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Outdoor water conservation tips for uses other than landscape irrigation
conservation corner pic
Commercial car washes capture and recycle used water and then send it to the water treatment facility, instead of allowing run-off into the storm drain. - photo by Journal file photo

When considering outdoor water use, there are many ways to conserve in areas other than just landscape irrigation. Listed below, are suggestions for reducing water use outside the home.


Car Wash & Driveways

A standard garden hose can use 10 gallons per minute or more. This means one can easily use 100 gallons of water with only a 10-minute car or pavement wash.

· Commercial car washes: Use commercial car washes instead of washing at home. Commercial car washes capture and recycle used water and then send it to the water treatment facility, instead of allowing run-off into the storm drain.

· Washing your car at home: When washing your car at home, use buckets and sponges instead of a hose. Use the hose only to rinse the soap off. Make sure you have an automatic shut off nozzle attached to the hose. Park the car on the lawn so any water that runs off goes into your landscape areas, not the gutter.

· Sweeping the driveway: Use a broom to clean your driveway and pavement. It is wasteful to hose down your pavement in an effort to clean it off. Some people use a high-powered hose to clean driveways, which also wastes many gallons of water. Wash down concrete and paved surfaces only to alleviate immediate fire or sanitation hazards. Direct any water runoff to water your landscape areas.

· Keep evaporative coolers in good repair: Evaporative coolers require a seasonal maintenance checkup. For more water efficient cooling, check your evaporative coolers annually.


Swimming pools, fountains and ponds Swimming pools are great for cooling off on a hot summer day, but don't let your pool become a tool for wasting water.

· Good pool management practices: Properly managing your pool to avoid unnecessary draining and refilling can save thousands of gallons of water per year.

· Pool covers help avoid evaporation: Consider a pool cover when not in use to avoid evaporation. You reduce evaporation up to 90 percent with a cover. It will also keep your pool or spa cleaner and reduce the need to add chemicals.

· Re-circulating pumps: Swimming pools, fountains and ponds should be equipped with recirculating pumps. These water features should also be checked annually for hidden leaks or other problems. Avoid installation of ornamental water features (such as fountains) unless the water is recycled. Locate where there are minimal losses due to evaporation and wind drift.

· Use kiddie pools to water plants: If you have a shallow kiddie pool, make sure you use the water to feed plants and gardens when you're done with it.

· Recreational water toys for children: Create an awareness of water conservation among your children. Avoid purchasing recreational water toys that require a constant stream of water.

For questions or additional information, please contact Municipal Services at 209-668-5590 or visit the City’s website at Brought to you by the City of Turlock Municipal Services Department.



Excessive Water Use Penalty: Effective May 1, a $25 penalty will be assessed for monthly water use over 40,000 gallons. Penalty will be reflected on June utility bill. Visit the City of Turlock’s website for more information at: