All City of Boulder administrative facilities, public libraries and Age Well Centers will be closed Monday, May 29, for the Memorial Day holiday. Some facilities and services will be open.
The Water Conservation Program helps city water customers use water more efficiently, eliminate leaks, reduce water costs and support sustainability.
The city partners with Resource Central to offer community members water conservation program elements, including turf removal, Garden-in-a-Box kits, WaterWise Seminars and irrigation audits to help manage outdoor water use. This partnership enables the city to offer its water customers discounts on Resource Central's programs. For more information visit resourcecentral.org.
Nearly one trillion gallons of water are wasted each year in U.S. homes in preventable ways. The average household leaks almost 10,000 gallons of water per year, or the amount of water it takes to wash 300 loads of laundry.
Many common household leaks are quick to find and easy to fix. In just 10 minutes, you can search your home for leaks that lead to water waste.
The City of Boulder is currently updating the Water Efficiency Plan (WEP). This plan provides guidance for implementing the city’s Water Conservation Program in a way that is compatible with the city’s water supply system, the Colorado Water Plan, adopted water conservation goals, water resources management strategy, and community values.
In April 2023, we launched an engagement campaign to gather information on how community members use water, value water and where the city should focus its efforts around water conservation. While the questionnaire has closed, we'll be back later this year with what we learned and the updated Water Efficiency Plan.
Listen for running water and conduct the food coloring test. Put a few drops of food coloring into the tank at the back of your toilet and let it sit for 10 minutes. If color shows up in the bowl, you have a leak.
Look and listen for drips from the faucets or in the pipes under the sink.
Check for pooling water under pipes and rust around joints and edges.
Look for a dripping showerhead and replace with a new one, if needed.
Turn on the tub, then divert the water to the shower and see if there’s still a lot of water coming from the tub; that could mean the tub spout diverter needs replacing.
Look for pooling of water under pipe connections, rust or other signs of leakage.
The City of Boulder provides free irrigation consultations through Resource Central that can help you identify obvious leaks in your irrigation system.
Ensure tight connections with the hose and see if the hose washer need replacing.
Check for broken sprinklers or nozzles spraying in the wrong direction.
There are many ways to reduce outdoor water use, such as landscaping with plants that don't require much water, creating pollinator habitat and limiting the use of pollutants. Follow these water conservation tips.
Don't turn on the sprinklers too early in the season. Leaving lawns dormant longer will save water, and will not compromise the longevity of your lawn. April is too early to go automatic, plan on programming your sprinkler system to start in May or June. Hand-water trees and plants as needed - trees offer many benefits such as shade and habitat, and are often greatly impacted by drought, so keep an eye on the health of your trees and water them when needed.
Check with your water supplier for water use rules. Watering twice a week will make grass roots grow deeper and allow the grass to last longer without water. Cycling sprinkler system run times can prevent excess water runoff; visual inspections after an initial watering cycle will make this apparent. An example of a better watering schedule is setting each zone to water for five minutes then wait an hour, water for five minutes again, wait one more hour, then water for a final five minutes. This breaks up the 15 minutes of watering into three cycles, allowing the water to have time to absorb into dense and compact soils.
Watering landscapes in the early morning or at night will help reduce water loss. During the daytime heat, less water will be available to plants due to loss from evaporation and wind. Please check your local water provider for current water restrictions, including watering hours.
Watch the weather and adjust watering days and times accordingly. Use soil moisture sensors or rain sensors to automatically adjust watering schedules when it rains. Consider installing a WaterSense Smart Irrigation Controller. Check with your water supplier for potential rebates on irrigation equipment and other opportunities.
Raise lawn mower blades and protect lawns from heat by letting grass grow longer (3 - 3.5 inches). A taller lawn provides shade to the roots and helps retain soil moisture, so your lawn requires less water.
Check to see if your irrigation heads are broken, tilted or not set-up properly by scheduling an irrigation assessment. Sweep driveways and sidewalks with a broom instead of spraying with a hose - but please not down the storm drain or into the street gutter. Use hand-watering, deep root water, or drip irrigation for trees, shrubs, bushes, perennial beds, annual flowers and vegetable gardens. Always use a shut-off nozzle on your hose when watering plants.
Check your sprinkler system monthly for broken sprinkler heads and damaged irrigation lines. Hire a professional to conduct a sprinkler assessment - check with your water supplier, many have low cost or no cost sprinkler assessment programs for their community. A well maintained system will save both money and water.
If possible, delay new lawn installations for a non-drought year and avoid planting during the mid-summer heat. If you've already purchased a water wise garden this year, plant early in the morning or evening in May. Incorporate water wise plants and turf when planning landscape renovations or installations.
Are you prone to setting your irrigation system at the beginning of each season and then 'forget' about it until it's time to blow it out in the fall? Don't Set It And Forget It!
The city utilizes water budgets for determining how much water each user account is allotted per year for irrigation. Click on the link below the image for more information.
Click to learn how to Understand your water bill
In June 2022, the Colorado General Assembly passed House Bill 1151 to encourage landscapes that use plants with lower water needs, and to create a program to incentivize the voluntary replacement of irrigated turf.
The next update on the program is expected in July 2023. Learn more on the state's website.
Rain Barrels are now legal in Colorado as of August 10, 2016. This House Bill 16-1005, was signed into law by Governor John Hickenlooper on May 12, 2016 and outlines the following key requirements:
The Water Conservation Program partners with the county's Partners for a Clean Environment (PACE) Program to provide commercial customers with FREE water and energy services. At Partners for a Clean Environment, a business sustainability consultant can:
Visit Partner's for a Clean Environment main webpage at www.pacepartners.com or call 303-786-7223 to learn more.
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