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Outdoor landscape water use

During the summer of 2014, the City of Turlock pumped approximately 25 million gallons of water per day. Of that, 13 million gallons were used for landscape watering purposes. More than half of the water consumed at a typical residence was used for watering landscaped areas.

Most people over water their lawns and don’t even know it. Over watering your lawn is a huge waste of water but can also cause it to be more prone to pests and diseases. As a general rule of thumb, the climate indicates your lawn needs the following amount of water per week:

— March and April: 0.6 - 0.8 inches

— May, June, July and August: 1.1 - 1.4 inches

— September and October: 0.7 - 0.9 inches

Listed below are ways to help conserve water on outdoor landscaping:

·         Set it, but don’t forget it. Whether you have an automatic or manual sprinkler system, be sure to adjust your watering schedule with the temperature, weather forecast, and seasons.

·         Use a broom to clean your sidewalk and driveway, not a hose.

·         Control the flow from your garden hose and attach a shut-off nozzle.

·         Adjust your sprinklers so they are watering your lawn and garden, not the sidewalk.

·         Add a layer of compost and mulch to your soil to help hold water, reduce evaporation, and keep down on weeds.

·         Install drip irrigation systems around your shrubs, hanging baskets, and flower and vegetable gardens. Drip systems can:

— Provide a low volume of water directly to plant roots

— Minimize loss of water due to: wind, runoff, evaporation, and overspray

— Use 20-50 percent less water than conventional sprinklers

— Save up to 30,000 gallons per year

Remember to report water wasting as well as incorrect watering days and times to Municipal Services by calling the office or reporting it online at:

For questions or additional information, please contact Municipal Services at 209-668-5590.

— Some of the data used in this article was acquired from the City of Davis’ website at:




Test how much water your sprinkler system applies to your yard: Place five to six flat bottomed containers (tin cans, cake pans, etc…) evenly spaced over your lawn. Keep them a minimum of 2 feet from sprinkler heads. Make note of how long your sprinklers run. Once your system shuts off, use a tape measure or ruler to find the depth of water in each container and compare to the recommended amount listed above.