Outdoor Water Use & Watering Tips

Spring and Summer Water Savings Tips


Spring and summer months are known for many things – sunshine and warmer weather, pool parties and barbecues,  flowering plants and trees in full bloom, and for many, increased water usage. In fact, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates that household water usage increases anywhere from 30 – 60 percent during spring and summer months, largely due to the use of sprinkler systems and swimming pools, as well as general outdoor water use like washing the cars and cleaning decks and patios. Because of this, we want to help you be water smart this spring by sharing some simple ways you can conserve water, starting with a short video that offers best practices for watering.

Watch the video for tips that will help keep your spring and summer water bill in check.

Spruce Up Your Sprinkler


Irrigation systems are one of the leading causes of increased water usage each spring. Before you ramp up your watering this spring, take a few minutes to spruce up your irrigation system – basic system maintenance can save you a lot of money and water! Cracks in pipes or broken sprinkler heads can result in as much as 25,000 gallons of lost water over the course of irrigation season, which $187.50. Follow these four simple steps and save.

Hint: Hover over the image for a more detailed guide.

Spruce Up Your Sprinkler with 4 Easy Steps

The onset of warmer weather often leads to an increase in outdoor water use through landscape irrigation. Before you ramp up your watering this spring, take a few minutes to spruce up your irrigation system – basic system maintenance can save you a lot of money and water! Cracks in pipes or broken sprinkler heads can result in as much as 25,000 gallons of lost water over the course of irrigation season, which $187.50. Follow these four simple steps and save:

Inspect. Check your system for clogged, broken or missing sprinkler heads. If you’re not the do-it-yourself type, go with a pro—look for an irrigation professional certified through a WaterSense labeled program.

Connect. Examine points where the sprinkler heads connect to pipes/hoses. If water pools in your landscape or you have large wet areas, you could have a leak in your system. A leak about as small as the tip of a ballpoint pen (or 1/32nd of an inch) can waste about 6,300 gallons of water per month.

Direct. Are you watering the driveway, house, or sidewalk instead of your yard? Redirect sprinklers to apply water only to the landscape.

Select. An improperly scheduled irrigation controller can waste a lot of water and money. Update your system’s schedule with the seasons, or select a WaterSense labeled controller to take the guesswork out of scheduling.

Remember to add “sprinkler spruce-up” to your spring cleaning list this year. And to learn more about maintaining a water-smart yard, visit the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s WaterSense website.

More Outdoor Water Savings Tips


Water Wisely

  • Water your lawn or garden during the cool morning hours, as opposed to midday, to reduce evaporation.
  • Look for sprinklers that produce droplets, not mist, or use soaker hoses or trickle irrigation for trees and shrubs.
  • Try not to overwater your landscaping. Learn plants’ water needs, and water different types appropriately.

Grow Green Grass

  • Avoid overfertilizing. You will increase the lawn’s need for water.
  • Raise your lawn mower blade to at least 3 inches. Taller grass promotes deeper roots, shades the root system, and holds soil moisture better than a closely cropped lawn.

Garden With Care

  • Plant climate-appropriate species. Try plants that are native to where you live, which don’t require as much water, and group plants together by water requirements.
  • Use mulch around trees and plants to help reduce evaporation and control water-stealing weeds.

Give Your Hose a Break

  • Sweep driveways, patios, sidewalks and steps rather than hosing them off.
  • Remember to use WaterSense labeled nozzles for occasional watering, washing the car, bathing the dog and other outdoor activities.

Look for Labels

  • Check your outdoor fixtures, timers and controllers to see if they are WaterSense partners. If you aren’t sure, you can search the WaterSense partner site here.
  • If your fixtures and devices are not WaterSense partners, consider replacing them with ones that are to ensure efficient water use.

For more tips, visit the WaterSense website.

Outdoor Water Use


Facts About Water Use


Backflow Preventers


IMPORTANT NOTE: All homeowners with piped irrigation systems must have an approved backflow prevention method or device. These devices are required by the Tennessee Department of Environmental Conservation and help ensure the integrity of our public water supply. For more information, click here.