With extreme hot temperatures forecast to continue in the Santa Clarita Valley for the next several days, Valencia Water Company (VWC) is encouraging customers to take special steps when watering their landscapes.

“The best way to battle a heat wave is to be smart about how and when you irrigate your plants, trees and lawns,” said Matthew Dickens, VWC’s resource conservation manager. “It’s also important to know that if you have dry or brown spots in your landscapes – it likely is not just the result of excessive hot temperatures.”

Dickens said these key tips will ensure landscapes remain healthy all summer long:

  • Bank water in your soil. A cycle-and-soak schedule (running your irrigation system for 3-5 minutes, waiting one hour, then repeat) will ensure water has reached the proper depths of your yards and gardens. A proper soil saturation means plants will have the water they need throughout the day as opposed to contributing to irrigation runoff.
  • Adjust sprinkler times to add more water to landscapes – but remember to reduce times when weather returns to normal temperatures.
  • Water before sunrise or after sunset to avoid unnecessary evaporation losses.
  • Any “brown” areas of a landscape are usually the result of a lack of adequate irrigation coverage. Adjust sprinklers to ensure all areas of a landscape are irrigated, or use a hose with a shut-off nozzle to apply water directly to those “bare/brown spots.”
  • Now, or in the near future, inspect your landscape to add spray heads or drip feeders to ensure complete and uniform coverage. (Avoid over-spraying landscapes so water is running onto sidewalks and driveways).
  • Make sure trees in isolated areas receive a good soaking. 

“Of course, it is also important to stay hydrated during these hot days,” Dickens said. “If you are working in the yard, exercising, or staying outdoor for long periods of time – make sure you drink plenty of water.”

Dickens reminds customers that VWC has increased rebate values for customers who improve their irrigation system’s efficiency or convert outdoor watering systems to drip irrigation. The rebate is now 50 cents a square foot of converted landscape. Customers also can apply to Castaic Lake Water Agency for a $2-per-square-foot incentive for replacing their lawns with a water-efficient landscape.

VWC offers rebates for other irrigation devices, including 75 percent for the cost of an irrigation master pressure regulator, $10 per pressure-regulating spray body, and 100 percent for the cost of high-efficiency nozzles. A pressure regulator is an important tool for proper water flows, to avoid premature wear of irrigation nozzles and bodies, and to improve water use efficiency by reducing water waste due to misting.

The hot weather is also a reminder of the Santa Clarita Valley’s natural terrain and conditions.

“WaterSMART gardens, such as the one we have installed at our headquarters, are the most suitable and sustainable for the weather zone in our valley,” Dickens said. “Homeowners still have an opportunity during the summer to modify their landscapes to be more drought tolerant.”

VWC’s “Water SMART Workshop” is an interactive online class that provides customers with information on how to remain water efficient, how to analyze their bill, and how to approach landscape conversion. Customers who complete the course receive a $20 credit on their water bill. Hundreds of Santa Clarita Valley residents have already taken the class.

More details are available on the VWC website ValenciaWater.com or by calling 661-294-0828. For regular WaterSMART tips and updates, like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter @ValenciaWater. Together, we’ll save water.