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Posted on: June 9, 2023

City Council Encourages Water Conservation

Ridgefield City Council values water as a precious limited resource and is committed to water conservation efforts. With this in mind, City Council changed the water utility rate structure that reflect the priority of water conservation. Each summer we see a significant increase in water consumption due to irrigation efforts. By changing the water rate structure, Council hopes to encourage users to think strategically about how much and when they water lawns and gardens.

The new rate structure adds an additional usage tier and adjusts the existing usage rates. Users that keep consumption under 3500 cubic feet per 2-month cycle will save on their water bills, while those using higher amounts will pay more.

View the Rate Structure (PDF)

Check Your Water Consumption

Within the new rate structure, households that keep consumption under 3,500 cubic feet per 2-month cycle will save money. To check if you fall within that category, take a look at your most recent paper statement or login to online account management.

  • On your paper statement, you can see current and prior year usage on the left-hand side midway down the bill. The usage graph is labeled with the number 5 on this Understanding Your Bill graphic (PDF). The dark black column identifies usage for the previous year, the grey the current year. As a reminder, under 3,500 will save money.
  • In online account management login, or create an account using your last name and account number, and click on "Usage" from the menu. Here you can view usage for past years and the current year for each billing cycle. 

Screen capture of where to view past water usage in online utility account management.

Get Started Conserving Water

You can make simple changes around your home that save hundreds of gallons of water a week, which may represent significant financial savings in your utility bills. To get started, here are some every day and long-term water conservation tips:

Irrigation Efficiency

First, please consider if you need to continue watering all areas. If you must continue watering, check that you are not over-watering.

Make sure there are no leaks in your irrigation system and that you are not watering a driveway, sidewalk, or street. Adjust settings to follow the odd/even watering program:

  • If the last digit of your house number is ODD water on Sunday, Tuesday, and Thursday.
  • If the last digit of your house number is EVEN water on Saturday, Monday, and Wednesday.
  • Friday is a non-watering day.

Timing: Water in two 7-minute intervals, one in the morning and one in the evening, or 14 minutes in the morning or evening. Avoid watering during the middle of the day to reduce evaporation. Established grass only needs about an inch of water per week.

More tips for irrigation:

  • Water efficiently using a drip system or a sprinkler with a low application rate and check for even coverage.
  • When watering by hand, turn your spigot on halfway.
  • Make sure there are no slight drips coming from your hose bibs when shut off.
  • If you have difficulty setting or reprogramming your irrigation system, look online for instructions from the manufacturer. If you still cannot reschedule, consider switching to manual operation.
  • Consider installing a smart irrigation controller that utilizes weather data to determine irrigation needs.

Water Efficiency in your Yard

  • Ensure there are no leaks in pools, hot tubs, and water features.
  • Go native. Use native or Pacific Northwest-friendly plants and trees in your yard instead of green lawn. Native plants are suited to our seasonal weather and more disease and insect-resistant. Explore resources for planting Native Plants.
  • Plant in the spring or fall, when watering requirements are lower.
  • Improve your soil by working organic materials, such as peat moss or compost, into the soil to help retain water. Consider aerating your lawn to help it retain water. Review tips for a more eco-friendly lawn.
  • Apply mulch around plants and trees to retain moisture and inhibit weed growth. See how to best use soil, compost, and mulch in your yard.
  • Use a broom or electric leaf blower, not a hose, to clean driveways, sidewalks, and porches. This conserves water and avoids run off that travels to our rivers and streams.
  • If possible, use a car wash to wash your vehicle. If you must wash at home, rinse your car once, wash from a bucket, and rinse quickly again. Be sure to use a shut-off nozzle on your hose.
  • Collect rain water in a barrel and use it to water your garden. 
  • Use porous materials for walkways and patios to keep water in your yard and prevent wasteful runoff.

Water Efficiency Indoors

Get the whole family involved! Teach kids the importance of conserving natural resources such as fresh water.

  • Don’t use the toilet as a wastebasket. Each flush wastes water.
  • Check toilets and faucets for leaks and fix any problems immediately. A leaky faucet, dripping once per second, wastes six gallons of water a day.
  • Run your dishwasher only when it’s full. Dishwashers are more water efficient than hand washing.
  • Wash only full loads of laundry or use the proper water level setting for your load size.
  • Don’t leave the water running when brushing your teeth or shaving. With the tap running at full force, shaving takes 20 gallons of water, teeth-brushing takes 10.
  • Take shorter showers or use less water in your bath. A full bathtub requires about 36 gallons of water. A five-minute shower using a water-conserving showerhead will use just 15 to 25 gallons.
  • Consider installing water-efficient toilets, faucets and showerheads as a water-saving investment. When buying new water-using appliances, purchase one with water conservation features.
  • Use the sink garbage disposal sparingly. Better yet, compost your vegetable waste.

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