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Aug 02

Get Smart About Outdoor Watering

Posted on August 2, 2019 at 7:33 AM by Saja Aures

July is Smart Irrigation Month! Just try and control your excitement: in this blog we’re going to talk all about outdoor watering...

July is Smart Irrigation Month

First off, what we really should be talking about is xeriscaping, which is a style of landscaping that ditches the traditional water-hungry turfgrass lawn in favor of native, low-water or drought-tolerant plants. Added bonus: native grasses and groundcover plants often require little to no fertilizer, so you don’t have to worry about those potential pollutants running off your lawn and ultimately back into our waterways. 

If you’re interested in xeriscaping, there are a ton of great resources online. Here’s a few to get you started:

If you’re absolutely married to your turfgrass lawn and can’t bear to part with it, just know that keeping it lush and green can be awfully spendy and water wasteful. According to the US Environmental Protection Agency, as much as 50% of the water we use outdoors is lost due to wind, evaporation, and runoff caused by inefficient watering methods and systems. Fifty percent, y’all! A broken or missing sprinkler head can waste as much as 25,000 gallons of water over a six-month irrigation season. That’s enough water to fill a 25’x25’ swimming pool to a depth of five feet. *screams in water bill*

So, what can you do? In addition to regular maintenance to prevent or repair any leaks, you can follow these tips to reduce your irrigation system’s water waste:

If water is applied too quickly, it can cause the water to run off of the landscape and into the street.

Ensure that sprinkler heads are properly placed and set-up so you’re not watering your driveway or the street.

Use drip irrigation, micro-sprinklers, or bubbler irrigation for planting beds and narrow strips of vegetation.

A rain sensor detects rain and shuts off an irrigation system to conserve water.

Outdoor Watering Schedule
One more tip that’s super important: follow the outdoor watering schedule! 

State-wide, the law (Georgia Water Steward Act) says you can’t water outside between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. Additionally, Savannah's local drinking water permit limits our water customers (residential, commercial, institutional, and industrial) to a three day outdoor water-use schedule.

Outdoor watering schedule for Savannah:

  • NO watering on Fridays
  • NO watering between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m., AND
    --Even-numbered properties may water Mondays, Wednesdays, and Saturdays
    --Odd-numbered properties may water Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Sundays

Do you have a great idea for our next WaterWays feature? We're always looking for interesting stories about Savannah water and our local community. Email Saja Aures at 
saures@savannahga.gov to share your tip! 

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Barbara Pearson
August 16, 2019 at 6:31 AM
Savannah and Chatham County need to do a much better job of making these water conservation laws known and enforcing them. I've recently posted on a local social media site about wasting water by irrigating lawns during the day and been told "it's no big deal" to waste water and that, basically, "we don't care about those rules." They'll care and it will be a big deal when they and the rest of us have to pay higher water rates because the conservation goals aren't being met.

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