Water Conservation

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California is currently facing its most severe drought on record and on March 28, 2022, the Governor released Executive Order N-7-22, directing Californians to voluntarily reduce water use and requiring water suppliers to reduce water use by up to 20 percent.

Outdoor Watering Restrictions

Click on your water company below (map) to see your watering schedule, effective beginning June 1, 2022:

  1. San Gabriel County Water District

San Gabriel County Water District is asking its customers to follow the below watering schedule, beginning June 1, 2022:

  • Two days per week between 6 p.m. to 8 a.m.
    • Odd Address (Addresses, ending in 1, 3, 5, 7, 9): Tuesday and Friday
    • Even Address (Addresses ending in 2, 4, 6, 8, 0): Monday and Thursday
  1. California American Water Company
  1. Sunny Slope Water Company
  1. San Gabriel Valley Water Company
  1. Golden State Water Company

Outdoor Water Conservation Tips

The City of San Gabriel is committed to making every effort in conserving water within our community. We have provided some easy tips to help us all conserve water:

YEAR-ROUND WATERING TIPS

  • Use a drip irrigation system to water trees and shrubs and water appropriately. Experts agree that running drip irrigation less frequently is much better for plants than daily watering.
  • Install a smart sprinkler timer.
  • Fine tune watering times for each station to account for different watering requirements due to exposure, shade, and sprinkler output.
  • Check your sprinkler system once a week. Replace or repair broken or missing sprinklers.
  • Once a month, check your drip irrigation system for breaks or clogs.
  • Arrange sprinklers so that the spray of one sprinkler reaches the head of the sprinkler closest to it. Remove any obstructions and level sprinklers to grade to prevent spray blockage or tripping hazards. Ensure sprinklers aren't spraying walls, driveways, or sidewalks.
  • Water shady areas about 30 percent less than sunny areas.
  • Water your yard early in the morning, before 9 a.m., or late in the evening after 5 p.m., to reduce evaporation caused by wind and heat.
  • Don't water on windy or rainy days. Winds can send sprinkler water in unintended directions, saturating the sidewalk more than the lawn. Watering during rainy periods can cause soil over-saturation and wasteful runoff.

YEAR-ROUND YARD MAINTENANCE TIPS

Brown spots

  • If you notice brown spots in your lawn, check your sprinklers to see if any of the heads are broken or twisted. Also, check to see that your sprinklers are popping up 4 inches above the grass.
  • To break down surface tension and allow for better water absorption, add a tablespoon of liquid soap to a gallon of water and drench the brown spots with the mixture.
  • Hand water brown spots with a hose until they are gone.
  • Eliminate blocked spray patterns by trimming around the sprinkler head or installing a taller 3- or 4-inch pop-up.
  • Make sure you are using the same type of sprinkler heads throughout your lawn, do not mix and match.
  • Check that your sprinkler heads are level to grade, perpendicular to the slope of the lawn and not watering sidewalks, walls, or patios.
  • Ensure sprinkler heads provide "head-to-head" coverage. The spray of one sprinkler should reach the head of the adjacent sprinkler.
  • Determine whether water pressure is a factor. Misting and excessive drift are signs of high pressure. Low pressure displays itself with weak, short spray patterns and reduced coverage.

Burned and scorched leaves

  • Water plants deeply and infrequently to allow oxygen in the soil, wash away salts, and encourage deep rooting.
  • Deeply water trees and shrubs once every seven to 10 days. Newer plants may need water twice as often.
  • Add a layer of surface mulch 2- to 4-inches thick to conserve water and provide insulation from the heat.
  • Ensure you are using the right fertilizer both for your specific plants and for the time of year. Some fertilizers release much faster in hot weather, increasing the potential for damage.

Compacted soils

  • Aerate at least twice a year to minimize compacted soils, which can stress your lawn.
  • If you notice an area that is particularly dry, add a tablespoon of liquid soap to a gallon of water and drench the dried area. This breaks down the surface tension of the grass.
  • An annual dethatching of turf areas, especially St. Augustine lawn will increase water infiltration and stimulate growth.

Grass

  • Each time you mow the lawn, change directions and set your mower to the proper height (2 ½ - 3 inches for tall fescue and ¾ - 1 ½ inches for Bermuda) to promote a healthy lawn and to reduce water use.
  • Raising the mowing height of lawn areas will reduce stress on the lawn and add durability.

Plant selection

  • Bermuda and other warm-season grasses require about one-third less water than tall fescue grass. 
  • Replacing part of your lawn with California-friendly plants can also save thousands of gallons a month.

SPRINKLER WATERING TIPS FOR ALL SEASONS

Use the cycle-and-soak method

The cycle-and-soak sprinkler irrigation method allows soil to absorb water slowly and reduces the risk of runoff. Here’s how it works:

  • Water 3 times a day
  • 1 hour apart
  • 4 minutes for each watering

Drip irrigation usually need to be activated less frequently than sprinkler irrigation.

Conservation Resources & Programs

SoCal Water Smart
This site has information on water-efficient appliances, turf removal smart irrigation controllers, soil moisture sensors and water saving devices for commercial users.
 
Save Our Water
Here you will find water saving tips and ideas and information on the statewide drought situation.
 
Be Water Wise
Bewaterwise.com offers water-saving ideas and tips around the house and the yard, and how to save trees during drought.

Free Water Conservation Supplies by California American Water Company

American Water customers can receive complimentary water-saving devices, including showerheads, shower timers, garden hose nozzles, aerators etc. to help with their water conservation efforts.

Conservation Programs by San Gabriel Valley Water Company

  • Residential Landscape Irrigation Retrofit Program - A free program that provides our residential customers with an evaluation and retrofit of their existing irrigation system. Includes new high efficiency sprinkler heads, one weather-based irrigation controller and minor repairs to the existing irrigation system.
  • Commercial Irrigation Retrofit Program - A free program that provides our commercial customers with an evaluation and retrofit of their existing irrigation system. Includes new high efficiency sprinkler heads, weather-based irrigation controllers and minor repairs to the existing irrigation system.
  • Create Your Garden Program - An assisted residential do-it-yourself program to replace front yard lawns with a drought tolerant garden. Includes at no cost, custom plans from a professional landscaper, supplies to help remove the existing turf, as well as free plants and mulch to create a water-friendly landscape. Customers also receive training on proper installation and garden maintenance to ensure the new garden remains healthy.
  • High-Efficient Toilet Program - A program for all customers with existing toilets manufactured before 1995 or have a flush rating of greater than 1.6 gallons per flush are eligible to receive new high efficiency toilets at no cost.

Last Updated May 25, 2022