Energy advisor: it is crucial to use water resources wisely

After what seemed like months of delay, summer weather appeared in Clark County virtually overnight.

With the weather drying out, Clark County residents are turning on the tap for their irrigation needs.

Although heavy spring storms have created a heavy snowpack, it is important to use water wisely to preserve our reservoirs, waterways and local aquifer.

Whether it’s washing the car, raising a garden or running the dishwasher, water is a resource we all depend on. It might not seem like a big deal to leave the hose on a little longer than usual or ignore the clogged sprinkler, but these little choices add up to a staggering amount of consumption when considered collectively. throughout the county.

Making a few small changes to the yard this summer will not only conserve the local water supply, but save you money without sacrificing aesthetics or convenience — it might even improve them.

“Using less water outdoors is actually a pretty easy thing to do; Plus, the lower utility bills are a big plus,” said Oscar Maciel, director of water operations for Clark Public Utilities. “There are many products on the market that are affordable, easy to use, and will immediately start saving water.”

Property irrigation – think of watering the lawn and garden – accounts for a significant portion of the average household’s water use, especially in the summer. Most lawns only need an inch of water per week. It is best to water only in the early morning or evening, when cooler temperatures reduce evaporation.

Smart owners also know how much water their plants need and irrigate accordingly. It doesn’t do your garden or your budget any good to water everything the same way when different plants can have very different needs.

Many automatic sprinkler system owners mistakenly believe that their systems are designed as much for efficiency as for convenience. But, according to the Environmental Protection Agency, homes with automatic irrigation systems can use 50% more water outdoors.

The agency also claims that much of this water is wasted through overwatering. How many times have you walked past a home or business and seen the sprinklers running during a downpour?

If you are unsure of your system’s draw, consider investing in a WaterSense labeled controller. These act like a thermostat for the lawn and use local weather data to determine when and how much to water. The EPA claims that these systems can reduce water consumption by approximately 15%.

Like any other part of the home, irrigation systems are prone to equipment failure and fatigue and require occasional inspection and maintenance for optimal performance. Broken or leaking sprinkler heads can waste water per gallon and burn your money. A functioning backflow device is essential. If you see them leaking, fix them or call a professional.

There are many irrigation companies out there, but look for ones that are WaterSense certified. They are trained to audit, install and maintain systems to get the most out of every drop.

If you’re an active gardener without an automatic irrigation system, consider investing in a drip system. They lose very little water through runoff or evaporation compared to a sprinkler system. Plus, they’re easy to set up and perfect for targeting specific plants.

It’s hard to beat old-fashioned watering. Manual watering gives you complete control over the amount of water your lawn and landscaping receives. Additionally, water-saving and eco-friendly accessories are widely available online and in DIY and garden stores.

For more water conservation tips, visit our website or call our water department at 360-992-8022.


Energy Adviser is written by Clark Public Utilities. Send your questions to [email protected] or to Energy Adviser, c/o Clark Public Utilities, PO Box 8900, Vancouver, WA 98668.

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