Murray Washington, Selwyn District Council Infrastructure group manager

Use water wisely

by Ann van Engelen

To avoid water restrictions, the Selwyn District Council is asking people to use water wisely with the lack of rainfall and hotter weather forecast.

“Through good planning and investment in our water supplies, the council is in a good position to meet increased water demand during summer, and there is no immediate need for mandatory water restrictions,” says SDC Infrastructure group manager Murray Washington.

“If demand for water increases during summer then water restrictions may be introduced requiring households to avoid watering lawns at specific times. Water supplies are often placed under pressure during summer as many people decide to water their lawns and gardens at the same time. We are encouraging people to think about their water use. If everyone plays their part, we should be able to avoid restrictions and provide water at a good pressure all summer long.”

To help this happen the council is recommending that people limit garden and lawn watering to after 9pm, to keep it away from peak usage times and ensure the sun doesn’t quickly evaporate the used water.

“If you are considering watering your lawn during the day, it is best to check the conditions and make sure that it won’t be too hot or windy when you do it, which would reduce the effectiveness of the water use.”

Tips for managing your water use include keeping showers to a minimum, watering your garden and lawn every few days rather than daily. Water for shorter periods: set your system to run for three five-minute intervals over a couple of hours as the soil absorbs more water than watering for 15 minutes continuously. Use a watering can, check hoses or taps for leaks and make sure sprinklers are watering the plants — not the driveway, footpath or buildings.

It is best not to irrigate between 6am–9am and 4pm–9pm and watering on cooler overcast days provide the best opportunity for the water to soak into the soil.