Water Conservation Tips
for Fall & Winter
Now is a great time of year to work on non-outdoor water use conservation and projects. Below are some tips to look into during the fall and winter months before outdoor irrigation begins.
Stay tuned for additional spring and summer tips coming soon!
Perform an Indoor Water Assessment
Silent water leaks and inefficient appliances can waste hundreds of gallons of water each month. Save money on your water bill by conducting your own water assessment every winter.
For great tips on managing your water use and to learn how to conduct a DIY indoor assessment, check out this Indoor Water Leak Check Guidebook from Aurora Water. Programs mentioned in the Guidebook are specific to Aurora Water customers only.
Some cities and utilities may have a free assessment program. Reach out to your utility to see if they have such a program available.
Common indoor issues include:
Take advantage of your smart meter
Many water utilities in Colorado have begun replacing standard meters, which read usage once per month, with smart meters, which read usage hourly. If your utility has replaced its standard meters with smart meters, you are likely able to sign up for an online portal that will provide you with use data. Additional benefits may include leak alerts, tracking and comparison tools, and more.
Reach out to your utility to find out if you have a smart meter.
Fall watering means infrequent watering
Cooler temps mean you can reduce watering to twice per week in September and then to once per week in October if temperatures are warm enough. We recommend having your system blown out in early October before temperatures hit freezing in order to avoid damage.
Fall tree wrapping
Wrap newly planted tree trunks to reduce winter sunscald from Thanksgiving through Easter, then remove so you don’t inadvertently damage the tree. Continue to wrap young trees for the winter until they develop their mature bark.
Use your fall leaves in several ways...
Winter watering keeps your trees and large shrubs healthy
Cover garden beds with a fresh layer of mulch. Vegetable gardens should have easily broken-down mulches like leaves, straw, or grass clippings.
Xeriscape Planning and Design
Winter is a great time to plan for installing a xeriscape in the spring. After you determine your budget and installation timeline, create your design. A design is a must-do because it creates a cohesive landscape and helps to easily divide your installation into phases.
Contact a landscape designer or a contractor who does design/build. Winter is a great time to reach out because it’s their slow season and you’ll likely secure a place on their summer install schedule. Feel free to request bids from multiple contractors. Choose a contractor who has experience with xeriscape and consider water conservation certifications, such as ALCC’s Sustainable Land Management, G3 Watershed Wise, Irrigation Association, and Qualified Water Efficient Landscaper.
Learn the Seven Principles of Xeriscape.
Check to see if there are xeriscape design, rebates or resources available where you live from your water utility or municipality. Water Rebates, a non-affiliated website, has a partial list of available rebates; be sure to confirm all information with your provider.