I showed you how to save water in the kitchen and bathroom in our two previous posts. Today, I’m going to show you ways to save water outside the home.
Table of Contents
Why is it Important to Save Water?
It’s extremely important to conserve water whenever possible. Inside and outside. Fresh-water scarcity has crept beyond the desert states. And the cost of water is going up with no sign of decline.
13 Ways to Save Water Outside Your House
Here are 13 ways to conserve water and save money outdoors, whether you’re using a sprinkler or washing down your porch.
- Sweep your driveway and sidewalk rather than using a hose. Or use a water-saving device to keep water flow at a minimum (more on that in our Bonus Tip below).
- Water your lawn no more than twice a week. When you do water, keep the sprinklers on for no more than 10 to 20 minutes at a time. Never water your lawn between 10:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m. in the summer. Why? Most of that water will just evaporate and be wasted.
- Make sure your sprinklers are watering your lawn, not the sidewalk. We see this one all the time. Also, avoid watering your lawn when it’s windy. You can guess where that sends a lot of your water (not where you want it!).
- Raise your lawnmower blade. Closely cropped grass dries out quickly.
- Aerate your lawn for more efficient watering. By aerating, your lawn will more efficiently soak in the water.
- Use a bucket, instead of a hose, when you wash your car by hand. This alone can save up to 300 gallons a year. If possible, drive your car onto your lawn so that you’ll be watering it while washing the car. Most soaps and detergents are actually good for your grass despite how crazy that sounds. Better yet, go to a commercial car wash that recycles the water it uses.
- When you do use the hose, make sure it has a nozzle that shuts off when you let go of it. The extra you pay for this kind of nozzle will reduce water flow and more than make up for the water you pay for (and waste) otherwise.
- If you have a pool, use a cover to slow evaporation. A cover offers the bonus of keeping pool water cleaner and cutting the need for chemicals. This can save up to 250 gallons weekly!
- Use collected rainwater for watering your plants.
- Consider xeriscaping. What’s that? Well, it’s the practice of using native plants that don’t need much water. Do this for at least a portion of your yard, especially if you live in hot-year-round climates like the Southwest.
- Wash the dog outside on the lawn, not in your tub or shower. Use an environmentally friendly shampoo that won’t hurt the grass. There are many on market these days. Just check the label to be sure it’s also safe for fish and wildlife.
- When you give the dog fresh water, dump the old water into a houseplant or pot outside.
#13: Bonus Water-Saving Tip for Outside
A water broom is a pressure-washer that looks like a broom on wheels. Its high-velocity jets blast away dirt, bird droppings, and grime using less than 5 gallons per minute. That’s roughly a third the flow rate of a standard garden hose.
Originally designed for commercial use, water brooms are equally at home around a pool, driveway, porch, or sidewalk. Consider using a water broom to clean off outside surface materials like concrete, stone, or brick.
We hope this three-part series has shown how easy it is to save water in the kitchen, in the bathroom, and outside the home.
These water-saving tips can save you literally hundreds or thousands of gallons each month. Every gallon saved means less money spent on your rising water bill. You can use these tips as a teaching moment for your children. The plumbing-related skills they learn will be a great resource for them later in life.
- How to save water in the kitchen (Part 1)
- How to save water in the bathroom (Part 2)
- Water broom shopper’s guide
1-Tom-Plumber’s certified team of plumbers and drain technicians respond immediately to any emergency plumbing, drain, or water damage problem, including excavation of underground water lines and sewer main lines. Our immediate-response team is available every day and night of the year, even on holidays.