After several days of high temperatures coupled with little rainfall, this week’s U.S. Drought Monitor has classified Valparaiso as “abnormally dry.” At the same time, the city’s Water Department is experiencing near record levels of water consumption, according to Utilities Director John Hardwick. “Our facilities are keeping up with the demand, but our operators are watching water levels on an hourly basis,” he said.
At this time, the Valparaiso Water Department reminds customers of best practices for watering lawns and water use for non-essential activities. “During the heat of this summer, the key to efficient outdoor irrigation is applying enough water and only when necessary,” says Hardwick. Please assist Valparaiso City Utilities in maintaining the water supply by observing the following tips:
Tips For Watering Wisely
• If you step on the lawn and the grass springs back, it doesn’t need to be watered. Most lawns will need at least one inch of water per week. It is best to apply this amount of water in a single, thorough soaking, or two equal applications of water three to four days apart.
• The best time to water your lawn is in the early morning from 4:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m. when winds are calm, temperatures are cool and evaporation is negligible. Do not water your lawn during the heat of the day, as this will damage your grass.
• If you have a sprinkling system, be sure the sprinklers are not watering the driveway, sidewalk or street; and install a rain shut-off switch to turn off the system in rainy weather.
• Rain barrels can be used to catch rainwater for outdoor plants, trees and flowers. For information about purchasing a rain barrel, visit valpo.us/MS4.
• Raising your lawn mower blade will promote deeper root growth of your grass.
• To conserve water, clean driveways, sidewalks and steps with a broom instead of a hose.
For specific questions about watering, contact the Porter County Master Gardener Hotline at 219-465-3555.