WEATHER »

Lawns Runneth Over

Don’t Over-Irrigate


Thanks, Virginia Hayes, for an excellent article on ”Smart Irrigation”. While it is widely accepted that 50 to 80 percent of all residential water goes to landscape irrigation, what is less frequently mentioned is that up to 50 percent or more of that water is wasted. It is wasted by broken or poorly adjusted systems, especially by irrigating plants with more water than they actually need. This overuse often results in runoff or the percolation of water to soil depths far below where the plant roots can get it. This excess water has been known to carry toxic chemicals and bacteria into our creeks, groundwater, and the ocean.

Why would citizens of this environmentally-enlightened community waste water? Most people, including many landscape professionals, decide how much and how often to water by the seat of their pants. The result is — more often than not — overwatering. Irrigation systems are often operated by automatic controllers, which, unless properly programmed and monitored, will overwater landscapes on a regular basis and usually at night when runoff sneaks off unnoticed.

One would think that, even if people didn’t notice water waste in their gardens, they would notice it on their water bills. The fact is that local residents pay somewhere between one half to three quarters of a cent for one gallon of potable water. At that price, what is the financial incentive to save or even to take water seriously? It’s Smart Irrigation Month. Get to know your irrigation system or hire a professional for advice. The math and technology for irrigating more efficiently are available. Do it now before the next drought and before those water rates start to go up.

To submit a comment on this article, email letters@independent.com or visit our Facebook page. To submit information to a reporter, email tips@independent.com.



event calendar sponsored by:

Will Hollister Ranch Access Deal Hold Up Under Public Scrutiny?

State commissioners are taking a closer look at settlement over beach access to Santa Barbara County gated ...

Faced with a Gun, Sheriff’s Sergeant Holds His Fire

Sgt. Freddy Padilla reflects on potentially life-saving decisions during welfare call.

Quick Response in Large Numbers Held Holiday Fire at Bay

Record heat on July 6 destroyed crops and livestock.

Los Padres Officials Ban Campfires, Firearm Discharge

Temporary measures are enacted during peak fire season.

Protesters Blast ExxonMobil’s Trucking Proposal

The energy company wants to restart its offshore oil drilling platforms.