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Watering Schedule Saves Electricity

June 30, 2012, 6:00 PM by Peggy Moyer

Watering Schedule Saves Electricity

A lack of rain and sizzling summer temps are sending homeowners running for their sprinklers.

Sioux Falls restricts lawn watering to even and odd numbered days, depending on your house number and never between noon and 5 p.m. But the rules were created to conserve more than just water.

"It has more to do with conservation and saving on electrical usage as it does conserving water," Sioux Falls Water Superintendent Greg Anderson said.

The city pumps around 42 million gallons of water a day. Every time the city has to start up another pump, it’s an automatic $5,000 to $7,000 for the electricity alone.

There are a couple different tools you can use at your house. Certain measuring cups will help you measure how much water your sprinkler system puts out. Public Works says about an inch a week on a lawn is enough to suffice. Another thing is a spray nozzle for the end of your hose. That way you're only using water when you need it.

Sioux Falls resident Henry Poletes doesn't mind dragging out this sprinkler and hose every other day as long as it means the city won't have to go into a total water ban.

"It's just a minor annoyance that people can live with. I'd rather have that than no control over the use of the water," Poletes said.

The city pays around $1.2 million for the electricity to run the water department each year. Anderson says when the city saves money, water customers save money, too.

Review the city's water conservation rules online. The water department also gives out packets of information with tips on how to conserve water that include a hose nozzle and low-flow shower head.

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