Water Conservation Tips

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In Your Home

  • Never pour water down the drain when there may be another use for it! Use it to water your indoor plants or garden.
  • Make sure your home is leak-free. Check your water meter when you are certain that no water is being used. If the meter reading changes, you have a leak!
  • Repair dripping faucets by replacing washers. One drop per second wastes 2,700 gallons of water per year!
  • Retrofit all household faucets by installing aerators with flow restrictors.
  • Check for toilet leaks by adding food coloring to the tank. If you have a leak, the color will appear in the bowl within 30 minutes. (Flush immediately to avoid stains.)
  • Operate automatic dishwashers and clothes washers only when they are fully loaded or set the water level for the size of load you are using.
  • Store drinking water in the refrigerator. Don’t let the tap run while you are waiting for water to cool.
  • Do not use running water to thaw meat or other frozen foods. Defrost food overnight in the refrigerator, or use the defrost setting on your microwave.
  • Kitchen sink disposals require lots of water to operate properly. Start a compost pile as an alternate method of disposing of food waste.
  • Don’t let water run while brushing your teeth, washing your face or shaving.
  • If you have a well at home, check your pump periodically. If the pump kicks on and off while water is not being used, you have a leak.
  • Avoid flushing the toilet unnecessarily. Dispose of tissues, insects and other similar waste in the trash rather than the toilet.

 

Saving Water Outdoors

  • Don’t over water your lawn. Lawns only need watering every five to seven days in the summer. A heavy rain eliminates the need for watering for up to two weeks.
  • Plant it smart. Xeriscape landscaping is a great way to design, install and maintain both your plants and irrigation system. It will save time, money and water.
  • The best times of year to plant a new lawn or landscaping is the early spring and fall. 
  • Water lawns during the early morning hours when temperatures and wind speed are the lowest. This reduces evaporation and waste.
  • Position sprinklers so water lands on the lawn and shrubs and not on paved areas.
  • Install irrigation devices that are the most water efficient for each use. Drip irrigation and soaker hoses are examples of efficient devices.
  • Check sprinkler systems and timing devices regularly to be sure they operate properly.
  • Raise the lawn mower blade to at least three inches, or to its highest level. A higher cut encourages grass roots to grow deeper, shades the root system and holds soil moisture.
  • Use mulch to retain moisture in the soil. Mulch also helps control weeds that compete with landscape plants for water.
  • Plant native and/or drought-tolerant grasses, ground covers, shrubs and trees. Once established, they do not need water as frequently and usually will survive a dry period without watering. They also require less fertilizer or herbicides. Group plants together based on similar water needs.
  • Use a broom or blower instead of a hose to clean leaves and other debris from your driveway or sidewalk.
  • Do not leave sprinklers or hoses unattended. A garden hose can pour out 600 gallons or more in only a few hours. Use a bell timer to remind yourself to turn sprinklers off.
  • Consider using a commercial car wash that recycles water. If you wash your own car, park on the grass and use a hose with an automatic shut-off nozzle.
  • Avoid installing ornamental water features (such as fountains) unless they use recycled water.
  • If you have a swimming pool, consider a new water-saving pool filter. A single back flushing with a traditional filter uses 180 to 250 gallons of water.