Facility Maintenance Decisions

Landscaping Strategies Improve Water Conservation

Grounds managers have a host of landscaping measures from which to choose in their efforts to curtail water use. Among them are these:

• Divide the facility into three areas: public, or most visible from parking lots and main entrances; private, or side and rear areas less visible from the entrance; and services areas, including shipping/receiving. Plan each area with water conservation in mind based on visibility.

• Aerate, compost, and cultivate to improve water absorption and reduce runoff and evaporation.

• Rethink using grass and ground cover. Grass needs more water. Set mowers higher to promote shading and deeper roots. Keep blades sharp. Use less-water-dependent ground covers in sunny areas.

• Use organic mulches — bark, wood ships, low-water-use plants — in sunny areas. Inorganic mulch, including stones, rocks, and pebbles, reflects sun and tends to dry plants and should be used only in shady areas.

• Use dry-soil plants in sunny areas. Use plants that require more water in shady areas where evaporation is slower.

• Use 1 inch of water once or twice a week for grasses. Place a can in the sprinkler area to determine how long it takes to supply 1 inch of water. Use soaker hoses in flower beds and around shrubs to minimize evaporation, water early in the morning, and put shut-off nozzles on hoses.

• Put covers on spas and pools to reduce evaporation losses. Use brooms or blowers, rather than hoses, to clean sidewalks, patios and driveways.

• Check faucets, sprinkler systems, and hose nozzles for leaks, and replace parts as needed.

Continue Reading: Sustainability Spotlight: Water Conservation

Water Conservation: Common Targets for Waste

Tools for Measuring Water Waste: Micro-Weirs and Fixed Meters

Water Conservation: Quantify Savings for Top Management

Landscaping Strategies Improve Water Conservation

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  posted on 8/1/2008   Article Use Policy

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