Scottsdale homeowners association tests out not overseeding and saw major benefits

The city of Scottsdale has a new initiative for water saving, and they’re asking all residents and businesses to not overseed this fall season.

Overseeding means you add grass seeds to lawns to fill in bare spots or create a more lush look. Of course, you need to water them a bit more for them to grow.

A homeowners association (HOA) in particular put this practice to the test last season to see how well it works, and it was a huge success.

Typically, homeowners and HOAs overseed in September and October, but this time last year, a Scottsdale homeowners association chose not to do it, and they were able to save 1.5 million gallons of water.

"This year it’s about $3,200 to do the winter seeding. So, if you think about it, if we don’t do the winter seeding for this season, we’ll save $3,200, plus we’ll save on the water," said Montage Homeowners Association president Paul Traiforos.

He says they decided to skip overseeding last fall and the benefits are both financial and environmental. Scottsdale Water hopes other HOAs will follow suit.

Bill Casenhiser is a water conservation specialist for the city of Scottsdale and says, "As a city, we’re asking all of our customers to do a 5% reduction in water use right now."

The city’s current initiative is asking others not to overseed as we enter the season. All of this is happening as Arizona faces drought and so does the Colorado River.

Scottsdale Water says on average, 70% of the water used residentially is used outside the home, so it’s imperative to try and cut back right now.

"Constantly in a struggle trying to keep water where water needs to be," Casenhiser says.

A small act like choosing not to overseed this fall makes a big difference.

"I’ve been on the HOA board since 2008, so I know a lot of the neighbors. Everyone’s really behind us with us doing this for the environment, for the community, and for the state," Traiforos said.

The HOA says they plan to skip overseeding each season. Scottsdale Parks and Recreation says they are leading by example and will be reducing overseeding in the city's parks.

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