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The Great American Cleanup

Clean Water & WaterwaysYard & Landscaping

Conserving Water Outdoors

Our homes and yards are filled with helpful tools and simple reminders to use water wisely. The number of ways to save is almost as endless as the number of gallons we can conserve.


  • Many plant problems arise not from underwatering, but from overwatering.
  • An inefficient sprinkler can deliver as much as 300 gallons an hour onto a lawn. That’s no drop in the bucket!
  • During dry periods, landscape watering can consume up to 75% of a household’s total water bill.



  • Use a hose nozzle to turn water on and off when you wash your car or water plants.
  • Water at the right time of day. Watering when the sun is low, winds are calm and temperatures are cooler minimizes evaporation by as much as 30%. The best time to water is during early morning hours.
  • Adjust your watering schedule to the season.
  • Install a rain barrel to collect rainwater, and use it to water your lawn and garden or wash your car.
  • Install water-efficient drip irrigation systems for your landscape.
  • Make sure you’re not sending water down the drain. Set sprinklers to water plants, not your driveway, sidewalk, patio, or buildings.

Planting Responsibly

  • Add organic materials, like compost, to planted beds to improve their ability to hold water and air.
  • Plant native plants. They have lower water and fertilizer requirements and fewer pest problems, than exotic or non-native plants.
  • When using non-native plants, choose those labeled as drought tolerant. This includes:
    • bulbs or rhizomes like daffodils, canna lilies and irises
    • plants with thick, fleshy leaves (like ice plant, sedum and portulaca) or thin, narrow leaves (like butterfly weed and most herbs)
    • plants with hairy foliage (like lamb’s ear)
    • grasses from sandy, coastal areas
  • Plan your landscape for the most efficient water use by grouping plants with similar watering needs.
  • Keep areas clear of weeds that rob your plants of water.
  • Reduce areas of thirsty turf grass by adding more mulched beds. Mulch not only helps plants retain moisture, but helps minimize weeds and keeps plants cool!

For all you need to know about conserving water, visit Water Use It Wisely.


We live in a beautiful region surrounded by water. It impacts everything from the food we eat to the fun we have as well as our economic livelihood. Our daily actions have a lasting impact and it's up to us to protect and restore our waterways. It takes a community of individuals making small changes to make a difference. Bay Star Homes is one way you can get involved in the effort to protect our region's most defining natural resource, water.

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