While it’s unusual to get the amount of rain we had two weeks ago, it does remind us to take some flood precautions.
1. Basement windows or doors are common storm water entry points and should be sealed against leaks. Clear plastic covers or window wells that extend above ground level can help. Ideally, window and door sills should at least a foot above ground level.
2. Slope the yard away from the foundation to prevent water from pooling near the house and leaking into the basement. Create a rain garden or low basin landscaped with shrubs and flowers to encourage water to soak into the ground.
3. Eliminate paved surfaces where possible and consider alternatives that allow water to soak into the ground. Consider porous concrete or porous pavers for driveways. Gravel or woodchips for walking paths.
4. Aim downspouts toward the lawn and away from the foundation and paved surfaces. Consider using cisterns or rain barrels to catch rainwater for watering lawns and gardens in dry weather.
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Use an adjustable shut-off nozzle which can be down to fine spray so that water flows only as needed. Turn it of at the faucet instead of the nozzle when finished to avoid leaks.
Use hose washers between spigots and water hoses to eliminate leaks.
Do not leave sprinklers or hoses unattended. 600 gallons or more can flow in only a few hours. Set a shut-off reminder to turn it off.
Check all hoses, connectors and spigots regularly.
Install ornamental water features, like fountains, only if the water is recycled.
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Don’t overwater your lawn and remember a hearty rain eliminates the need for watering for as long as two weeks.
Water lawns early in the morning – the lower temperature and wind speed are reduce evaporation.
Position sprinklers to water the lawn and shrubs … not the paved areas.
Raise the mower to at least three inches. Taller grass encourages deeper rooting and shades the roots to retain soil moisture.
Avoid overfertilizing. Fertilizers increase the need for water and mowing.
Sweep, not wash, clippings back to the lawn from the driveway or sidewalk. Washing the driveway can waste hundreds of gallons of water.
1. Mulch to retain soil moisture and control weeds.
2. Plant native and/or drought-tolerant grasses, ground covers, shrubs and trees. Once established, they do not need to be watered as frequently and they usually will survive a dry period without any watering.
3. Group plans together based on similar water needs.
4. Choose the right water system for the job. Drip irrigation and soaker hoses work well in plant beds, while sprinklers work better on the lawn.
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KEARNEY STORMWATER MANAGEMENT PLAN
To grow, process and transport food requires a lot of water. Consequently, eating lower on the food chain, consuming whole foods and wasting less food, also saves water.
To learn more about the water required to produce our food check out the water calculator: