Waterwise Wednesday: Water Re-use

Photo © Rob Hughes


Cleaning the fish tank? Use the water for non-edible plants instead of throwing away the water. The fishy water is actually a fertilizer rich with beneficial bacteria, potassium, phosphorus and nitrogen.


When refreshing a pet’s water dish, give the stale water to plants or trees instead of washing down the drain. Leftover drinking water, and ice cubes can be given to plants too.


Waterwise Wednesday: National Water Quality Month

Photo © Jinfeng Zhang

August is National Water Quality Month when we focus on protecting fresh water sources. Protect water quality from pollution of the top six surface water pollutants:

• Vehicles: Fix leaks right away to prevent fluids from seeping into the ground.

• Petwaste: Pick up and properly dispose in the trash or toilet. Animal waste contains nitrogen which can remove oxygen from the water as it degrades, harming aquatic life.

• Yardwaste: Sweep clippings out back on the lawn. Yardwaste can clog storm sewer systems.

• Fertilizer: Use only when necessary and according to the directions. Heavy rainfall or watering can cause these chemicals to leak into groundwater sources. Try using organic fertilizers like compost or mulch instead of commerical fertilizer.

• Sediment: Avoid paving your properties which creates more runoff. Plant native trees and plants to hold soil in place and infiltrate water. Reuse clippings as mulch or compost to protect exposed soil.

• Litter: Reduce, reuse, and recycle to lessen waste. Get trash in the trash can and recycle plastics.

Waterwise Wednesday: Summer Water

Scottsbluff water use triples in the summer and about 2/3 goes to landscape watering. Save money, energy, and water with wiser outdoor water use.

1. Avoid overwatering – aim for .75 to 1.5 inches a week depending on the week’s temperatures. Or do the footprint test – if the grass springs up, moisture levels are good. If the grass footprint stays flat, time to water.

2. Water in short sessions to promote absorption instead of flood irrigating.

3. Mow at least 3 inches high to retain moisture and lower water demand.

4. In the long-term, invest in native and drought tolerant landscaping that are hardier and require less water and chemical for their upkeep.

5. Install drip and/or smart water systems to water only where necessary and when needed.

Photo © Publicdomainphotos