Chesterfield pushing water conservation after drought

By Melissa Correa - bio | email
Posted by Terry Alexander - email

CHESTERFIELD, VA (WWBT) – Chesterfield wants you to take advantage of all the rain in our forecast. After going through a drought last summer, this year the county is making a big push for water conservation. The campaign starts with free classes Tuesday and Wednesday. People will learn how saving water will lead to fewer problems during the summer months.

In 2010 Chesterfield spent nearly half the year under some type of water restrictions. Not wanting history to repeat itself, this year the county is asking you to collect as much free water as you can.  Patrice Stansbury spent her Monday prepping for rain.

The Bon Air woman runs a community garden. With rain barrels scattered throughout her two-acres, Patrice is ahead of the curve. But this week Susan Edwards will teach you how to conserve water.

"That's a way to use what Mother Nature's giving you without putting an impact on the potable water supply and also keeping your own water costs down," explained Susan Edwards.

During cooler months the county uses about 38-million gallons of water a day. But during the hot summer months water use rises to 70 million. Last year we saw how quickly Chesterfield's water sources dried out. For the first time ever, Chesterfield had to implement emergency water restrictions. After that, Susan says people began re-evaluating their lawn care routines.

"People will have their irrigation timers set to go off, for say, 10-15 minutes every day," said Edwards. "So you want to water it just a couple times a week, deeply."

Between buckets and compost, Patrice works smart to keep her dirt cool. She said her neighbors should do the same.

"Proactive is the way to go," said Stansbury. "I mean to think about it in advance and to think differently about your lawn. I mean a lawn is a beautiful thing to play croquet on. But how much time do you really spend playing croquet versus mowing?" 


CHESTERFIELD COUNTY, VA — The Chesterfield County office of Virginia Cooperative Extension is presenting a series of lawn and landscape seminars at local libraries beginning March 1 and continuing through April 12. Admission is free, but seating is limited. Call 804-751-4401 to make reservations.

Water Conservation: Not Just a Summer Drought Activity Save water and money while maintaining attractive and healthy landscapes.  Explore the best practices for irrigating your lawn, discover obscure sources of water for outdoor use, and learn proper mulch application. This class is an overview that can also serve as an introduction to other topics in this series including xeriscaping, drip irrigation, and rain barrel making.

March 1          Bon Air, 6:30 p.m.-7:30 p.m.

March 2          Central, 6:30 p.m.-7:30 p.m.

Unraveling the Mysteries of Plant Names — Hear the stories behind the names of common plants such as granny's bonnet, forget-me-not, pansy, and Queen Anne's lace.  Also learn about the meaning of Latin names, which helps to make sense out of the sometimes confusing, but always fascinating, world of plant names!

March 1          Clover Hill, 6:30 p.m.-8 p.m.

Xeriscaping/Water thrifty plants — Maintain attractive and healthy landscape by choosing plants and modifying the soil to maximize the efficiency of water in your landscape.

March 8          Clover Hill, 6:30 p.m.-8 p.m.

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