Energy City Insights

Each month, Energy City Insights offers quick tips on environmentally friendly best practices residents can easily take on at home - from water conservation, home energy efficiency, recycling options and more!

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Energy City Insights - Summer Water Conservation 

The dog days of summer are here! Officially July 22 through August 22, these days are typically the hottest, driest, and sometimes most uncomfortable days of summer in the Northern Hemisphere. This period can also coincide with using more water for your lawn, garden, showers and more, which is why we’re offering some tips to help reduce your summer water use: 

  • Invest in a rainbarrel! These water tanks collect and store rainwater (typically via rain gutters). Use the water for your garden and plants or allow it to slowly release into the ground to areas that can soak it up. They are inexpensive and easy to operate and maintain.

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  • Tune up your sprinkler system! Water use in your yard can be significant in the summer months, especially to keep your grass looking green, which is why it’s important to ensure your system is functioning as efficiently as possible. A leak as small as the tip of a pen can waste 6,300 gallons of water per month! ERMU offers a $50 rebate towards the cost of an irrigation tune-up completed by a professional irrigation contractor. 
  • Be mindful of when you water and how much you water. Water will absorb into your grass best in the early morning. The temperature is cooler and less sunshine allows the water to absorb into your grass/garden more thoroughly. Using too much water can also be counterproductive for your grass if it cannot absorb it quickly enough. Watch closely to make sure water is not running off your lawn into the drain as that’s a sign you may be overwatering. Also consider adding a WaterSense controller to take the guess work out of programming your irrigation system. It works like a thermostat for your sprinklers and adjust based on local weather and landscape conditions.

  • Consider adding native plants or raingardens to your landscaping! Not only does this reduce water use but it also decreases lawn maintenance. Our local Sherburne Soil and Water Conservation District has great resources for those interested in making a bigger change to their yards. 

 Other simple ways to save water this summer:

  • Shorten your showers: Reducing showers by two minutes can save up to ten gallons of water per shower. 
  • Use the dishwasher: Hand-washing is less efficient, especially with a Energy Star-rated dishwasher. 
  • Go to the car wash: Commercial car washes are significantly more efficient than doing it yourself at home. 
  • Fix leaks and drips around the house.