Easy ways to find and fix leaks. Is it illegal to pick bluebonnets? Do you need to worry about Ozone?


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Finding and Fixing Common Leaks

Annually, household leaks account for 1 trillion gallons of wasted water nationwide. Fix a Leak Week, March 14-20, is bringing awareness to the importance of conserving water by fixing leaks. We’re celebrating Fix a Leak Week by helping our readers learn how to easily identify and repair common household leaks.

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Three Common Leaks and Their Causes

  • Toilet leaks are often caused by a worn or faulty toilet flapper.
  • Worn faucet washers and gaskets are frequently the culprits in faucet leaks.  
  • Shower heads often leak because of a loose connection between the shower head and the pipe stem.

How to Identify and Repair Common Leaks

Check out our blog for simple instructions on identifying and repairing common leaks. If you try to repair your fixtures and they still leak, you may need to replace them. Check out WaterSense labeled products when replacing your fixtures. Over their lifetime, they will save tens of thousands of gallons of water and thousands of dollars. 

Rebates on WaterSense Products

You may be eligible for a rebate on a WaterSense product. Check out the Take Care of Texas website for more information.

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Where to See Wildflowers

Bluebonnets

March typically marks the beginning of peak wildflower blooming season in Texas. These beautiful Texas treasures can be found across the state and attract many visitors each year. 

Is it illegal to pick bluebonnets? Texans commonly hear this, but is it true or a Texas myth? Find out on our blog.

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Where Can You See Texas Wildflowers?

More than 90 Texas State Parks present some of the best, and safest, places to view Texas wildflowers. Traditionally, these state parks are known to offer excellent wildflower viewing and photographic opportunities:

Hill Country

Prairies and Lakes

Pineywoods

Panhandle Plains

Big Bend Country

Gulf Coast

South Texas Plains

Wildflowers can also be found along highways throughout the state. The Texas Department of Transportation buys and sows about 30,000 pounds of wildflower seed each year. Call 1-800-452-9292 for reports of where wildflowers have been spotted along Texas highways. 

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Three Things to Do Now

So You Can Save Water This Summer

Large sections of Texas are recovering from exceptional or extreme drought and, currently, about 25 percent of the state is experiencing some level of drought. These conditions are likely to get worse as summer approaches. Here are three things you can do now to help prepare for the summer.

Install and Maintain Rain Barrels

Now is a great time to install or perform routine maintenance on rain barrels. Rain barrels help conserve water by harvesting rain, which can be used instead of municipal or well water. Also, rainwater is better for your plants because it is free of salts and other minerals that harm root growth.

Install a Rain Barrel

Check out our video, Building a Rain Barrel. Also, check out our brief guide Rainwater Harvesting with Rain Barrels.

Keep Your Rain Barrel Working Properly

Proper maintenance will help keep your rain barrels free of leaks, clogs, and mosquitoes. Check out our blog for a suggested maintenance schedule.

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Mulch

Use Mulch to Save Water

Mulch is a chemical-free, protective ground covering, which saves water and money by conserving the soil’s moisture. It also inhibits weed growth, prevents erosion, and moderates soil temperature.

Applying Mulch

Water the ground thoroughly before and after applying mulch. Put a layer of mulch around trees and shrubs, but avoid piling it against the trunks and stems as this will cause disease and pest infestation. After settling, the mulch layer should be 4 inches deep around trees and 2 inches deep around shrubs. Check out our helpful guide, Mulching and Composting, for more information.

Irrigation Control Panel

Update Your Sprinkler System’s Controller

Billions of gallons of water are wasted every day from inefficient landscape watering. Newer, more efficient irrigation-control technologies use local weather and landscape conditions to tailor watering schedules to the conditions in your yard. For example, a rain and freeze sensor automatically shuts off your irrigation system during rain or freezing temperatures. Our Landscape Irrigation guide has additional information on watering efficiently.

Want more landscaping ideas? Check out our landscape publications, which have great information about environmentally friendly yard care. 

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Ozone Season is Here

Ozone Forecast Seasons

Ozone season, the time when we see the highest levels of ozone, starts between March and May in many parts of our state. During ozone season, the TCEQ provides Ozone Action Day forecasts for nine metropolitan areas of Texas. The TCEQ typically informs the public one day in advance when conditions are forecasted to be favorable for high ozone levels. You can take these steps to help reduce ozone formation in your area:

  • Limit driving and idling; instead, carpool, walk, or use public transportation.
  • Refuel in late afternoon or evening and don’t top off the tank.
  • Maintain yard equipment and use tools without motors.
  • Don’t burn yard waste.

Learn more by checking out our publication, Ozone: The Facts

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