// you’re reading...


why you shouldn’t be tempted to run the sprinkler this summer

WSA adsense code -->

If you’re a lucky, lucky person and you’re in the northern hemisphere then it’s not only the middle of summer, it’s also pretty hot. Out in the garden, people with grassy green lawns need to keep them well-watered if they want to maintain their looks, lots of plants appreciate a good drenching with the hose, and kids (big and small) like nothing better than cooling down in a whole heap of water.

Slight technical hitch is that this could work out pretty expensive. In locations where water is most wanted in the summer - hot, dry, dusty places - it’s also scarce. If you have a water meter fitted (as I do), then you are literally paying more for every single additional drop, and anything that uses a lot of water, is going to cost you more. From BWH Water:

We require customers using sprinklers or with swimming pools to have a meter. Garden sprinklers can use as much water in an hour as a family of four does in two days.

This is a fairly typical restriction. So, run your sprinkler overnight for 8 hours twice a week over the hottest summer months and you’ll be adding in the region of an extra 50% onto your annual water bill. Now, I do like a nice green lawn myself, but the thing is, it’ll grow back green again in the autumn - and lets not forget that if you live in an area with water supply issues then if people keep using hosepipes and sprinklers, there’s a good chance of severe water shortages. Which will work out expensive in the long run.

In the short-term, get a watering can for the garden, let the kids have a bucket of water and some sponges to play with and let the grass grow brown. If you want to make things better in the long term use plants in your garden which are adapted for drought, consider a smaller lawn, and promise the kids a trip to the nearest beach or lake for their water fun.

Similar Posts:

If you like what you're reading, why not leave a comment below, subscribe to my feed, or check out some of my best posts.


8 comments for “why you shouldn’t be tempted to run the sprinkler this summer”

  1. The one way this isn’t frugal is if you have a Home Owners Association that will fine you for having a brown lawn.

    I’ve never understood why people in my area put in grass that needs Seattle type rainfall, but I’m pretty sure I’ll be adding our household to the ranks of regular (I’m hoping weekly will work) waterers. In the coming years I also want to look into grass that is more drought resistant.

    Posted by sara l | July 16, 2008, 2:54 pm
  2. Shoot, I’m trying to kill my grass. We never water it, and yet it keeps trying to grow over the house anyway lol.

    Running toilets, and running the sink while you brush your teeth can also waste quite a bit of water each week.

    Posted by ConnieB | July 16, 2008, 3:38 pm
  3. @sara:
    Associations of that sort are extremely rare in the UK as the majority of housing stock is old. But yes, it’s true that getting fined is not usually a good way to save money. I think you’re right about choosing the right sort of plants, and of course there’s not brown, and there’s so green you need sunglasses.

    I’m pretty careful these days about switching the tap off when I’m brushing my teeth. But both taps in the kitchen drip, which is both annoying, and also wastes water. Not sure how to fix them though.

    Posted by plonkee | July 16, 2008, 4:02 pm
  4. I remember all the hosepipe bans, I think that was when I was first aware of limiting my water use (although I do love a long shower).
    As for the dripping taps- if you are feeling the DIY vibe, B&Q’s website has a knowledge centre that I have used before with success. Also youtube is full of DIY how-to videos.

    Posted by Looby | July 16, 2008, 4:18 pm
  5. It’s funny actually, I honestly can’t remember the last time I saw a sprinkler on a lawn here in Australia. We’ve had water restrictions for so long, even seeing someone use a hose at all is a source of interest!

    Posted by DebtDieter | July 16, 2008, 6:10 pm
  6. My husband is an absolute divil for this. As well as expensive it’s a terrible waste of water, but he’s not having it. We’re on a pretty laid back street, but all the men love to compare lawns (make of that what you will).

    Posted by guinness416 | July 17, 2008, 12:03 am
  7. This is very good advice, especially with the green movement that is going on right now. If more people use the tips in this article not only will there water bills be lower, but the environment will also benefit. Hopefully more people will decrease the habits which deplete the environment.

    Posted by CreditSider | July 22, 2008, 5:10 am

Post a comment

Proud member of the