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The original item was published from 8/18/2023 10:57:00 AM to 8/18/2023 10:57:47 AM.

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Posted on: May 18, 2023

[ARCHIVED] Drought Contingency in effect; summer water-usage tips


It’s that time of year again, when we would like to share some information with our residents about sprinkler use, swimming pools, and other watering tips as we approach the year’s peak water-usage period.

#ICYMI: Annual weather conditions have necessitated continued implementation of Phase 1 of the City's Drought Contingency Plan (PDF). Residents are encouraged to follow a twice weekly watering schedule determined by your address. Visit (PDF) for more information.

How much water does my sprinkler system use?

To calculate sprinkler usage, average of 5 gallons per minute per sprinkler head, multiplied by the number of sprinkler heads, multiplied by the number of stations. Multiply that number by the number of times your water in a week or month. Examples:

  • 20 minutes x 5 gallons per minute = 100 gallons for one sprinkler head
  • 100 gallons x 5 sprinkler heads in a station/zone =500 gallons used per station/zone
  • 500 gallons x 6 stations = 3,000 gallons used for one watering
  • 3,000 gallons x 3 days per week = 9,000 for one week of watering
  • 9,000 gallons x 4 weeks = 36,000 gallons used to water the lawn in a 4-week cycle

Another way to see how much water your irrigation system is using:

Open your meter box lid and take a picture of the dial prior to starting irrigation. Once your cycles have completed, take another picture of the dial. Subtract the numbers on the white dials from your pictures. This will give you a good idea of how much water is going through your irrigation system for one watering. Remember, you are billed in thousands in The Colony.

Example: Number prior to watering is 20. Number after watering is 25. The irrigation system used approximately 5,000 gallons of water for one watering.

How much water does my pool use to refill from evaporating?

The average amount of water evaporation per day is 1/2-inch. Multiplied by 7 days, that’s 3.5 inches of water evaporated in a week. To refill the pool 3.5 inches, use this calculation:

Length x Width x Depth (3.5 inches evaporation loss divided by 12) x 7.48 = number of gallons to refill from evaporation. Example: 13 x 32 x .292 x 7.48 = 908 gallons to refill per week, or 3,632 gallons per month.

The Do’s and Don’ts for watering your yard:

  • DO: Water in dry weather.
  • DO: Water early in the morning.
  • DO: Use sprinklers that are close to the ground rather than high in the air, because larger drops are better than fine mist.
  • DON’T: Water from mid-morning to late afternoon. You will lose 1/3 of your water to evaporation. Try watering before 10 a.m.
  • DON’T: Overwater because it causes valuable nutrients to wash away.
  • DON’T: Water too frequently because it causes shallow root system to develop.
  • DON’T: Water at night because the grass stays wet and encourages the development of disease.

If I have a leak, how much water is being wasted?

Water wasted at 40 pounds of pressure over a 24-hour period:

  • 1/32” leak wastes 180 gallons
  • 1/16” leak wastes 690 gallons
  • 1/8” leak wastes 2,760 gallons
  • 1/4” leak wastes 11,030 gallons

Most frequent issues that cause increase in water usage:

  • Check every faucet and toilet for leaks. A leak can waste a lot of water every day, so repair leaks immediately.
  • Open the tank of the toilet and put a few drops of food coloring into it. Wait for at least 30 minutes to an hour. The drops should stay well formed in the tank. If the drops dissipate or the coloring is going into the bowl, you are losing water through the toilet.
  • Walk your property while sprinkler system is running to ensure no sprinkler heads are broken.

For more information, contact the Customer Services Department.

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