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City of Bend urges: ‘Slow the flow’ of irrigation this growing season

BEND, Ore. (KTVZ) -- With warming spring weather and the start of the growing season, the City of Bend wants to remind the community of the importance of “slowing the flow” when it comes to outdoor sprinklers and landscape irrigation. This means taking steps to make sure water from sprinklers and irrigation systems is applied slowly and intentionally to landscapes to help conserve water, reduce water waste, and prevent runoff and over watering. 

City of Bend water customers are encouraged to follow these irrigation tips:

  • Follow watering days and hours. Bend has even/odd day watering rules based on your address. Odd-numbered addresses can water on odd-numbered dates. Even numbers on even dates. No irrigation is allowed between the hours of 9 a.m. and 5 p.m.
  • “Cycle soak” your irrigation runtimes to match what our soils can absorb. Split your runtimes into thirds and add additional start times to allow water to soak into the soil without running off.
  • Slowly increase and decrease your runtimes throughout the growing season to match plant needs. Plants do not need the same amount of water in April and May as they do in July. Use the “Seasonal Adjust Percent” feature on the irrigation system controller to make monthly incremental changes to your runtimes.
  • Make sure sprinklers do not overspray or run off onto the sidewalks or streets. Fix breaks and leaks, and adjust sprinklers to make sure they only water plant material.

Seasonal landscape irrigation uses 60 percent of the water the City of Bend produces during the growing season and increases overall demand on the City’s water system.

“Slowing the flow contributes to a healthy watershed and keeps water demands in check by reducing waste and limiting the transport of pollution,” said Water Conservation Program Manager Dan Denning. “This practice results in beautiful landscapes and maintains a resilient water source for Bend.”

For more information and resources, including helpful guides, free seasonal programs and workshops, and free home water usage reports via email, visit

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    1. The answer is probably “no” with the present system. You’ll notice that billing (which, I’m afraid, includes expansion of the water system as well as ongoing maintenance and supply) was changed several years ago from a base rate for (if I remember correctly) about 400 cubic feet.month to a rate based on consumption during the winter months. This happens to coincide with the snowbirds that can afford to fly to the Southwest for the winter, turning off their hot tubs, pools, and extensive sprinkler systems for green lawns and golf courses. Ergo, they pay the lowest rates even though they are the reason for the oversizing and excess storage capacity needed for the summer high demand months. Yes, the city will claim that SDCs provide for all that oversizing, but I have yet to see an audit or fiscal analysis that shows that. Add that to the inevitable reduction of snowfall and related year-round runoff and it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to conclude that there’s a water crisis in our future. Near future.

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