Wofford: Use rainfall to water plants

Published 12:04 am Saturday, June 18, 2011

Earlier this week, the City of Andalusia instituted a voluntary odd/even outdoor watering system to conserve water in this summer’s drought.

Those whose last names begin in the letter A through M, are asked to limit all outdoor water use to even calendar days. Those whose last names begin in the letter n through z, are asked to limit all outdoor water use to odd calendar days. All residents are asked to refrain from outdoor watering on Sundays.

City Clerk John Thompson said the city also is reducing its water consumption.

“Our projects are cut back to no more than every other day, and not on Sundays,” he said. Some of the city’s landscaping will be watered on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, while others will be watered on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

“There is nothing like a drought to make you appreciate water,” said Janet Wofford of the Clean Water Partnership. Wofford was busy setting out five gallon buckets to collect rainwater Friday afternoon so that she could follow the city’s new guidelines and still water her flowers.

In light of those new limits, she offered these tips for outdoor water conservation:

• Water lawns, gardens, and flowers during early morning hours when temperatures and wind speed are lowest. This will reduce loss due to evaporation.

• Mulch gardens/flowerbeds with pine straw, leaves, grass clippings, etc; this will retain moisture, plus it helps control weeds which compete with plants for water and nutrients.

• Attach timer to sprinklers or garden hoses — an unattended garden hose can pour more than 600 gallons in just a few hours.

• Wash your vehicle on grassy areas rather than on your driveway or street—this serves multiple purposes, the grass gets the use of the water while at the same time filtering the gas and oil contaminants from runoff.

• Repair or replace leaky faucets/garden hoses.

• Always “recycle” water rather than pouring down drain—use to water plants/grass.

• Harvest rainwater using buckets or a rain barrel.

Wofford plans to hold a “make and take” rain barrel workshop in Andalusia this summer.

For more information, contact her at 334-222-3271 or janetwofford@andycable.com.