July Is Smart Irrigation Month

Have you ever been surprised by a high summer water bill?  Extra water costs for summer irrigating really add up!  This is partly because Northshore Utility District’s tiered rate structure, designed to encourage conservation, means the more water used, the more each unit costs.

We could hit a rainless record this July and August!  All the more reason to take advantage of July’s Smart Irrigation Month to double-check your watering system efficiency.


  • Lawns need just 1″ of water per week to stay green, spread out over 2 or three waterings.  Measure sprinkler output with a simple tuna can, or a rain gauge you can get from NUD for free.  If you decide to go “golden,” water deeply once a month to keep roots alive.
  • Water deeply and less often.  Check soil before you water to see if it’s dry a few inches down.  Water enough to moisten the whole root zone (the top 6 to 12 inches of soil).
  • Water early or late in the day to reduce evaporation.
  • Get water to the roots with a watering wand instead of a hose or sprinkler.  For maximum efficiency, consider installing a drip irrigation or soaker hose system.  View tips for installing drip irrigation (pdf) and a soaker hose how-to video.
  • Use a smart irrigation timer to adjust sprinkler runtimes to match the weather.  This reduces water loss from evaporation and overspray.  NUD customers can get up to a $100 rebate to install a new WaterSense timer – learn more at the Saving Water Partnership website.

The Saving Water Partnership shares more in-depth information on outdoor water use efficiency.