In honor of Smart Irrigation Month, Centennial Water and Sanitation District reminds Highlands Ranch residents of useful tips and tricks to save water and money.
“Property owners and managers sometimes over-water, unintentionally wasting money every time they take out the hose or turn on sprinklers,” a July 3 news release from Centennial Water says.
The Irrigation Association, a national advocacy and membership organization for people in the irrigation industry, started Smart Irrigation Month, a public awareness campaign, to promote efficient water use.
Centennial Water has been serving Highlands Ranch for more than three decades, with 90% of water coming from renewable river supplies, according to its website.
The local water district advocates for water efficiency throughout the year, but specifically collaborates with the Irrigation Association during July, Colorado's warmest month.
Leading by example
Centennial Water follows a number of practices to ensure the community's water supply is used wisely.
Those practices include utilizing high-efficiency rotary nozzles, which use 20% to 30% less water than traditional nozzles by slowly delivering multiple rotating streams instead of a fixed stream.
The water district also promotes a process called cycle and soak, which applies water in three, shorter cycles, allowing the water to seep into the soil, “promoting healthier plants and landscape and eliminating water runoff.”
Soil in Highlands Ranch has high clay content, meaning its water capacity is reached very quickly, sometimes as fast as five minutes, according to Thomas Riggle, Centennial Water's water conservation and efficiency coordinator.
“Once soil reaches its water capacity, it can no longer hold water, which results in runoff,” Riggle said in the release. “Therefore watering for multiple, shorter periods of time is more effective and promotes healthier plants and soil.”
Centennial Water strives to educate community members on the history of water in Highlands Ranch and how to implement best water conservation practices. Schools, businesses and organizations can request a visit from a water ambassador or Centennial Water staff member at centennialwater.org/water-conservation/education-opportunities. The water expert will go over local water challenges and solutions.
Centennial Water offers a number of incentive programs that reward residents for their water conservation efforts.
Piloted in 2018, the turf replacement program offers a rebate of $1 per square foot —with a $1,000 maximum — to residents who replace water-intensive plants, such as Kentucky Bluegrass, with xeric or drought-tolerant vegetation, such as bee balm, aster, coneflower, sunflower and marigold. Replacement with artificial turf or hardscape may be accepted but require further approval, according to Centennial Water.
Another program piloted in 2018 is the high-efficiency nozzle retrofit program. Residents may receive $1 for each traditional, fixed spray nozzle they replace with a rotary nozzle, which fits on most popup sprinkler heads.
To apply for an incentive program, visit centennialwater.org/water-conservation/incentive-programs. Staff members evaluate the programs to ensure cost effectiveness for all parties involved.
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