Outdoor Tips

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In Your Yard

water schedule

Follow El Paso's Odd/even watering schedule found here

Don't over-water

Most of us give our lawns more water than needed. Next time you turn on your sprinklers, place an empty tuna can in the yard. Once the can is full, you've given your lawn all the water it needs.

Watering plants

When it's windy, wait to water. During windy weather, more water evaporates and less gets to your grass or plants

Choosing plants

Choose water smart plants that are suited for the Chihuahuan Desert. Find dozens of beautiful trees, shrubs and grasses in the Desert Blooms landscaping guide.

Washing cars

Use an automatic shut-off nozzle on your hose to save hundreds of gallons of water while you wash your car. It’s the only way to wash your car at home, under El Paso's Water Conservation Ordinance.

irrigation system

Check your irrigation system for clogged, broken, or missing sprinkler heads. If you're not the do-it-yourself type, go with a pro —look for an irrigation professional.

Pipe leaks

Examine points where the sprinkler heads connect to pipes/hoses. If water is pooling in your landscape or you have large wet areas, you could have a leak in your system. A leak as small as the tip of a ballpoint pen (1/32nd of an inch) can waste about 6,300 gallons of water per month.


Direct your sprinklers to apply water only to your lawn or prized plants. Make sure you are not watering the driveway, house, or sidewalk.

Lawn mowing

Adjust your lawn mower to the height of 1.5 to 2 inches. Taller grass shades roots and holds soil moisture better than short grass.

lawn clippings

Leave lawn clippings to decompose on your grass. Clippings provide nutrients, help cool the ground and retain moisture. 

Aerate lawn

Aerate your lawn periodically to improve air flow and compaction. Holes every six inches will allow water to reach the roots, rather than run off the surface.

Dormant grass

Let your lawn go dormant (brown) during the winter. Dormant grass only needs to be watered every three to four weeks, less if it rains.


Remember to weed your lawn and garden regularly so that weeds don’t compete with other plants for nutrients and water.

Hire a pro

Hire a qualified professional to install your irrigation system and keep it working properly and efficiently. A licensed irrigator is the way to go!


Use fertilizers sparingly. While they promote plant growth, they also increase water consumption


community pools

Instead of building a private pool, join a community pool.

pool covers

Use a pool cover to help keep your pool clean, reduce chemical use and prevent water loss through evaporation.

recirculate pumps

Make sure your swimming pool, fountain and/or pond is equipped with recirculating pumps.

Reduce spray

Minimize or eliminate the use of waterfalls and sprays in your pool. Aeration increases evaporation.

General Outdoor Tips

Winterize spigots

Winterize outdoor spigots when temperatures dip below freezing to prevent pipes from leaking or bursting.

Car wash

Use a commercial car wash that recycles water.

Washing pets

Wash your pets outdoors, in an area of your lawn that needs water.

fish tanks

When cleaning out fish tanks, give the nutrient-rich water to your non-edible plants.

cleaning patios

Use a broom instead of a hose to clean patios, sidewalks and driveways.

Check your cooler

Evaporative coolers require annual seasonal maintenance check. 

Use Cooler Drainage

If you have an evaporative cooler, direct the water drain to plants in your landscape.

Reporting issues

Report broken pipes, leaky hydrants, and water waste to property owners or to El Paso Water. Click here to report water waste.

shut-off valve

Know where your master water shut-off valve is located. If a pipe bursts, this could save hundreds of gallons of water and prevent property damage.

For outdoor water savings, be sure to check for leaks. See our Finding Leaks page for more information.

For more tips, watch our videos on how to conserve water and click the button below.Water Sense logo

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