City requests staggered lawn watering

By: Linda Shepard | Rochester Post | Published August 3, 2016


ROCHESTER HILLS — Avoid the top of the hour when scheduling automated lawn watering systems, city officials said.

Delaying the start of watering to 15, 30 or 45 minutes past the hour will help avoid the sudden water pressure drops that have been detected in the city. Currently, Rochester Hills’ watering ordinance restricts the operation of automatic watering systems to between midnight and 5 a.m.

According to Sue McCormick, head of the Great Lakes Water Authority, homeowners are often unsure about how much water their lawns actually need and when the best time to water is — which can lead to water waste and possible damage to lawns.

“We’ve seen some very dry periods in southeast Michigan this summer season, and water use is certainly rising,” McCormick said in a statement. “Lawns are large, thirsty plantings, and not watering them can really reduce water usage. If people are choosing to water their lawns, we would like to help them water wisely.”

The Great Lakes Water Authority is a regional authority that currently serves more than 40 percent of Michigan’s population, providing water and wastewater services to 126 municipalities.

As summer continues, lawns that were once green and lush may now look brown and withered, McCormick said. While in most cases lawns assume a natural dormant state, some homeowners do not want to risk losing their turf grasses or prefer to keep their lawns green.

If homeowners choose to water their lawns, when and how they water makes a big difference in benefits to the turf and to the efficient use of water. Correctly positioned sprinklers, the collection of rainwater, the use of mulch and checking for leaks can save money while keeping stress off the water system.

A staggered start when watering lawns, gardens, plants, trees, shrubs and other landscaping will help conserve water, save money and make residents conscious of the amount of water they are using, said Rochester Hills officials.      

“In an effort to help control increasing costs and protect our natural resource, it is critical that we all do our part,” Rochester Hills Mayor Bryan Barnett said. 

Find more information about how to conserve water use at