Water Conservation & Leaks
Why Water Conservation Matters
Even though our planet consists of 70% water, there are still many parts of the world that suffer from a clean water shortage. We’re dedicated to keeping our water pure for everyday use, while also protecting the environment with good conservation practices.
As a functioning city, it’s crucial that we avoid wasting water by whatever means necessary. To achieve this we need to work together to reduce waste, prevent damaging water quality, and improve water management. As a socially responsible society, we must make every effort to save the water we have today to provide a sufficient supply for future generations!
The Perils of Overwatering
From a landscaping standpoint, there are many reasons why you don’t want to overwater your lawn. It can drown plant roots, stress out shallowly rooted plants, and grow more weeds. Beyond that, overwatering your lawn is often a huge waste of resources that can ultimately harm the environment.
Just one inch of water per week is required to keep most Texas grasses healthy. To determine how long you should run your sprinklers, place straight-edged cans at different distances away from the sprinkler and time how long it takes to fill an average of 1 inch of water in each can.
Don’t abuse the benefits of an automatic sprinkler system by over-watering. Set it to provide thorough but infrequent watering. Check sprinkler heads regularly to make sure they are working properly. Install rain shutoff devices and adjust sprinklers to eliminate coverage on the pavement.
4 Simple Steps to Outdoor Conservation
Prevent Evaporation of Water. Be sure to water your lawn early in the morning or evening during the hotter summer months. Never water on windy days. Use drip irrigation systems for bedded plants, trees, or shrubs and use low-angle sprinklers for lawns. Cover pools and spas. This can save the equivalent of your pool volume each year!
Plant water-efficient, well-adapted, and/or native shrubs, trees, and grasses. Choose plants that are drought and heat tolerant, and can survive the minimum winter temperatures in your area. In odd-shaped areas, use drought-tolerant ground cover instead of grass. Many cities provide lists of water-efficient plants.
Buy a rain barrel or a cistern and collect the water from your gutters to water your plants. Use your water efficiently. Don’t waste water by cleaning patios or sidewalks with it; use a broom. For plants that need more water, use a hose or watering can give them additional water.
Keep grass 3 inches tall during the summer and don’t cut more than one-third of its length at one time. Don’t scalp lawns when mowing during hot weather. Taller grass holds moisture better. Leave lawn clippings on the lawn instead of bagging.
Check your Sprinkler for Wasted Water
Experts estimate that as much as half of the water used for outdoor irrigation is wasted due to evaporation or runoff caused by inefficient irrigation methods and systems. The Texas A&M Irrigation Technology Program has found that one broken sprinkler head can waste up to 10 gallons per minute!
Here are some easy steps that the Environmental Protection Agency WaterSense program recommends to check your sprinkler system: inspect, connect, direct and select.
Inspect: Turn on your sprinkler system for a few minutes to check for clogged, broken, or missing sprinkler heads.
Connect: Examine points where the sprinkler heads connect to pipes/hoses. If water is pooling in your landscape or you have large soggy areas, you could have a leak in your system. A leak as small as the tip of a ballpoint pen (1/32 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? Simply turn the nozzle by hand to 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 use the “Seasonal Adjustment” feature on your controller, if equipped.
Residents living in a community that receives treated water from Upper Trinity can sign up to receive a free Sprinkler System Check-Up by a licensed irrigator! Simply fill out the online Request Form at bit.ly/UTRWDCHECKUP and you will be contacted to schedule your Check-Up.
Checking for Common Leaks
If you notice a sharp uptick in your water bill, it could be because of a leak somewhere in your home. By knowing the signs of a leak, you can avoid pipe bursts and other potentially damaging water issues that could cost you thousands of dollars in the long run.
Check Your Usage: If you are using more than 12,000 gallons of water per month, there’s likely a serious leak problem.
Use Your Eyes: Many leaks can be detected by the human eye. Check the back of cabinets and under basins for any signs of mold or foul smell that might indicate a leak.
Check Your Water Meter: Before checking your meter, make sure no water is running in your home. Then, monitor the meter and see if it begins to change. If it does, you have a fast-moving leak. If it doesn’t change at first but changes a few hours later, you may be dealing with a slow leak.
Check Your Water Usage: Now you can easily monitor your water usage with our new Sensus Analytics. Sign up at https://MyCelinaH2O.com
Is your toilet leaking?
Believe it or not, leaky toilets end up costing the average homeowner over $700 per year. To ensure your toilet is running properly, you can use food coloring or dye. To test for leaks, add a few drops of food coloring to your toilet tank and wait 30 minutes. If the color shows up in your bowl, then you have a leak allowing water to flow from the tank to your drain without ever flushing the bowl.
Outdoor irrigation accounts for approximately 50 - 70% of all water used during summer months, much of which is wasted due to overwatering or inefficient equipment. As part of its regional water conservation program, Upper Trinity Regional Water District, in coordination with local utilities, is offering a free Irrigation System Check-Up to homeowners in its service area, including the City of Celina.
If the home qualifies, a licensed irrigation company will contact the homeowner to schedule the check-up (homeowner must be present for the check-up to be conducted). A licensed irrigator will perform the check-up and identify potential problems with the homeowner’s irrigation system (i.e. broken or misaligned sprinkler heads and the controller settings), at no cost to the homeowner. In addition, the licensed irrigator will discuss proper irrigation system and controller maintenance and operation with the homeowner, as well as provide information on efficient watering habits.
A report will be provided to the homeowner with suggested irrigation system repairs, as well recommended controller settings. The licensed irrigator who performs the check-up does not perform the repairs, ensuring that their recommendations are not biased!
The first 40 qualifying homes in Celina may take advantage of this offer immediately (if you haven’t already received one in previous years). After the first 40, subsequent requests will be placed on a wait list and will be contacted later in the season if more spots are available or in the next year.
To request a free Irrigation System Check-Up, please fill out this online form: http://bit.ly/UTRWDCHECKUP