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Take a Winter Holiday from Watering

Know when to turn it off. You’ve seen it emblazoned across billboards throughout San Antonio: SAWS’ reminder of the day and times we’re allowed to water. But this time of year that’s even easier to remember because you can consider turning it off for the entire winter!

For those of you who hand water or use hose-end sprinklers, that’s pretty straightforward. But for those with automatic sprinkler systems, it means going to the controller and simply turning it off.

Some compelling reasons why you should:

  • Seasonal variability – Most plants are dormant and need very little to no water to survive the winter. Even evergreen plants need minimal water this time of year.
  • Winter averaging – SAWS bases its residential sewer service fee on average water use in the winter months when outdoor watering needs are at their lowest. Using less water this winter may actually lower your water bill next year.
  • Shared responsibility – We always face the possibility of Stage Three restrictions being implemented if drought conditions persist and the aquifer level drops below 640 feet.

Automatic sprinkler systems make it is easy to set it and forget it, but at this time of year that can be a wasteful and costly convenience. Turn off your system and use it manually on those few occasions when watering is recommended.

Juan Soulas
Juan Soulas
Juan Soulas is a conservation planner for San Antonio Water System. Since joining SAWS in 2007 his duties have focused on residential water use. He works with his Conservation colleagues to help customers find ways to reduce outdoor usage without compromising the health and aesthetic quality of their landscapes. Juan also coordinates engaging outreach efforts with SAWS’ conservation partners -- Bexar County Master Gardeners, Gardening Volunteers of South Texas, San Antonio Botanical Garden and Mitchell Lake Audubon Center – to increase community access to vital conservation information.
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