Seasonal Maintenance Idaho


As warmer weather approaches, it may be tempting to set your automatic sprinklers. Most lawns and gardens don't need watering until later in the season, and overwatering is a common problem across the valley. It’s best to wait until May to start running your sprinklers. 

As the weather starts to warm up: 

  • Prevent Backflow. If you have a sprinkler system, state law requires that you install a backflow prevention assembly and have it tested annually for the protection of your family and neighbors. Backflow occurs when water flows the opposite direction and pulls non-drinking water, such as irrigation water, into the water distribution system. One failed backflow assembly can potentially expose your family to water-born illnesses and bacteria. 
  •  If it’s in your budget, explore water efficient landscaping and drought tolerant grass. Come by our Victory Road office and view our low-water plant garden for ideas. 
  • Save moisture in your garden by using mulch. 
  • As you’re setting your sprinkler system, keep in mind that it is best to water early in the morning or later at night when the sun is down, to avoid evaporation.


In the areas we serve locally, we are fortunate to have diverse water sources for drinking water supply, but regardless, we should always look to use water wisely - it protects water resources while lowering your water bill.

Much of the domestic water usage in the summer can be traced to outdoor use. Our customers use about 23 million gallons a day in the winter, but more than 90 gallons a day in the summer months. In the summer, our operators notice a demand surge on Monday, Wednesday and Friday around 4 a.m. as automatic sprinklers switch on. 

Before the hot weather hits: 

  • Be sure you’re not watering too much. Only water your lawn 2-3 times a week. When it’s 95 degrees or more, you can apply up to 2” of water a week. If in doubt, buy a water measuring kit and track how much water goes onto your lawn. 
  • Never water during the heat of the day. When it’s hot outside, lawns can experience a 50% water loss due to evaporation. 
  • Keep your grass a little longer as it will improve the moisture retention in the soil and encourage deep root growth. It’s helpful to set your lawnmower up one notch higher and let the grass blades grow.
  • Ensure your sprinklers are hitting the lawn, not watering the sidewalk, driveway or street. 


As cooler weather approaches, it’s important we remember to protect our home and gardens from the upcoming freezing temperatures that winter will bring. 

As the weather starts to cool down: 

  • Don't forget to adjust your automatic sprinklers accordingly
  • Winterize (blow out) your sprinkler system.This reduces the chance of water freezing and breaking your underground pipes.  Many sprinkler installers, landscapers and private contractors offer this service, or you can do it yourself.
  • Disconnect and drain garden hoses and connections, close any hose bib shutoff valves and consider covering hose bibs.
  • Rake up your leaves. A heavy layer of leaves can smother the grass beneath it and prevent new growth in the Spring. 


Winter’s freezing temperatures can be harsh on your interior plumbing.  If your water service stops working, the first thing you should do is call Veolia at 208-362-7304.

Homeowners are responsible for service lines from the water meter box into their home. If any of these pipes freeze, the homeowner is responsible for thawing or repairing them or contacting a licensed plumber to do the work.

If you believe your water meter is frozen, please call Veolia to investigate.  Do not attempt to repair a frozen meter.  Only Veolia employees are authorized to open, work on, or thaw water meters.  As a reminder, keep your meter box clear of snow and other obstacles.  This ensures our crews can access and read your meter accurately, which provides you an accurate water bill.

Before the cold weather hits:

  • Prevent cold air from seeping inside. Close outside vents, crawl spaces and doors.  Fix broken windows, seal cracks in your walls and foundations.  Also, keep your garage door closed to prevent cold air from reaching pipes and water heaters.
  • To help protect interior pipes along outside walls, open the cabinet doors under sinks to allow warm air to circulate.
  • Insulate pipes by wrapping them in commercial insulation.  For extra protection, wrap pipes subject to cold or freezing in heat tape before insulating.
  • If you’re going away, keep a minimum amount of heat on in the house. You may also want to keep a thin stream of water running from a faucet.
  • Place a tag on the main water shutoff valve to your home and make sure everyone in the house knows its location and how to operate it in an emergency.


Act Quickly

If your pipes freeze, it’s important to clear blockages as soon as possible to minimize damage.  In some instances, it may be best to call a licensed plumber.

Turn Off the Water

If a water pipe freezes, turn off the water at the main shutoff valve for your home. Open a nearby faucet so the pipe can drain as it thaws.

Be Careful

Do not use electrical appliances in areas of standing water.  Never use hot water or a blowtorch on a frozen pipe.  Thaw pipes by applying hot air from a hair dryer or electric heater, or by using a heating pad.  Do not turn the water back on until you are sure there are no leaks.