Walla Walla Water Watcher - 6/28/13

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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 Union-Bulletin.

Precipitation and moisture

Last June: 3.40 inches

This June so far: 1.62 inches

Soil moisture content: Normal

Chinook salmon return numbers

Fish numbers in the Walla Walla River counted at Nursery Street Bridge in Milton Freewater, as of June 27, 2013, are Spring Chinook 74, Steelhead 547.

Data collected by The Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Reservation Department of Natural Resources; funding provided by Bonneville Power Administration.

Water usage

This week’s average water use by all city customers: 14.13 million gallons per day. Last week’s average water use: 17.25 million gallons per day.

Water use guidelines

For the week of June 21-27, precipitation was 0.86 inches and turf grass in the area used 1.02 inches of moisture, according to WSU AgWeathernet data. Home irrigators should have run spray type sprinklers 1 time for 7 minutes and rotor type sprinklers 1 times for 24 minutes this week. Calculations are based on average precipitation rates, please adjust for local conditions.

Yard care and water savings tips

Part Two of Think twice before using pesticides.

If a pest or weed problem develops, use the least toxic solution.

Physical controls like traps, barriers, fabric row covers, or repellants may work for pests.

Long handled weed pullers pop dandelions out easily.

Mulching once a year reduces weeds in beds.

Less toxic products like soaps, horticultural oils, and plant-based insecticides that work for many problems are now available.

Beneficial insects that prey on problem bugs are available for sale, or you can attract these “good bugs” by planting a variety of plants that provide pollen and nectar all year.

Use chemical pesticides as the last resort. If you must use a chemical pesticide, use the least toxic product, and spot apply it — don’t spread it all over the yard to kill a few weeds or bugs. You want to apply pesticides only when and where you really have a problem. Follow label instructions exactly — more is not better and be sure to keep children and pets out of application areas.

Replace problem plants with pest resistant ones for a healthier, easier to care for yard. If a plant, even a tree, has insect pest or disease problems every year, it’s time to replace it with a more tolerant variety or another type of plant that doesn’t have these problems.

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