Outdoor Watering & Landscape Maintence
- Evaporative coolers require a seasonal maintenance check-up. For more water efficient cooling, check yours annually.
- When washing the car, use soap and water from a bucket. Use a hose with a shut-off nozzle for the final rinse.
- Use a broom, not a hose, when cleaning your driveway and sidewalks.
- Insulate your water pipes. You'll get hot water faster, and avoid wasting water while it heats up.
- Check for hidden leaks. Read your water meter before and after a two-hour period when no water is being used. If the meter does not read exactly the same, you have a leak.
- If you have a well, check your pump periodically. Listen to hear if the pump kicks on and off while water is not being used. If it does, you have a leak.
Low Water Landscaping
For more information on landscaping or to schedule a tour of our Low Water Use Demonstration Garden, call 777-1115.
If you have a lawn, chances are that this is your biggest water use. Typically, at least 50% of water consumed by households is used outdoors.
- Adjust sprinklers so only the lawn is watered, not the house, sidewalk or street.
- Don't water on windy days.
- Water your lawn every third day in the summer. Always water during the cool time of day to minimize evaporation-early morning or late evening is best.
- A heavy rain means you don't have to water at all.
- For landscaping use native or other low-water use trees, shrubs and plants.
- Minimize grass areas in your yard-less grass means less water.
- Using a layer of mulch around plants reduces evaporation and promotes plant growth.
- When mowing, raise the blades level to its highest level. Close cut grass makes the roots work harder, requiring more water.
- Plan and design your landscaping area - evaluate your site and inventory existing plants.
- Evaluate your turf area - identify drainage problems.
- Use efficient irrigation methods - make appropriate seasonal adjustments. Remember not to water on windy days, and water only during the cool times of the day.
- Use soil amendments - This allows for better water absorption and holding capacity.
- Use mulches - mulches include rock, decomposed granite and wood chips.
- Incorporate low-water use plants - Consider using wildflower seeds.
- Appropriate maintenance - This includes proper pruning, weeding, fertilization and irrigation system adjustments.
Hints for Trees
For established low water use trees, the watering is based upon 2 gallon per hour emitters, 6-10 emitters per tree. Duration of watering time is 3 to 5 hours under the canopy line, subject to soil conditions.
- During the winter months, water once per month if no supplemental rain is received.
- During the spring and fall months, water twice per month.
- For the summer months, water once per week depending on temperatures.
Hints for Shrubs and Groundcover
Watering is based upon 2 gallon per hour emitters, 1 to 2 emitters per plant, for 2 to 3 hours.
- During winter months, water once to twice per month.
- During spring and fall months, water once per week.
- For the summer months, water once to two times per week depending on temperatures.
Hints for Turf
The following information is based on watering established turf for a duration of approximately 30 minutes.
- During the winter months, water dormant turf once per month if no supplemental rain is received.
- Established winter rye-water once to twice per week.
- During the spring and fall months, water twice per week.
- For the summer months, water three times per week depending on temperatures.
Hints For Planting Wildflowers
- Spring bloomers are best planted in the fall, and plant summer bloomers prior to the monsoon season.
- Choose a sunny site.
- Loosen the soil surface with a rake or a trowel.
- Mix wildflower seeds with soil, sand or mulch.
- Distribute seed mix evenly over the planting site.
- Keep seeds moist for a few weeks to facilitate seed germination.
- Once seedlings are established, occasional irrigation will help promote successful flowering.
“Water Smart” Plan your garden for the spring. Save water and money and plant low water use plants.
- 2012 Vintage Water Smart Cards (pdf, 1113.7 kb)
- 2012 Water Smart Irrigation Card (pdf, 1267.6 kb)
- A Guide to Water Conservation in the Landscape (pdf, 1321.5 kb)
A Public Works Water Smart Brochure
- Firewise and Water Smart Landscape Plants (pdf, 2414.3 kb)
- Low Water Use Drought Tolerant Plant List (pdf, 167.1 kb)
Official Regulatory list for the Arizona Department of Water Resources, Prescott Active Managment Area.
- Water Smart Cards - Water Smart Garden Planning (pdf, 2587.8 kb)
Water Smart Plan your garden for the spring. Save water and money and plant low water use plants. These Water Smart Cards include water conservation guidelines for saving water inside and outdoors. Collect all 12 in your monthly utility bill.
- Watering Guidelines for Plant and Lawn Irrigation (pdf, 120.2 kb)
Remember, outdoor water requirements change throughout the growing season. Do your part and use our water smart.
- Xeriscape- Landscaping with Style in the Arizona Desert
A Guide by the Arizona Municipal Water Users Association – AMWUA
- Northern Arizona Lawn Watering Values
Use this area weather resource to determine water needs of turf lawns.
Effective April 15th through November 1st of each year, the Time of Day Watering Ordinace No. 4536 is in effect. Outdoor watering which uses spray or other airborne irrigation shall be permitted only between the hours of 8:00 PM and 8:00 AM.
Reporting Time of Day Watering Violations
Contact us (anonymously if desired) in one of two ways:
By using Code Enforcement Online Complaint Form
By calling our complaint line at 928-777-1319
- Drip Irrigation Guide (pdf, 1545.6 kb)
- Drip Irrigation Scheduling (pdf, 445.4 kb)
- Landscape Watering by the Numbers, a Guide for the AZ Desert (pdf, 2253.9 kb)
There are a number of ways to save water, and they all start with you.
- Watering Trees and Shrubs- AZ1298 (pdf, 2638.3 kb)
Simple techniques for efficient landscape watering
Save thousands of gallons of water and begin installing your water harvesting system before our seasonal monsoons arrive.
- Harvesting Rainwater For Landscape Use (pdf, 909.2 kb)
University of Arizona, Patricia Waterfall, Second Edition, October 2004
- Rainwater Harvesting Resources (pdf, 276.0 kb)
Rainwater wisdom and water conservation resource links
- State of Georgia Rainwater Harvesting Guidelines and Information (pdf, 1923.6 kb)
Guide for those involved in design, construction, inspection, and maintenance of rainwater harvesting systems.
- Weather Station Data for Prescott, AZ - westside of Watson Lake (pdf, 1341.4 kb)
A local resource for ETo efficient irrigation in practice. sponsored by a partnership project with Yavapai County, Cooperative Extension and The City of Prescott Water Smart program.
- Harvesting Rainwater Calculator
Figure your water saving potential- external link not assosciated with the City