It may seem a little strange thinking of water stewardship on the heels of the recent rain, but soon clouds will give way to soaring temperatures and dry conditions. That's where Stephanie Zavala and Arianne Shipley, Public Education Specialists for the City of Mansfield Water Utilities, enter.
The dynamic duo of H2O wants residents to know that July is Smart Irrigation Month.
"The goal is to encourage efficient irrigation," Zavala said. "It means teaching people how to do quick fixes to their system that are pretty easy."
Shipley said one on those easy things is changing the frequency and amount of time your irrigation system operates.
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"You just have to remember to do it," Shipley said. "Ideally, it would become so ingrained that people would adjust sprinklers to how much rain we have received, or not received."
She said the Tarrant Regional Water District (TRWD) publishes a weekly watering advisory online based on rain/moisture data.
"The website tells Mansfield residents how much to water during the week," Shipley said. "Residents can decide if they want to water all at once or spread it out over the week."
The information can be found at waterisawesome.com, hosted by TRWD.
"At the beginning of the week it will give residents a map pinpointing your area," Zavala said. "Information is so precise that it will tell you how long to run your system based on the type sprinkler head you have. [TRWD] tries to make it as easy as possible because it can be complicated."
She said studies show that lawns in the area only need an inch of water during the week; even during the hottest months.
"Now if you've been watering a lot don't go ‘cold turkey' and cut back all at once," she said. "Make it gradual so not to stress your lawn."
Shipley said as the temperatures get hotter, it's always good to remember to not water from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. because of evaporation.
The city has also partnered with W.I.S.E Guys to offer free irrigation evaluations to residents using licensed irrigators that have gone through a rigorous vetting and training program. The link to the free WISE guys evaluation is http://www.vepollc.com/wise_request_gis.aspx?wid=1069
"They'll go through your entire system and help you figure out what works best for the Mansfield residents," Shipley added. "They are very helpful."
Lance Winter: 817-390-7274
DIY Sprinkler Expo
Saturday, July 8, 9 a.m. – 12 p.m. FREE
Water Works Learning Center located at 1801 Circle Dr., Fort Worth (Just off I-20 and Campus Drive)
Sprinkler Demo Stations
▪ Sprinkler System 101; Setting Your Controller; Drip Conversion; Simple Repairs; Efficiency Retrofits; Installing/Testing Sensors
SmartScape Talks With Master Gardeners
Landscape Design – 9:30 a.m.; Plant Selection – 10 a.m.; Improving Soil & Maintenance – 10:30 a.m.; Ask a Master Gardener – 11 a.m.
Demonstration Garden Tours
Free water efficient tool-kits
Sponsors: City of Mansfield, City of Arlington, City of Fort Worth, TRWD, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension, Tarrant County Master Gardener Association