Title Page
 Outdoor irrigation
 Lawn care

Title: Saving water outdoors
Full Citation
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/WC11687018/00001
 Material Information
Title: Saving water outdoors
Physical Description: Book
Creator: Southwest Florida Water Management District
Publisher: Southwest Florida Water Management District
Publication Date: 2006
Subject: Water conservation
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: WC11687018
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.


This item has the following downloads:

WC11687018 ( PDF )

Table of Contents
    Title Page
        Page 1
    Outdoor irrigation
        Page 2
        Page 3
    Lawn care
        Page 4
        Page 5
        Page 6
Full Text

Water is one of our most precious resources Because it flows so easily from our faucets, most of
us don't appreciate its value As a result, many of us become water wasters especially when it
comes to outdoor water use Typically, outdoor water use accounts for up to 50 percent of water
consumed by households You can reduce your outdoor water consumption by taking a few
simple steps So tighten those taps, eliminate those leaks and use water wisely

Seek the Leak
Did you Ikow that even a small leak can
waste 300 or more gallons of water per month?
Check for the following leas outdoors

Water Faucets, Hoses and Connectors
Check all faucets, hoses and connectors
periodically for leaks and to make sure they
are in good working order Make sure faucets
are dosed when not in use Ifyou do find a
leaky faucet, change the washer after
turning off the shutoff valve

Automatic Lawn and Sprinkting Systems
Soft, wet spots on your lawn around the
in-ground sprinkler could indicate a leak that
is being absorbed into the ground Contact
your plumber or landscape maintenance
specialist if repairs are needed

Swimming Pool
Check the pool system's shutoffvalve, which
works auta tomatically to see ifit s malfunction
ing and causing a continuous cycle of water to

be pumpedin and then draped out thedraout If the
water level stays higher than normal and it
overflows when people are using it, call your

Senrce Connecting line
If you find asoft, wet spot on your lawn or
hear the sound of running water outside your
house, you may have a leak in the service line
to your house Water soaks into the ground,
causing the soft spots Close the main shutoff
valve If the sound of running water continues,
the outside service line could be leaking
Contact your plumber if you detect wet spots

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How often should I water
Know and follow your local
watenng restrictions, but
don't water lust because
its your day The basic
pnnciple of lawn and
garden watenng is not to
over~ater The time to
irngate will vary depending
on yoursoil type and your location in the state

Irnate your lawn when it shows signs of stress
from lack of water Pay attention to signs of
stressed grass, such as a blush-gray color
Imgenng tire tracks or footprints, and leaf
blades that are folded in half lengthwise
Also, you can determine if your lawn needs
water by measuring soil moisture

Sophisticated soil moisture sensois will turn
on your automatic irrigation system when
water is needed The more basic soil moisture
sensors turn off yoursystem when water is
adequate Reliable soil moisture sensor
technology is currently available in irrigation
supply stores

What time of day shoud I water
Evaporation loss can be 60 percent higher
dunng the day, so water dunng the cool, early
morning hours to minimize water loss by
evaporation and to discourage disease Avoid
watenng on windy days

How longe should I wateP
Apply moderate amounts of
water to create a healthy,
Drought, and stress-tolerant
lawn Formost Flonda soils,
an avere of one-half to
three-quarters of a inch of
water per application is
enough to replenish the
grass Saturate the root zone then let soil dry to
encourage healthy deep root growth

To determine how long you should run your
spnnkler place five to seven empty straght-
edged cans (about the size of an average tuna
can) at different distances away from the spnn-
kler Run the spnnkler for 15 minutes and mea
sure the amount ofwater collected in each can
Calculate an average water depth and determine
how long it will take to apply one-half to three-
quarters of an inch of water

If you have an automatic spnndersystem, be
sure it is equipped with a working rain shutoff
device, which overndes the system when enough
rain has fallen It automatically resets the system
when the tuff requires more water Rain shutoff
devices are required by Florida law on all auto-
matic spnnkler systems installed since 1991
Check regularly to ensure
the device is working
properly and that the
corresponding switch in the
Control box 1s set at "on .

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Irrigation Methods
Dnp irgation is the most efficient method
of watering for non-turf areas such as
bedded plants, trees orshrubs Drip
systems minimize or eliminate evaporation,
impede weed growth, and may help
prevent grass diseases caused by
undatenng or oveatenng or oveatenn

Soaker hoses are an inexpensive alternative
to dnp ligation Soil moisture should be
monitored to determine when enough
water has been applied

If using a hose and spnnkler place the
spnnkler in the area that is driest Allow the
spnnkler to run the proper length of time to
apply one-half to three-quarters of an inch
of water When that area is complete, move
thesprinkler to another dy area Place the
spnnkler so that its water spray will overlap

the area previously watered Adjust the
hose orspnnkler until it waters lust the
grass orshrubs, not paved areas

Inground irgation systems can be
automatic or or ma or a combination The
automatic system can provide an efficient
method of irngating lawns because
controllers turn the system off after a
predetermined amount of time, so a
measured amount of water is applied Leam
how to operate yoursystem Check timing
devices regularly to make sure they are
operating properly Watch for broken or
misdirected spnnklers

Use the appropriate spnnkler head for the
irrgated area Install spnnklers that are the
most water-efficient for each use Rotors or
spray heads are good for turf areas, but
shouldn't be used in thesame zone For
even distnbution, flow rates must be
consistent throughout the zone

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Apply fertilizers sparingly, using those that contain slow-release, water-
insoluble forms of nitrogen Fertilizer applications depend on such factors
as grass species, soil type and permeability and your location in the
state To save water and to avoid thatch buildup, disease and excessive
growth, follow these University of londa-recommended practices /

* Fertilize in moderation More is not
necessarily better Read and follow all
fertilizer label instructions
* For Bahiagrass, apply 2 to 3 pounds of
nitrogen per 1,000 square feet peryear in
the northern part of Florida, and 2 to 4
pounds per 1,000 square feet in the central
and southern areas of lorida For St
Augustiegrass, annual nitrogen needs range
from 2 to 4 pounds in the north, 2 to 5
pounds in the central area and 4 to 6 pounds
in the south Forspecifics in your area
contact your local county Extension service
SFertilize only during the growing season
Allow a month between autumn application
and the time of freeze, if possible, allowing
new growth to harden off and become less
vulnerable to frost
* Feed in the spnng with a complete
micronutnent fertilizer
* Use a I I ratio of nitrogen to potassium first
and last numbers on the bag) Test for
phosphorus, apply only if lacking Florida
soil is naturally high in phosphorus, so ideal
fertilizer is 15-0-15, if not available, use
* Use pesticides only when needed and just
on affected areas

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Wlefrsworg 1-OOO-lf-147A

ff Do not apply
Fertilizer when
more than 1 inch of
rainfall is predicted in
the next 48 hours
Leaching and runoff of
nutrient-contaminated water
may occur

Cut your grass at the highest recommended
height for your turf species, or the highest
setting on your lawn mower Mow regularly,
cutting no more than one-third of the grass
length to encourage grass roots to grow
deeper and grass blades to hold moisture

Keep mower blades sharp Dull blades tear
grass, opening it to disease, and cause it to
appearan and ragged Leave short grass
clippings where they the fall redung the lawns
need for water and fertilizer Remove thick
patches of clippings so that the clippings
will not kill the grass underneath

W MafWNemen Dsct

The 9 Principles of Florida-Friendly
Landscaping are:

Right Plant, Ruigt Place- Plants selected to
suit aspecificsite will require minimal amounts
ofwater fertilizer and pesticides

Water Efficiently Irrigate only when your lawn
and landscape need water Efficient watering is
the key to a healthy Florida yard and conserva-
tion of limited resources

Fertie Ap propriatey Less is often best
Overuse of fertilizers can be hazardous to your
yard and the environment

Mach Maintaining a 3-inch layer of mulch
will help retain soil moisture, prevent erosion
andsuppress weeds

Attract Wildlfe Plants in your yard that
provide food, water and shelter will attract
Florida s diverse wildlife

Manage Yard Pests Responsibl Unwise use
of pesticides can harm people, pets, beneficial
organisms and the environment

Recycle- Grass clippings and leaves provide
nutrients to the soil and reduce waste disposal
when reused on the landscape

Redue Stormwater Runoff- Water running
offyour landscape can carry pollutants, such
as gasoline, debris, fertilizer, pesticides and
even soil, that can adversely impactwater
quality Reduction of this runoff will help
prevent non-point source pollution

Pmitt the Waterfont- Waterfront property,
whether on a river, stream, pond, bay or beach,
is very fragile and should be carefully
protected to maintain freshwater and marine

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* Do not leave sprnnlers unattended Use
a kitchen timer to remind yourself to turn
spnnklers off
* Waterslowly to reduce runoff and to allow
deep penetration
SObserve the watering schedule foryour
* Dig out water-loving weeds and cultivate
soil often
* Use a rain barrel to collect rainwater
Rainwater is free and is better foryour
plants because it doesn't contain hard
* Do not hose down your driveway or
sidewalk Use a broom to clean leaves
and other debrs from these areas

* Use a shutoff nozzle on your hose that can
be adjusted down to a fine spray so that
water flows only as needed When finished,
turn it off at the spigot instead of at the
nozzle to avoid leaks A garden hose
without a shutoff nozzle can pour out 530
gallons of water in an hour
* Avoid purchasing recreational water toys
that require a constant stream of water
* Consider using a commercial car wash that
recycles water Ifyou wash your own car
park on the grass, use a bucket of soapy
water and use a hose with a shutoff nozzle
* Avoid the installation of ornamental water
features (such as fountains unless the
water is recyded
* Ifyou have a swimming pool, consider a
new water-saving pool filter
* Coveryourspa orpool to reduce

This ntirmain will be maleahb n osible tmat upcn rau, st
Prseci tacta Ccnmiammuno r, mpatnent at17 7211 or
1~ 42 1476 (FLm~,ext4757,TDD inl at 1 lJ2i311c(FLFonl

Southwest FloridamaMOemnw Dtnt
WhiMdnaam -or 1-0A423-14H7 i.qcprnnl R

For rrore information, call the Southwest
Florida Water Management Distrt at
1 C-423-1476, ex 4757, or visit our
web sleaat WaerMaters org

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