Lawn & Landscaping
Does your water bill seem unusually high in the summertime? It’s not uncommon due to all the outdoor water uses we have. Summertime water bills tend to be especially high if you’re trying to keep your lawn lush and green.
Lawn and garden experts suggest that our lawns need about an inch of water a week. If you want to put an inch of water down on an 8,000 square foot yard, you will use about 5,000 gallons of water.
If we’re experiencing drought (little to no rainfall) and you water an inch a week for several weeks, your water bill could be 4 to 5 times higher than usual.
What You Pay for
When you water your lawn, you pay:
- For the water
- For wastewater treatment
- For sewer maintenance (Hampton, Newport News and James City County sewer maintenance charges are based on the amount of water used)
The bottom line is this, if you’re watering your lawn an inch a week, your costs could be between $50 and $60 per week. In an average 8 week billing cycle, you could be paying nearly $500 just to keep your grass green.
New Lawns / Reseeding / Landscaping Beds
As you prepare to install or reseed your lawn or revitalize your landscaping beds, we urge you to keep the following in mind:
- Plant water-conserving turf grass such as Centipede, Zoysia or Bermuda. These types are best for conserving water and are drought-resistant - and they do well in our area.
- Plant drought-tolerant and/or native plants for greater resiliency during drought. Try Crepe Myrtle, Japanese Holly and Black Eyed Susans. For a complete list, check out Hampton Roads Water Wise Landscaping Guide
- Check your soil! Carefully prepared plant beds can reduce water usage by almost half. Good soil absorbs and holds moisture better and encourages plants to grow deep roots so they are more drought resistant.
- Mulch well around plants, bushes and trees. Using 2 to 4 inches of mulch reduces evaporation, moderates highs and lows in soil temperature, improves water penetration and helps control weeds that compete for water.
- Hydro-zone your yard by grouping plants together that have the same level of watering need. Separate plants from grass which have different water requirements.
- Plant shade trees that create natural “air conditioning.” The shade they cast lowers air and soil temperatures which reduce soil moisture loss.
- Maintain your yard regularly. A well-maintained yard requires less water.
- Get to know your sprinkler or your irrigation system. Check out these important watering tips (PDF).
Download a Hampton Roads Water Wise Landscaping Guide. Or pick up a copy from our Customer Service Center at 700 Town Center Drive in city Center at Oyster Point.
Visit the askHRGreen website for more tips on how to be water wise.
Green lawns are great and some homeowners associations actually require them. You owe it to yourself, and your wallet, to manage your lawn care wisely. Plant wisely, water wisely and maintain wisely.