Online Class Available This Saturday

The Woodlands Township Environmental Services presents 

Smarter Choices Webinar 2020: 

Healthy Landscapes, Healthy Waterways 

Saturday, October 3 | 8 a.m. to noon 

When well managed, your yard provides important ecological benefits such as reducing runoff, providing habitat and filtering stormwater. It’s easier than you may think. This FREE program will show you how. 

You’ll learn about: 

  • The most efficient irrigation methods, plus drip irrigation, smart controllers and sensors  
  • Using captured rainwater for landscape irrigation  
  • Achieving a greener lawn by improving soil health and reducing chemicals 
  • Native plants that thrive with less water  
  • Water efficient turf and native grasses adapted to our climate 

Presentations by

 Zoom format. Free. Registration required. 

Questions or comments? Email enviro@thewoodlandstownship-tx.gov

Woodlands Landscaping Solutions Online Learning: Day 2

Water Saving Tips for Lawn and Garden 

Today’s online programming focuses on simple ways to reduce water in your lawn and garden.  We begin with checking our irrigations systems for leaks and efficiency. Whether you use sprinklers, drip irrigation or a combination it’s important that plants are receiving the right amount of water, when and where they need it.  

Water You Doing? Water Efficient Sprinklers 

Many homeowners have a sprinkler system, but do you know how to fix a leak, avoid runoff and reduce your water bill?  It may be time for a sprinkler spruce up or a sprinkler upgrade. This video reviews  the latest technology for lawn irrigation to help keep your plants healthy while saving water, money and time.   


DIY Drip Irrigation 

Make every drop count! Whether you have an existing sprinkler system or just an outdoor faucet, learn how to install, convert and maintain a drip irrigation system. Drip irrigation is the most efficient irrigation method for landscape beds and vegetable gardens.  This video shows  how easy “do it yourself” drip irrigation really is! 


Keeping Storm Drains Clean 

Did you know that fertilizers, pesticides and other chemicals that you apply to your lawn are likely to wash away into nearby storm drains? Not only is it important to conserve water when caring for your lawn and garden, but to keep in mind how our lawn care practices affects local waterways.  

Check out these videos from Woodlands Water Agency 

Storm Drain Waste

Storm Water Contaminants


For the Kids 

Everyone can help save water! Enjoy watching these videos with the younger members of your household. 

Conserve Water with Aqua 

A short, animated video that follows 8-year old Aqua as she learns about what it means to conserve water. Along with her dog, Sparky, Aqua learns simple ways to reduce water use and shows her family how easy it is to save water and money.  


Changing Our Minds to Save Water 

Want the big picture on water? We can all learn something from Kamal Balaa, a very smart kid with a real grasp on using water wisely.  In this Tedx  video, Kamal shares the  importance of water conservation and the many changes he’s made to save water.  This video will inspire all ages to take action and change the world! 


Additional Resources:  

The Woodlands Township Environmental Services Department is offering the following online programs to continue your education on water conservation. 

Saturday, October 3: Healthy Landscapes, Healthy Waterways 

  • Online from 8 a.m. – Noon 
  • Learn best practices on how to save water and protect local waterways when caring for your lawn.  
  • Registration required. Register here.  

Saturday, November 7: Rainscaping for Landscape Irrigation 

  • Online from 9 a.m. – Noon 
  • Make better use of rainwater in your landscape. Learn the many ways to capture or divert rainwater to keep your lawn and gardens irrigated.  
  • Registration required. Register here. 

Join us tomorrow for more online programming as we explore How To Build A Successful Landscape From Ground Up 

Questions or comments? Email enviro@thewoodlandstownship-tx.gov 

Three out of four residents pledge every year to save water!

The annual Water Wise Village Challenge is about more than conserving water. When you pledge to turn off your sprinkler system for the winter (from October 15 to April 15), a lot of good things happen.  

More and more residents are finding their lawns are healthier than ever when they avoid overwatering and when they stop watering altogether in the winter. They’re saving money, too. Healthy lawns need fewer chemicals and they better withstand pests and disease. Remember Kevin? He said he hadn’t turned on his sprinkler system in over a year and his yard looked great! He simply follows the weekly watering recommendation he receives by email from Woodlands Water Agency  and sets out a manual sprinkler when needed. A hose-end spray nozzle for his flowerbeds does the rest. 

Want to read more about the changes Kevin took to reduce water use in his lawn and garden? Check out this article.

