OKLAHOMA CITY – As temperatures continue to rise across the state, city leaders in Oklahoma City are reminding residents to do their part to conserve water.
The Oklahoma City Utilities Department is reminding water customers of its permanent, year-long odd/even watering schedule.
Residents and businesses with an address that ends in an odd number can use sprinklers on odd-numbered calendar days, while residents and businesses with an address that ends in an even number can use sprinklers on even-numbered days.
Officials say the odd-even schedule does not apply to hand watering for gardens or flower beds.
To help use water wisely, city leaders are offering a few tips to conserve water:
- Conduct a sprinkler check-up: Run through each zone and look for bubbling water, or broken or sunken heads. Mark the areas where you find problems, then make adjustments or repairs as quickly as possible.
- Perform a pressure check: Most residential sprinkler systems work best at 30 to 45 psi. Heads that run with low pressure might not cover the area where water is needed. Heads that run with high pressure will cause the water to mist. To correct pressure issues, consider installing pressure-regulated heads or call a local irrigation expert for other options.
- Know how much water your lawn needs: Bermuda grass and other common turfgrasses don’t need more than one inch of water per week, even during the hottest months of the year. For this type of grass, a deep watering once or twice a week is enough. To see how long it takes to water one inch, place a rain gauge or tuna can in areas you need to water. Turn on the water and see how long it takes for 1/2 inch of water to collect in the can. Multiply that by two, which is the time you need to run that zone each week.
- Don’t water during the daytime: Up to 50% of water used to irrigate during the daytime can be wasted. Water can evaporate before it reaches the grass. To save water, irrigate in the early morning when it’s still dark and the air temperature is cooler.
- Avoid run-off: Heavy clay soils and long runtimes can lead to water runoff. Water running into the street can carry fertilizers and pesticides into the city’s storm water system. Avoid water run-off by using the ‘cycle and soak’ method two times per day. Instead of one long soak, consider running your system once in the early morning and once again in the late evening.
- Consider a ‘smart’ irrigation controller: Irrigation controllers offer advanced technology that can cut down on water waste. Many can be managed using smartphone apps, which puts the control right at customers’ fingertips.
For flower beds, add mulch to reduce evaporation and use a nozzle with a shut-off lever to save water while not in use.