commercial car wash that recycles water.

  10. Run your washer and dishwasher when they are full. You can save up to 1,000 gallons a month.**

  11. Turn off the water while you brush your teeth and save up to 4 gallons a minute. That’s up to 200 gallons a week for a family of four.**

  12. Avoid overseeding your lawn with winter grass. Ryegrass needs water every few days, whereas Dormant Bermuda grass needs water monthly.

  13. At home or while staying in a hotel, reuse your towels.

  14. One drip every second adds up to five gallons per day! Check your faucets and showerheads for leaks.

  15. If your shower fills a one-gallon bucket in less than 20 seconds, replace the showerhead with a WaterSense® labeled model.**

*11/13/15, 7:19am,

A River-Friendly Landscaping is…. A whole systems approach to gardening and landscaping that works to support the integrity of one of California’s key ecosystems, the Sacramento River watershed. River-Friendly Landscaping practices foster soil health, conserve water and other valuable resources, reduce waste, and prevent pollution of our air and waterways.

Benefits to you:

  • Saves money on water, fertilizers, and pesticides

  • Reduces green waste in your landscape

  • Requires less maintenance such as mowing and trimming

  • Attracts wonderful birds and butterflies to your garden

Benefits to the community and the environment:

  • Conserves landfill space

  • Reduces air pollution by reducing the amount of green waste that needs to be transported

  • Improves water quality by reducing pollution

**11/13/15, 8:54am,

I hope this information and these tips help you look at water conservation in a new way.  When we moved to our new home I was out using an ant spray that is connected to your hose to broadcast it, I was not informed of the watering days and was turned in for watering on a non-watering day, even though it was in fact ant spray.  If this was call into the 311 report a waster line the fine could have been $250.00 for a first offence.  If you look at it that way, saving water can in fact save you green.  Lets all do our part and help California through this drought.

Thank you,

Richard K.

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