Outdoor Water Usage

Citrus trees are a popular addition to Phoenix area landscapes.

Citrus trees are a popular addition to Phoenix area landscapes.

As the weather cools, Phoenix area residents start to emerge and spend more time outdoors enjoying the more moderate temperatures. With this in mind, it’s a good time to take the opportunity to review the outdoor water usage of your property and determine if some changes should be made. 

With respect to that, here is an overview of some outdoor water choices a homeowner can make in the fall.

The lawn

If your home has a bermudagrass lawn, it will start to go dormant as the temperatures cool. Newcomers to the Valley often believe bermudagrass is either dead or doesn’t need watering when it’s dormant, although, of course, neither of these are true. But, since it does go dormant, the decision needs to be made whether or not to overseed the bermudagrass with ryegrass. 

Planted ryegrass will require regular watering to maintain it. Many families opt not to have a winter lawn, thus saving on the water bill.  During the summer, a bermudagrass lawn requires watering, so some homeowners opt for a ‘rest’ during the winter. Those homes which are part of an HOA will have to abide by the HOA regulations as applied to lawns. 


Xeriscape in full bloom.

Xeriscape in full bloom.

Xeriscape is a fancy name for low-water-use plantings and landscaping. Low water use plants have found their way into the hearts and landscapes of many people. We don’t argue the value of their economy and attractiveness in general, but we also recognize the value of the transpiration of plant material, which transfers cooling moisture and oxygen into the air. This moisture explains why you feel cooler when you step beneath leafy trees than you do when you step into the shade of a building. 

The ‘heat island effect’ we feel here in Phoenix is the result of many buildings, concrete, and asphalt in relation to the number of plants and trees. However, well-placed shade trees can provide a cooling effect, especially when combined with ground cover plantings or lawn. This ‘mini-oasis,' when properly planned, can bring respite to the homeowner and their electric bill in summer.

Fruit trees and gardens

Many people prefer to have flower or vegetable gardens as a means of beautifying their home and providing a supplement to their grocery cart. September is the primary month for planning gardens and flowers since October is a big planting month here in the Valley. Phoenix gardeners are turning over their flower beds now in preparation for next month.

Leak repairs

Outdoor spigots are notorious for leaks..

Outdoor spigots are notorious for leaks..

By shutting off all of the water-using devices, a homeowner can check for plumbing leaks by watching their water meter for movement after a two-hour period. If there isn't a visible leak in the house, it may be in the irrigation system. Any leaks should be found and repaired, either by the homeowner, plumber, or landscaping company. It is estimated that Americans alone waste over a trillion gallons per year as the result of leaks. Some of these leaks are tiny culprits, a bad toilet flapper or a leaking irrigation line, but they cost us because of their constancy.  Here is a handy guide on how to check an irrigation system for leaks.

If you need a Phoenix, Arizona plumber to find and repair leaks in your plumbing or irrigation system, call Jimmy Joe's Plumbing at 480-757-1273