One sprinkler running for 10 minutes can use up to 170 gallons. Think about how many sprinkler heads you have, how long they run for and how many days/week they run? It’s not hard to imagine a scenario where you are using almost 40 ccfs (30,000 gallons) per month.
Our pricing structure is designed to encourage conservation. The more gallons you use the more a gallon costs.
Customers call requesting that we inspect the meter for inaccuracies but most of the time, it’s a leak or irrigation. That doesn’t mean that equipment problems don’t occur though so, if you don’t think its a leak or your irrigation system causing the high bill, call 311 so Charlotte Water can investigate.
Smart irrigation technology uses weather data and soil moisture data to determine the irrigation needs of a landscape. These generally include the use of sensors and controllers to effectively manage your landscape irrigation.
You can incorporate smart irrigation technology with best practices below. However, you can always incorporate these ideas of efficient irrigation with a current system you already have.
- Seasons change, so should your system. Familiarize yourself with the settings on your irrigation controller and adjust the watering schedule regularly to conform with seasonal weather conditions.
- Evaporation is highest in the afternoon. Avoid irrigating between noon and 6 pm.
- Play “zone” defense. Schedule each individual zone in your irrigation system to account for the type of sprinkler, sun or shade exposure, and the soil type for the specific area. The same watering schedule rarely applies to all zones in the system. Make it a date.
- Inspect your irrigation system monthly. Check for leaks, broken or clogged heads, and other problems, or engage an irrigation professional to regularly check your system. Clean micro-irrigation filters as needed.
- Get your head adjusted. Correct obstructions in sprinkler heads that prevent sprinklers from distributing water evenly. Keep water off pavement and structures.
Other Outdoor Water Conservation Tips
- Water your lawn slowly. It is difficult to get water to soak into the soil in Charlotte. If you notice water running off the lawn or pooling, stop the sprinkler and give the soil time to absorb the water.
- Be mindful of how much water you are using for your lawn. Lawns only need one inch of water, including rain, a week.
- Consistently remove water-hogging weeds.
- Mulch to retain moisture. Mulch around trees, shrubs, and flowers to help the soil retain moisture and prevent weeds.
- Wash Fido outdoors in an area of lawn that needs to be watered. You’ll have a clean dog and a watered lawn. Be mindful of the dog shampoo you use, because the soap will soak into your lawn with the water.
- Plant more trees! And then more trees. Eventually you’ll have less lawn. Turfgrass is not native to Charlotte. Which means it needs water, usually more than provided by Mother Nature. Converting lawn to native trees and shrubs cuts back the need for outdoor watering substantially. And don’t forget the mulch!
- Leave lower branches on trees and shrubs and allow leaf litter to accumulate on the soil. This keeps the soil cooler and reduces evaporation.