Tips for saving water: Outside the home


Maryland’s water resources are daily sprinkled, squirted, dripped, gushed, and often wasted outside the home.

Follow these tips to reduce water use outdoors:

Landscape Irrigation

  • Install efficient irrigation systems such as drip irrigation, soil soakers, and efficient sprinkler systems.
  • Set sprinklers for lawn and garden only, don’t water the street or sidewalk.
  • Water the lawn only when the ground is dry and preferably no more than once a week: The amount of water used by a sprinkler in one hour is equal to the daily water needs of a family of four.
  • Water during the coolest part of the day and never water on windy days: As much as 30% of water used can be lost to evaporation by watering lawn during midday.
  • Pull weeds to decrease competition for water.
  • Increase mowing height to 2-3 inches and apply mulch to both reduce evaporation and prevent weed growth.
  • Limit grass areas and use trees, shrubs, and other plants that require less water to landscape your yard: Grass turf requires 30-50% more water than shrubs and other groundcover.

Other Outdoor Use

  • Repair or replace leaking hoses and sprinklers
  • Always use an automatic shut-off nozzle on hoses.
  • Use a broom rather than a hose to clean decks, sidewalks, and other paved areas:
    5 minutes of running the hose uses 25 gallons of water!
  • Use a bucket of suds to wash a car or bicycle.
    Then rinse quickly with a hose.
  • Collect rainwater for reuse in the garden whenever possible.
  • Cover pools to prevent evaporation.
    An average uncovered pool loses about an inch of water a week because of evaporation.