Special to Iredell Free News

Summertime means many things to all of us – lots of sunshine, BBQs, pool parties, plentiful gardens, and vacations with our families.

For Iredell Water Corporation, it also means a time of increased water use. Reducing waste is important since our region can face dry and drought conditions from time to time. An added bonus? Conserving water will also help you with your bills too.

Because being wise with your water use is so beneficial, Iredell Water offers the following tips to take and ideas to keep in mind as you enjoy your summer:

♦ 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.

♦ Avoid overwatering. A great way to tell if your lawn needs water is to simply walk on it. If the grass bounces back, you don’t need to water. If you see your footprints, it’s time to water.

♦ Make sure your sprinklers are watering the grass. Sounds simple but we see people watering their driveways and sidewalks every day.

♦ Adjust your mowing. Leaving your grass a little higher will help retain water longer.

♦ If you have a sprinkler system, it’s always a good time to check it to make sure it was working properly, including looking for costly leaks. Cracks in irrigation systems can waste thousands of gallons of water every summer, and you’re paying for that water. Inspect your system for malfunction heads. They could be clogged, leaking, or knocked off course. Also check your watering schedule to keep from overwatering your lawn. In almost every situation, sprinkler systems do not need to be used every day.

♦ To help you save money for months and years to come, you may want to think about retrofitting your in-ground irrigation system with new, water-efficient technologies, such as WaterSense-labeled controllers, rainfall sensors, or high-efficiency sprinkler heads. All in-ground irrigation systems installed since 2009 are required to have an automatic controller and rainfall sensors installed, per Iredell Water policy. These both should be tested every month to help you conserve water and save money.

“What we often don’t realize is how every drop of our water is naturally recycled. That is why we need to be mindful of how we use our water, so that we don’t waste our precious resource,” said Lorne Cook, Iredell Water Board member. “By taking these simple steps together, we can go a long way toward protecting our water supply.”