DATE: July 5, 2013
MEDIA CONTACT: Asif Ali, Broward County
Natural Resources Planning and Management Division
July is traditionally the month of peak demand for irrigating lawns, gardens and landscapes in North America. That is why the month has been named Smart Irrigation Month and why Broward County Natural Resources Planning and Management is encouraging its residents to be aware of the numerous ways they could be wasting water outside their homes.
Homeowners typically over water their lawns and landscapes by up to 30 percent. By selecting and planting carefully, watering wisely, and maintaining and upgrading automated irrigation systems, Broward County residents can save money, save water and see better results.
The following are some water-saving tips from the Irrigation Association:
• Plant right. Choose grass or plants that have low water requirements and that will thrive in our climate.
• Mulch well around plants, bushes and trees. Using 2 to 4 inches of mulch reduces evaporation, moderates spikes and lows in soil temperatures, improves water penetration and helps control weeds that compete for water.
• Maintain your yard regularly. A well-maintained yard requires less water; weed, prune and mow as needed.
• Don’t send water down the drain. Set sprinklers to water plants, not your driveway, sidewalk, patio or buildings.
• Water only when needed. Saturate root zones and let the soil dry. Watering too much and too frequently results in shallow roots, weed growth, disease and fungus.
• Check your irrigation system monthly. Check for leaks, broken or clogged sprinkler heads and other problems. Clean clogged screens and micro-irrigation filters as needed.
You can also save outdoors by following the County's permanent irrigation measures. All homes and businesses are limited to irrigating twice per week.
Save Water Indoors, Too
Encouraging residents to save water outside the home during Smart Irrigation Month is just one way The Broward Water Partnership, which includes Broward County and 18 local governments and water utilities, is attempting to reach its goal of saving 30 million gallons of water per day. A much bigger way the Partnership is working toward achieving this goal is by providing rebates and other free incentives to qualifying residents. So, are you eligible?
• Check Your Toilets
Older model toilets can be huge water-wasters, accounting for up to 35 percent of the average household’s water consumption. If your toilets were installed before 1994, there’s a good chance they’re guilty as charged. For a limited time, you could receive a rebate of up to $100 for each old toilet you replace with a new, water-saving model. The immediate savings are impressive, but the long-term benefits last a lifetime.
• Check Your Showerheads and Faucet Aerators
You may also qualify to receive free, low-flow showerheads and faucet aerators. To reduce water use in commercial kitchens, qualified businesses can receive free, pre-rinse spray valves.
Rebates are offered on WaterSense® High Efficiency Toilets (HETs) using 1.28 gallons of water per flush (gpf) or less. Eligible applicants must reside within the program area and be replacing toilets that use more than 1.6 gpf. Homes, businesses and nonprofits are all encouraged to apply. Pre-approval prior to the purchase of the toilet(s) is required and other restrictions may apply.
So whether you are saving water outside your home during Smart Irrigation Month or taking advantage of one of the rebates or free incentives being offered by the Broward Water Partnership, you are not only helping to conserve one of earth’s most precious resources, but you’re also saving yourself some money as well.
To check your eligibility and apply for a rebate, visit ConservationPays.com and take the pledge.