As the Challenge has grown, water savings in our community have grown with it. In 2019, the Challenge saved 11,600,000 gallons. That equals the amount of water that flows through the San Jacinto River in ten days. That’s a lot of water! 

Your Water Wise Village Challenge pledge not only serves your lawn and your pocketbook, it provides assistance to area college-bound students. The three villages with the greatest number of pledges receive cash donations for their scholarship funds. What a great way to demonstrate to our youth that natural resources are precious, and conservation is our gift to them.  

So, let’s see… 1. Water savings, 2. Healthier lawns, 3. Scholarship funds, 4. Support our community’s conservation ethic, 5. Fill in this blank with your own reason for becoming a water hero in your neighborhood!  

Pledge now, pledge every year, and be “that person” on your street who sets the standard for others. Join the movement and live in harmony with nature in The Woodlands Township and take the pledge for 2020-2021.

Questions or comments? Email enviro@thewoodlandstownship-tx.gov

Hoping the pet waste fairy picks up after your dog?

What’s pet waste have to do with wading in Spring Creek? Let’s break it down: Based on national averages, our community dog population produces about 55,000 pounds of waste per day*. Most of us are diligent about picking up after our pets, but not all. Too many feel someone else will clean it up – maybe the pet waste fairy. 

When dog waste is left behind, the bacteria it contains is washed into the nearest storm drain during rains, flowing to the closest waterway. It empties unfiltered and untreated into our community streams, creating a health hazard for humans enjoying water-based recreation. 

The contaminated water continues to the next stream, river or lake all the way to the coast and the Gulf of Mexico, adding bacteria along the way as it runs through more urban areas. Houston-Galveston Area Council’s 2020 Basin Report indicates that almost 65 percent of Spring Creek is listed as impaired because of high bacteria levels. The primary source is dog waste.

42% of the streams in our region are impaired due to elevated levels of bacteria. For more information, see pages 4 and 8 of the 2020 Basin Report for more details regarding Spring Creek.

According to the Report, in the Houston-Galveston region one of the most significant water quality issues faced is elevated levels of bacteria in our local waterways – indicators of the presence of sewage and pathogens such as infectious bacteria, viruses, and protozoans. High bacterial concentrations may cause gastrointestinal illnesses or skin infections in swimmers or others who come into direct contact with the water. 

The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ), to comply with the requirements of the Clean Water Act, set the acceptable level of bacteria in waterways as 126 colony forming units (cfu) per deciliter (dL). On average, Spring Creek levels are between 350 and 800 cfu/dL, with the higher numbers during runoff after rainfall. The tributaries within the Township that flow into Spring Creek, Lower Panther Branch Creek, Willow Creek, Bear Branch Creek and Lake Woodlands, are all included on the list of impaired waterways because of bacteria. 

More data on impairment levels of Spring Creek are available courtesy of the Houston-Galveston Area Council

Be a responsible pet owner and don’t wait for the pet waste fairy. Picking up after our dogs and keeping our community clean, means water that’s safe for human recreation and for the aquatic organisms that live in it, and better for the environmental health of our community. 

*Resources: American Veterinary Medicine Association and  www.clearchoicescleanwater.org 


Questions or comments? Email enviro@thewoodlandstownship-tx.gov

Time for a sprinkler spruce up

Summer is here. Are you ready?

Lawn watering accounts for over 50% of water usage by Woodlands residents. It’s time to evaluate your water use as temperatures heat up. Follow these simple steps to save water AND have a healthier lawn this summer.

  1. Let science be your guide. Subscribe to the Woodlands Water Agency Weekly Irrigation Recommendation. You’ll receive a weekly email letting you know how much to water. Recommendations are calculated from rainfall, moisture levels and evapotranspiration rates.  
  1. Audit your sprinklers.  Use this guide to measure your sprinklers’ output. You might find that a simple adjustment will save you many gallons each watering.  
  1. Stay on schedule. Look carefully at your sprinkler system controller settings. Ensure you’re in compliance with our community’s Defined Irrigation Schedule
  1. Fix a leak. Check for signs of leaks from your outdoor faucets and irrigation sprinkler heads. Do you have a spot that is always wet? A seemingly small leak or drip can waste dozens of gallons a day.  

When doing a spruce up of your irrigation system use these helpful tips: 

Set aside a few minutes to audit your irrigation system. You might save yourself hundreds of gallons of water this summer! Small actions have big impacts.  

Questions or comments? Contact enviro@thewoodlandstownship-tx.gov