Walla Walla Water Watcher

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Facts and tips on water usage and conservation are presented weekly by the city of Walla Walla, in partnership with Walla Walla Community College and the Walla Walla Union-Bulletin.

Precipitation and moisture

  • Last May: 1.50 inches.
  • This May so far: 1.23 inches.
  • Soil moisture content: Normal.


Water usage

  • This week's average water use by all city customers: 14.45 million gallons per day
  • Last week's average water use: 13.78 million gallons per day.


Water use guidelines

For the week of May 15-21, precipitation was 1.07 inches and turf grass in the area used 1.28 inches of moisture, according to WSU AgWeathernet data. Home irrigators should have run spray-type systems one time a week for 9 minutes or rotor-type systems one time a week for 31.5 minutes.

Yard care and water savings tips

Put plastic bottles or float booster in your toilet tank. To cut down on water waste, put an inch or two of sand or pebbles inside each of two plastic bottles to weigh them down. Fill the bottles with water, screw the lids on, and put them in your toilet tank, safely away from the operating mechanisms. Or, buy an inexpensive tank bank or float booster. This may save ten or more gallons of water per day. Be sure at least 3 gallons of water remain in the tank so it will flush properly

Insulate your water pipes. It's easy and inexpensive to insulate your water pipes with pre-slit foam pipe insulation. You'll get hot water faster plus avoid wasting water while it heats up.

Take shorter showers. One way to cut down on water use is to turn off the shower after soaping up, then turn it back on to rinse. A four-minute shower uses approximately 20 to 40 gallons of water.

Put a layer of mulch around trees and plants. Mulch will slow evaporation of moisture while discouraging weed growth. Adding 2 - 4 inches of organic material such as compost or bark mulch will increase the ability of the soil to retain moisture. Press the mulch down around the dripline of each plant to form a slight depression which will prevent or minimize water runoff.

Recommended sprinkler run times are based on average precipitation rates of 1.5 inches an hour for sprays and .4 inches an hour for rotors. Adjust accordingly for your own application.

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