The watering of lawns and landscapes for single-family homes is Sallal’s greatest water use during summer months. Of the estimated 29 billion gallons of water used daily by households in the United States, nearly 9 billion gallons (30 percent) is used outdoors. Water used indoors stays in our watershed because it returns to the rivers, but water used outdoors evaporates to the air, leaving our watershed in favor of Puget Sound. In the summer months, the rivers are typically at their lowest flow. Therefore, this is the most critical time to conserve in every way possible.
Purchase an inexpensive hose timer to avoid over-watering. Soaker hoses are also a great option for avoiding evaporation. Use a broom or electric blower to clean driveways and sidewalks, rather than hosing them off or pressure-washing. When washing your car, use an adjustable nozzle or sprayer and turn off the water stream while soaping your vehicle. (Ensure runoff goes to soil rather than a storm drain.)
Tips for your Garden: If you’re an active gardener, irrigation can account for more than 50% of your household’s water consumption. Here are some outdoor water conservation suggestions: Amend topsoil with compost – To optimize your soils water retention qualities and natural, environmental function, amend your topsoil with “Grade A” mature, stable compost. On new sites, amend existing soil to a depth of 8” to 10” by tilling in a ratio of two parts soil to one part compost. On more established landscapes, surface applications of up to 4” of compost will eventually mix with the soil. Properly amended soils can double the water-retaining properties of your soils, resulting in a 50% reduction in irrigation needs.