Water Conservation Tips
Water conservation is extremely important to our community. Water is our most precious natural resource, and we must all work together to protect and conserve it. Here are some ideas on how you can make a difference!
Inside the Home
Toilets: Toilets are the biggest household water bandits. An older toilet uses 4 to 7 gallons of water per flush! The newer low-volume toilets are a great way to conserve. They can save over 5 gallons of water per flush. If you cannot afford a new toilet, place a weighted plastic bottle in your tank. This will displace some of the water in your tank, and reduce the amount of water used in each flush. Periodically check for leaks in your toilet by placing a leak detector tab (available free of charge in our office) or several drops of food coloring in the back of your toilet tank. Allow 10-15 minutes for the color to settle, and if any color appears in the toilet bowl you will know that the toilet has a leak. You may not be able to hear the toilet leaking.
Shower: Some people spend 10-20 minutes in the shower. Considering most showers use between 5 and 10 gallons per minute, this usage can add up very quickly. A low-flow shower head will save 50 gallons of water during a 10 minute shower and is fairly inexpensive. Time yourself the next time you are in the shower. Become conscious of how much water you use. You may want to consider turning off the faucet while you lather up or bringing a bucket into the shower with you to catch some of the water to wash your cars.
Washing Machine: Many washing machines use 40 or more gallons of water per load, regardless of how heavy the load. You can conserve water by waiting to wash your laundry until you have a full load. If you must run your washing machine with a smaller load, be sure to set your machine accordingly. This setting (if present) will help to save on both water and electricity.
Kitchen: If washing dishes by hand, remember not to leave the faucet running. A running faucet can waste 25 gallons of water every 5 minutes. Instead, wash you dishes in a basin full of water. Automatic dishwashers use approximately 12 gallons per load, so make sure the dishwasher is completely full before running it and don’t bother to pre-wash the dishes before loading them. Put a stopper in the sink while you are scrubbing veggies or preparing other foods, so that you can use the collected water to wash your dirty dishes later. It is also a good idea to keep a jug of water in the refrigerator so that you always have access to cold water. This will prevent water wasted while standing at the sink waiting for the water to turn cold.
Outside the House:
Here are some helpful hints to help you conserve water outside:
- Use a broom to sweep decks and walkways
- Use a bucket of soapy water to wash your car, and a hose only for a quick rinse
- Teach you children and grandchildren that hoses and sprinklers are not toys
Some experts estimate that almost 80 billion gallons per day of residential water are used outdoors. More than 80 percent of this water is used for landscaping. However, it is possible to maintain a beautiful yard while still conserving water. Here are some great landscaping ideas to get you started:
- Choose your plants carefully and consider their placement. You may consider consulting with a landscaping professional for customized advice based on your particular needs
- Switch from sprinklers to a drip irrigation system
- Water in the early morning or evening to avoid losing as much as 30 percent of your water to evaporation
- Water in several short watering sessions, rather than one long one. Lawns can only absorb so much water at a time, while the rest is wasted in run-off. Learn about your soil type and how much moisture it requires, and consider purchasing an inexpensive soil moisture gauge to help you determine when your plants need water.
- Keep grass at least 2 inches high to shade the roots and retain moisture
- Aerate lawns regularly and use mulch around plants to reduce evaporation. Better yet, replace lawns with ground covers requiring minimal watering.
- Water trees slowly, deeply, and infrequently to encourage deep rooting
Please visit our District office for informational brochures on both household and landscape water conservation