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Middleton: Conserve Water During Drought Conditions and Preserve City Trees

Posted Thursday, July 12, 2012 --- 2:32 p.m.

Press Release from the City of Middleton:

Conserve Water During Drought Conditions and Preserve City Trees

As the current heat and dry conditions continue, the City of Middleton is urging residents to be proactive in helping to manage our water resources. Although the Middleton Water Utility is currently meeting the increased demand, the City urges residents to be smart about how they use water in their homes and yards, using common sense and best practices to avoid water waste.

The City of Middleton encourages private water users to hold off on flushing private mains until the dry spell eases and the Highland Way water tower is back in service.

Important ways to conserve water:

Unless you have a newly sodded or seeded lawn, please refrain from watering it. Established, healthy lawns can survive several weeks of dormancy during summer with little or no water. If your garden needs water, you can limit loss to evaporation by watering early in the morning or later in the evening. If watering, please make sure you are not watering your driveway or the street.

Inside the home, operate automatic dishwashers and clothes washers only when they are fully loaded, or set the water level for the size of load you are using.

Repair leaks in fixtures such as toilets and faucets and avoid letting the water run unnecessarily for other household uses in the kitchen and bathroom.

For additional specific suggestions on how to conserve water at home and at work, please visit the following websites:

http://wateruseitwisely.com/100-ways-to-conserve/

http://environment.nationalgeographic.com/environment/freshwater/water-conservation-tips/

http://www.treehugger.com/htgg/how-to-go-green-water.html

Tree maintenance:

Please continue to help preserve the health of Middleton trees by watering them until the dry and hot weather ceases, especially especially small trees planted within the past 2-3 years.

How do you know if your tree needs water?

Brown grass, dry soil, wilting leaves, browning of leaf edges, and dropping of leaves can all indicate water stress.

If there has been less than 1" of rain during the previous week, it is a safe assumption that your tree could use some additional water.

Watering Recommendations:

Homeowners should quench tree roots with either two five-gallon buckets of water or with 30 to 45 minutes of slowly running hose water. When pouring from buckets, please apply water slowly at the base of the trees so it can penetrate the soil within the root zone.

When watering with a hose, please make sure that the hose bibb (the on/off spout on the side of your home) has a vacuum breaker to prevent contamination of the City’s water supply. You may call the Water Utility at 821-8370 with any questions or get information on the City web site:

http://www.ci.middleton.wi.us/City/Departments/works/Water%20Utilty/PDF/CrossConnectionBrochure.pdf

It's better to water trees deeply and less frequently than lightly sprinkling them daily.

Water in the early morning or evening to minimize water loss from evaporation.

Place mulch around the base of trees to help retain soil moisture and keep soil temperatures down.

Remember, trees provide numerous benefits to urban communities; cooling shade, improved air quality, increased property values, and storm water infiltration just to name a few.


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