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Renton Celebrates Drinking Water Week, Encourages Conservation and Natural Yard Care

May 4, 2010

For more information contact:

Gregg Zimmerman, Public Works Administrator, 425-430-7311
Preeti Shridhar, Communications Director, 425-430-6569

City asks citizens to help protect and conserve water supplies

RENTON:  In an effort to celebrate the city’s supply of clean water and to encourage all citizens to help “Beat the Peak” of high summer water use, Renton Mayor Denis Law proclaimed the week of May 3-7, 2010, to be National Drinking Water Week in recognition of our most valuable resource.

During the regularly scheduled City Council meeting Monday, May 3, the Mayor encouraged citizens to help protect our source water from pollution, to practice water conservation and reduce our summer water consumption, and to get involved in local water issues.

“We are very fortunate here in Renton to have an abundant supply of clean water,” said Mayor Law, “but even we need to conserve water during the hot summer months when our water supplies are stretched thin. I would ask every citizen to help us conserve water whenever and however they can.”

Water consumption during the summer months nearly doubles, with most of the extra water used for watering lawns and gardens.  Water use peaks between 6:00 and 9:00 a.m., and again between 6:00 and 9:00 p.m.  When many people are using water at the same time, water demand strains the water system’s ability to supply and deliver the water.

Citizens are asked to help beat both the seasonal peak by using less water and the time-of-day peak by changing the time of day it is used.  Watering after 9:00 p.m. and before 6:00 a.m. reduces the time-of-day peak strain on our water infrastructure and saves water by reducing evaporation losses.

In addition to reducing overall water usage, here are five easy steps that will help conserve and protect the city’s water supplies and create a beautiful yard and garden:

  • Build healthy soil with compost and mulch – feed your soil with compost, make compost at home, mulch your soil, and use organic fertilizers.
  • Plant right for your site – pick plants that resist pests, group plants by their needs for water sun and soil, give plants a good start, and make space for wildlife by using trees and native plants.
  • Practice smart watering – moisten the whole root zone then let dry out before watering again, make every drop count, test and adjust automatic irrigation systems annually, don’t water if it has rained recently, and let the rain soak by directing downspouts out into lawns or beds.
  • Reduce use of all pesticides – select disease-resistant plants and pull weeds by hand before they spread; most bugs are good bugs so identify the problem before you spray, squash or stomp; give natural predators time to control pests; select less toxic control methods; and replace problem plants with more pest-resistant ones.
  • Practice natural lawn care – mow higher and leave clippings; fertilize moderately in May and September with “natural organic” or “slow release” fertilizers; water deeply but infrequently; improve lawns with aeration, overseeding and top-dressing with compost; think twice before using “weed and feed” or other pesticides; and consider alternatives to lawns for steep slopes, shady areas or near streams and lakes.