Voluntary watering schedule starts June 1 in Blaine and Birch Bay

By Oliver Lazenby

The city of Blaine and the Birch Bay Water and Sewer District both have instituted voluntary watering schedules that begin June 1 and last through September 15.

In both areas, residents with odd-numbered street addresses are asked to limit watering to Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays. Even addresses are asked to water on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays. Monday is designated as a non-watering day to allow reservoirs to recover after the weekend, when water use typically spikes.

The schedule helps reduce impacts to city and district water supplies during the season when customers use the most water.

“A chief concern during these peak-use periods is maintaining adequate water pressure for basic functions such as toilet flushing and providing water for firefighting,” the Birch Bay Water and Sewer District said on its website.

Water usage in Whatcom County almost doubles in the summer, and 80 to 90 percent of that increase is for lawns, plants and gardens, according to the Whatcom Water Alliance, a regional water conservation group. Water districts and municipalities throughout Whatcom County implement voluntary watering schedules between June 1 and September 15.

Additional tips for reducing outdoor watering:

Water deeply but infrequently. This helps build deeper, more resilient root systems. 

Water in the morning. When the temperatures are cooler, less water is lost to evaporation.

Lawns don’t actually need to be watered. A dormant lawn will recover when rain and cooler temperatures return.

If you have to, water an inch per week. Lawns only need three-quarters of an inch to 1 inch of water per week to grow and stay green (this can be measured with a shallow container on the lawn).

Adjust your lawnmower to a higher setting. Longer grass shades root systems, allowing soil to retain moisture for longer.

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