As daylight savings comes to an end, coinciding with the beginning of the rainy season, California American Water recommends that customers reduce or eliminate outdoor irrigation. By reducing irrigation in the winter and shutting off sprinklers during rainy periods, customers can save water and money while maintaining healthy landscaping. Overwatering can be more damaging to plants than drought. Landscaping experts estimate that 90 percent of plants die from too much water. Soggy soil can prevent nutrients and air from reaching plant roots, inviting unwanted diseases such as root rot. “With our busy lives and the holidays around the corner, it’s easy for folks to forget their sprinkler system may still be on a summer watering schedule,” said Rob MacLean, President of California American Water. “That’s why we’re encouraging customers to monitor their home irrigation systems and make sure they’re not double dosing their properties with water. It’s a waste of money, water and can damage landscaping.” If there is a long break between rainy days, California American Water recommends manually watering landscapes with a hose equipped with a low-flow hose nozzle. One way to test if a garden needs watering is by pushing a screwdriver into the ground. If it goes in easily, the soil is moist and the landscaping doesn't need water. Another way to conserve is by watering in the early morning. The rate at which moisture evaporates from the soil tends to be significantly less in the morning than during the afternoon when temperatures tend to increase. “We want our customers to know they can avoid high water bills by controlling their outdoor use,” MacLean said. “It’s good for their pocketbooks and good for the environment.” California American Water provides a variety of conservation services and rebates, including water wise home surveys, to help customers use water efficiently. Customers can visit our website or contact their local office for more information.