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How to Use Water More Efficiently to Maintain a Beautiful Lawn - - Archived

Blake Alldredge | Upper Trinity Regional Water District
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Q&A

How Often Do People Need To Water Their Lawns?

UTRWD recommends no more than two days per week. That’s based on research showing that watering two days or less weekly produces a healthier and more resilient lawn. As water goes deeper into the soil, the grass learns to grow deeper roots. If people water three or four days weekly, the grass doesn’t have to grow deep roots since the top of the soil stays wet, but this leaves grass vulnerable to extreme temperatures.

How Long Do Homeowners Need To Water Their Lawns For?

It depends on the weather. It depends on if you’ve just gotten rain and can wait several days. If it’s not hot, you don’t need as much. It depends on the season as well. We have a free website, WaterMyYard.org, where residents can sign up and create a profile. They tell the service what type of sprinklers they have (regular spray heads, rotors, multi-stream, or drip). Then, based on recent weather data, the service sends an email or text to residents stating how many minutes to run their sprinklers that week. We tell people to take that recommendation, half it, and there’s how long they need to water on their two days.

What Can Homeowners Do With Their Landscaping To Help Save Water Or Capture Water?

Recommendations state residents should use two to four inches of hardwood or cedar mulch in flowerbeds or gardens to lock in moisture and prevent erosion. On lawns, residents should set mowers at the highest setting. Taller grass captures more water and leads to deeper root growth, which produces better absorption of rainwater into the soil. Residents are encouraged to reduce or stop using fertilizers. Studies show the average homeowner applies too much fertilizer, which can damage lawns and lead to water pollution as excess fertilizer drains off. Instead, Upper Trinity recommends using organic fertilizers or compost.

What’s One Thing Residents Don’t Know About The Utrwd?

The big thing is a lot of people don’t know Upper Trinity exists. When I meet people, they ask me where I work and I tell them, they ask what is that? Once I tell them what we do, that UTRWD is a drinking water and wastewater treatment provider for 29 cities and utilities, that they can understand.

What Confuses Residents Most About Drought Restrictions?

Residents may not understand why watering restrictions remain in place when local lakes are full. With the continued growth and periodic droughts, increased water usage during the summer can place undue burdens on existing infrastructure. The treatment plant, the pipes, and the pumps are limited to how much we can treat and deliver the water. That’s also one big misconception, people don’t understand the value of water and infrastructure, that it does have limitations. But if everyone irrigates more efficiently, we can protect our drinking water infrastructure and avoid more severe restrictions this summer. 

About The Expert

Blake Alldredge Upper Trinity Regional Water District
Blake Alldredge
Upper Trinity Regional Water District

Blake Alldredge holds an undergraduate degree in wildlife and fisheries sciences and a graduate degree in water management from Texas A&M University. He helps to educate residents on how they can have a healthy lawn while using less water through in-person and virtual classes.

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