Some Innovative Ways to Save Water

Saving Water in Your Home

  1. Never put water down the drain when there may be another use for it such as watering a plant or garden, or cleaning.
  2. Verify that your home is leak-free, because many homes have hidden water leaks. Read your water meter before and after a two-hour period when no water is being used. If the meter does not read the same, there is a leak. Some water meters are equipped with a leak detector. The leak detector is a small red dial. If the red dial is moving and you have stopped all water use, there is a leak.
  3. Repair dripping faucets by replacing washers. If your faucet is dripping at the rate of one drop per second, you can expect to waste 2,700 gallons per year that will add to the cost of water and sewer utilities.
  4. Check for toilet tank leaks by adding food coloring to the tank. If the toilet is leaking, color will appear within 30 minutes. Check the toilet for worn out, corroded or bent parts. Most replacement parts are inexpensive, readily available and easily installed. (Flush as soon as test as done, since food coloring may stain tank.)
  5. Avoid flushing the toilet unnecessarily. Dispose of tissues, insects and other such waste in the trash rather than the toilet.
  6. Take shorter showers. Replace your shower head with an ultra-low-flow version. Some units are available that allow you to cut off the flow without adjusting the water temperature knobs.
  7. Use the minimum amount of water needed for a bath by closing the drain first and filling the tub only 1/3 full. Stopper tub before turning water. The initial burst of cold water can be warmed by adding hot water later.
  8. Don’t let water run while shaving or washing your face. Brush your teeth first while waiting for water to get hot, then wash or shave after filling the basin.
  9. Retrofit all wasteful household faucets by installing aerators with a flow restrictor.
  10. Operate automatic dishwashers and clothes washers only when they are fully loaded or properly set the water level for the size of load you are using.
  11. When washing dishes by hand, fill one sink or basin with soapy water. Quickly rinse under a slow-moving stream from the faucet.
  12. Store drinking water in the refrigerator rather than letting the tap run every time you want a cool glass of water.
  13. Do not use running water to thaw meat or other frozen foods. Defrost food overnight in the refrigerator or by using the defrost setting on your microwave.
  14. Kitchen sink disposals require lots of water to operate properly. Start a compost pile as an alternate method of disposing food waste instead of using a garbage disposal. Garbage disposals also can add 50% to the volume of solids that lead to additional waste water treatment charges.
  15. Consider installing an instant water heater on your kitchen sink so you don’t have to let the water run while it heats up. This will also reduce heating costs for your household.
  16. Insulate your water pipes. You’ll get hot water faster plus avoid wasting water while it heats up.
  17. Never install a water-to-air heat pump or air conditioning system on the domestic water system. Most air-to-air models are just as efficient and do not waste water.
  18. Install water-softening systems only when necessary. Save water and salt by running the minimum amount of regenerations necessary to maintain water softness, Turn softeners off while on vacation.
  19. When adjusting water temperatures, instead of turning water flow up, try turning it down. If the is to hot or cold, turn the offender down rather than increasing water flow to balance the temperatures.
  20. If the toilet flush handle frequently sticks in the flush position, replace or adjust it so you won’t be wasting water.
  21. With Americans glued to their televisions during the Olympics or the Big Game this winter, there will be a lot of flushing during halftime and commercial breaks. Imagine how much water that will use! Your toilet might also be wasting water between flushes with leaks you can’t even hear. Toilet leaks can be easy to detect by placing a few drops of food coloring in the tank. If you see color in the toilet bowl after five to 10 minutes, your toilet has a leak. One of the biggest culprits of silent leaks is an old, worn-out flapper—the device that lets water flow in and out of the bowl when you flush.

“Saving Water Outside”

  1. Don’t over water our lawn. As a rule, lawns only need watering 2 to 3 times per week in the summer and once per week in the spring and fall. A hearty rain eliminates the need for watering for as long as a week. Xeriscape landscaping is a great way to save you time, money and water.
  2. Water your lawn during the early morning hours when temperatures and wind speeds are lowest. This reduces losses through evaporation.
  3. Don’t water your street, driveway or sidewalk. Position your sprinklers so that your water lands on the lawn, shrubs or flowers.
  4. Install sprinklers that are the most water-efficient for each use. Micro and drip irrigation and soaked hoses are examples of water-efficient method of irrigation.
  5. Regularly check sprinkler systems and timing devices to be sure they are operating properly. Water is wasted and lawns and gardens can suffer if the water comes on more than needed or if the sprinklers are watering something other than your lawn or garden.
  6. Raise the lawn mower blade to at least three inches. A lawn cut higher encourages grass roots to grow deeper, shades the roots and holds moisture better than closely clipped lawns.
  7. Avoid over fertilizing your lawn. The application of fertilizers increases the need for water. Consider using slow release, water-insoluble forms of fertilizer.
  8. Mulch your gardens to retain moisture. Mulching also shades the roots and prevents weeds.
  9. Plant native and/or drought-tolerant grasses, ground covers, shrubs and trees. Once established they do not need to be watered as frequently and they usually will survive a dry period without any watering.
  10. Water your lawn deeply and less often. This encourages deep root growth, making your lawn more drought tolerant.
  11. Use a broom to sweep driveways and sidewalks. Using a hose to wash down can use hundreds of gallons of water.
  12. Outfit your hose with a shut-off nozzle that can be adjusted down to tine spray so that water flows only as needed. When finished “Turn it Off” at the faucet instead of at the nozzle to avoid leaks.
  13. Use hose washers between spigots and water hoses to eliminate leaks. Check all hoses, spigots and connectors regularly.
  14. Do not leave sprinklers or hoses unattended. Your garden hoses can pour out 600 gallons or more in only a few hours, so don’t leave the sprinkler running all day. Use a kitchen timer to remind yourself to turn it off.
  15. Consider using a commercial car wash that recycles water. If you wash your own car, park on the grass to wash it, most car wash soaps do not harm lawns.
  16. If you have an ornamental water feature (such as fountains), be sure yours recycles the water.
  17. If you have a swimming pool, consider a new water-saving pool filter. A single back washing with a traditional filter uses from 180 to 250 gallons or more of water.

“General Water Saving Tips”

  1. Create an awareness of the need for water conservation among your children. Avoid the purchase of recreational water toys that require a constant stream of water.
  2. Be aware of and follow all water conservation and water shortage rules and restrictions that may be in effect in your area.
  3. Encourage your employer to promote water conservation at the workplace. Suggest that water conservation be put in the employee orientation manual and training program.
  4. Patronize businesses that practice and promote water conservation.
  5. Report all significant water losses (broken pipes, open hydrants, errant sprinklers, abandoned free-flowing wells, etc.) to the property owner or your Water Supplier.
  6. Encourage your school system and local government to help develop and promote a water conservation ethic among children and adults.
  7. Support projects that will lead to an increased use of reclaimed waste water for irrigation and other uses.
  8. Support efforts and programs to create a concern for water conservation among tourists and visitors to our state. Make sure your visitors understand the need for, and benefits of water conservation.
  9. Encourage your friends and neighbors to be part of a water conscious community. Promote water conservation in community newsletters, on bulletin boards and by example.
  10. Conserve water because it is the right thing to do. Don’t waste water just because someone else is footing the bill such as when you are staying at a hotel.
  11. Try to do one thing each day that will result in a saving of water. Don’t worry if the saving is minimal. Every drop counts. Every person can make a difference. So tell your friends neighbors and co-workers to “Turn it Off’ and “Keep it Off”.