Contact info

Address

High Country Conservation Center 737 Ten Mile Dr Frisco CO 80443 PO Box 4506 Frisco CO 80443

Phone

(970) 668-5703

Email

info@highcountryconservation.org

Dear Eartha, I just heard of the new watering schedule recommendation here in Summit County. I have a small lawn and automatic sprinklers. What does this new schedule mean and how does it affect me?

Watering your lawn just got a whole lot simpler. Why? Because local leaders all agreed to the same watering schedule: easy-to-understand guidelines for a healthy, water smart lawn. A watering schedule outlines the days and times when residents are allowed to water their lawns. For Breckenridge water customers, the schedules are mandatory.

Although our blue planet is made of about 70% water, only 0.5% of all the water in the world is available freshwater. And here in the Colorado River Basin, our available water supply is becoming more stressed due to climate change and increased human use. What’s that mean for us as a community? It’s time to focus on responsible irrigation practices and smart landscape choices. Today we’re talking watering schedules, which is one way to start. Let’s look at the new schedules.

Local Watering Schedules (And Common Questions)

  • If the last number in your address is even you can water on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays.
  • If the last number in your address is odd you can water Wednesdays, Fridays, and Sundays.
  • Everyone should water overnight between the hours of 6pm – 9am

 

What does this mean for you or your landscaper? Luckily not much, besides making sure your irrigation system is programmed to the new schedules. And remember, in Breckenridge the schedules are mandatory.

Now for some details. Residents who have ½ addresses should use the last full number of their address to determine their schedule. So for example if you live at 453 ½ Smith Rd., you’d follow the schedule for odd-numbered addresses. Large properties or homeowners associations that have multiple addresses should use the address of their master meter – and that could mean having your landscaper contact your water department. For help making the connection, contact the staff at High Country Conservation Center (HC3): 970-668-5703 or email info@highcountryconservation.org.

Why the Change?

Previously, several towns and water providers had different schedules. To further complicate things, many people who live in unincorporated Summit County are customers of Breckenridge or Frisco water. And different schedules got really confusing, really fast! Thankfully, local leaders agreed to a solution – unified watering schedules.

The schedules do not allow midday watering, and that’s nothing new. Midday wind and hotter temperatures cause significant evaporation, meaning less water makes it to your lawn. In fact, the Environmental Protection Agency estimates that 50% of the water we use on our lawns is lost due to inefficient irrigation. Wasting water also means wasting money.

Not only are the new schedules simpler for residents and landscapers, they reinforce the fact that even in the hottest months, grass does not need to be watered more than three days each week. In fact, too-frequent watering means that roots remain shallow – and in the long term, that practice of overwatering trains your grass to be thirstier and less resilient.

The cycle and soak method of watering splits an irrigation system’s total runtime into multiple cycles. This method ensures that the soil has time to absorb all the water, rather than running off onto the sidewalk. Cycle and soak watering gives your grass better access to nutrients and air while encouraging deep root growth – and that makes for a healthier lawn.

Your Efficiency Journey

Following Summit County unified watering schedule is one of several steps we have at our fingertips to support our natural environment (while preventing wasted water and saving some cash). On top of following the new schedules, make sure your irrigation system is running most efficiently.

Getting your system assessed by a certified professional has proven results to reduce your water bill without compromising your landscape. One local HOA cut their water bill in half. And, HC3 provides rebates to help offset some of the costs.

Playing on our snowcapped mountains and paddleboarding in Lake Dillon, we can easily feel like we have all the water we need. However, with 40 million people relying on the water that starts in our mountains, let’s start with a few easy steps to protect our water resources and help future generations enjoy Summit County’s natural environment.

Ask Eartha Steward is written by the staff at the High Country Conservation Center, a nonprofit dedicated to waste reduction and resource conservation. Submit questions to Eartha at info@highcountryconservation.org.

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