Once water passes through your water meter, the homeowner becomes responsible for the water. The City has no way of knowing specifically how the water was consumed. The average family of four uses 6,000 gallons of water a month for indoor use. Irrigation consumes 1,000 gallons every 10 minutes. The amount of irrigation depends on the frequency and length of time of watering. Lawns only need watering once every three days in the summer and once every seven days in the winter. Rain can reduce the number of times lawns need to be watered.
There are generally two reasons for ongoing high consumption: leaks and irrigation.
There are many types of leaks: toilet leaks, leaky faucet, pipe leaks within walls or under the house foundation, leaks in outside water lines, pool leaks and leaks in the irrigation line including broken sprinkler heads. Leaks can start as minor and unnoticeable and gradually become larger over time.
***LEAKS DO NOT GO AWAY ON THEIR OWN, AND REQUIRE YOUR IMMEDIATE ATTENTION***
Consumption that spikes temporarily is probably caused by other types of consumption, such as pressure cleaning or filling a pool.
Irrigation consumes significant amounts of water. Lawns do not require to be watered every day.
Most lawns need about 3/4 to 1 inch of water once per week, or once every two weeks when the weather cools. ¾ to 1 inch of water will dampen the soil 6 to 8 inches, respectively.
To determine how long you must run your sprinklers to adequately water your lawn, turn on your sprinkler for 15 minutes. After 18-24 hours, find out how deep the water soaked in by digging a small hole in the watered area or using a probe (a probe will push easily through damp ground). You can also push a shovel into the ground and use it as a lever to spread the soil apart enough so that you can see several inches below the surface. Once you see how deep the water went in for 15 minutes, you can calculate how long you need to leave your sprinkler on. For example, if the soil is damp to 4 inches below the surface and your goal is to moisten the soil to a depth of 8 inches, you’ll need to leave the sprinkler on for 30 minutes (2 X 15 minutes) each time you water. **
Water can come from rain or from irrigation. Infrequent but deep watering will encourage deep rooting, healthier and hardier plants with a greater tolerance for drought.
Water early in the day, especially in warmer weather, when evaporation rates are lowest, unless water restrictions specify differently.
Also, your lawn needs watering when:
- Grass blades are folded in half
- Grass blades are blue-gray
- Your footprint remains on the lawn
Other common causes for high consumption:
- Pressure cleaning
- Filling a pool
- Washing vehicles
- Lot of laundry loads
- Long showers
- Consumer waste