Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Water wise

With spring fast approaching, it’s never too early to begin planning for those times when Mother Nature doesn’t provide enough water to fill your requirements. Water is probably the most precious resource there is and all too many times we waste it without even thinking about it. How many times have you driven by a house or business to see a sprinkler system blasting away while its pouring rain? Along with smart usage, runoff control is also important to help reduce pollution and sediment carry. 

Mulching is a great method of conserving water. Proper mulching reduces evaporation and maintains good soil moisture retention. An added benefit is that it also helps reduce weeds.  Mulch can really be anything from grass clippings to barks to pine straw or simply compost. Two to three inches of mulch will make a world of difference.

Rain barrels are another very simple method. They help conserve water and reduce runoff by capturing rain water that can be used later. Rain barrels can be elaborate and expensive or simple and cheap, it’s really up to you.  My first rain barrel was nothing more than a large trash can under the eve of a building. Then I added a gutter and downspout to collect more. As a result of capturing more water, I upgraded to a couple of 30 gallon barrels with faucets and overflow pipes that I installed. During one really dry summer, I decided I needed even more storage so I replaced the barrels with industrial storage tanks. In a few years I’ve gone from 32 gallon capacity to 425 gallons. I can now water everything in my yard all summer long and never use a drop of water from my faucet.

Simple steps can make a big impact on the environment.

 175 gallon main tank with 55 gallon over flow

Upgrade to a 250 gallon overflow for a total of 425 gallons

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