City Water Department Offers Tips To Keep A Green Lawn - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

City Water Department Offers Tips To Keep A Green Lawn

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PRESS RELEASE FROM THE CITY OF SPOKANE: With temperatures forecast to rise over 100 degrees this week, the City of Spokane Water Department is offering tips to citizens on how to keep a green lawn while holding down the cost of their water bills.

"Citizens can maintain their lawns and landscaping without extensive watering, even during the expected hot weather," says Dan Kegley, Interim Director of the City's Water Department.  "We want to help our customers make decisions that keep their bills more affordable."

Here are some watering tips when the weather is hot:

  • Don't sprinkle between noon and 6 p.m. Some experts estimate that 50 percent of the water evaporates when sprinkling in the heat of the day. Morning watering is considered best as the water doesn't sit on the roots overnight, which can cause problems with root rot or fungal disease.
  • Don't water on windy days.  Again, much of the water will be lost to evaporation or blown away from your lawn.
  • Consider "grasscycling," leaving your lawn clippings on your lawn to act as a natural mulch.  The clippings will retain moisture and return nutrients to the soil, improving soil texture and water retention.

How much water do you need? 

One inch a week is a watering "rule of thumb" suggested for most lawns. Experts suggest infrequent and deep watering over frequent and shallow watering to encourage roots of your lawn to grow more deeply. 

The deeper the roots the better your lawn can draw water from the soil. And homeowners can consider adding a smart controller to their irrigation systems that measures moisture content in the soil so homeowners don't overwater.

The City has been working to make water bills more affordable for customers. In 2012, the City implemented a new rate structure that is designed to reduce high summer watering bills and provide water customers with more predictable monthly expenses. 

Spokane Mayor David Condon also has committed to limiting annual increases in rates for City water and other utilities to inflation.

Additionally, the City switched to monthly billing for water use in May to give customers more predictable bill amounts. The City traditionally billed customer every two months for water use, leading to higher City utility bills every other month. 

For even greater consistency of billing amounts, customers can request a "budget billing" option that spreads amounts evenly across all months of the year.  Customers can call 625-6000 Monday through Friday between 7 a.m. and 6 p.m. to set up budget billing.

Protecting and preserving our water resources is a long-term goal of the City. The City's Water Department must meet water conservation goals as part of state and federal requirements.

The City is asking its citizens to "Slow the Flow" and be good stewards of our water.  

The Environmental Protection Agency reports that nationally, lawn care and landscaping accounts for more than 30 percent of water use in the United States.

For more water tips and information, go to www.waterstewardship.org

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