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 July: .00 inches

This July so far: 0.05 inches

Chinook salmon and steelhead return numbersFish numbers in the Walla Walla River counted at Nursery Street Bridge in Milton Freewater, as of June 26, 2020, are Spring Chinook, 78, and Steelhead, 179.

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

Water usage

This week’s average water use by all city customers: 16.91 million gallons per day.

Last week’s average water use: 16.27 million gallons per day. Third week of July 2019 average water use: 15.79 million gallons per day.

Water use guidelines

For the week of July 9 – July 15, precipitation was 0.05 inches and turf grass in the area used 1.57 inches of moisture, according to WSU AgWeathernet data. Home irrigators should have run spray type sprinklers five times for 13 minutes and rotor type sprinklers five times for 46 minutes. Calculations are based on average precipitation rates, please adjust for local conditions.

Yard care and water savings tips

Washing a sidewalk or driveway with a hose uses about 50 gallons of water every 5 minutes.

Watering in the morning minimizes evaporation and ensures more sprinkler water contacts the plants. Early morning is better than dusk since it helps preventing the growth of fungus.

Check your automated sprinklers occasionally to ensure they are functioning properly and are on a proper time schedule. Periodically turn your system on and observe it through all the cycles to find any leaks, broken sprinklers or those out of adjustment. Are there brown spots that are not receiving water? If so, a sprinkler may need to be replaced or adjusted.

Remember that not all brown spots in your lawn are caused from lack of water. If you have distinct irregularly shaped brown spots, the symptoms are most severe in late summer, and the section of dead turf can be pulled up easily, the problem is probably grubs, a beetle larva. They feed on your turf’s root system and kill it. If you question what is causing your turf problem, contact your local Extension County Office or a local nursery professional. They will probably want to see a sample of your turf.

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