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Know Your Water Schedule

Water Conservation Tips

Indoor Conservation

 

Bathrooms

About 75% of indoor water use is in the bathroom. We know that we can save about 2 gallons or water by turning off the water while brushing our teeth, but check out some other water wise tips that include retrofitting. 

 

  • Install a low-flow shower head that limits the flow to less than 3 gallons per minute. This can reduce water use in the shower by up to 50 % and is the single most effective conservation step.
  • Taking a shower instead of a bath will usually save water. Limiting showering time will also help. A 10-minute shower with conventional shower head uses about 55 gallons of water. If you take baths rather than showers, don’t fill the tub to the top. Reduce the water level by one or two inches from what you have been using.
  • If you have a toilet manufactured prior to the 1980’s, it probably uses 5 to 7 gallons per flush without a displacement device. Putting a displacement device in your toilet tank can save up to 20% of the water being used. Place 2 one-quart plastic bottles weighted with stones and filled with water into the toilet tank. This reduces the amount of water in the tank and still leaves enough for flushing. Do not use bricks because they crumble and can cause damage to the fixture. Displacement devises do not work as well in a newer toilet that use 3.5 gallons or less per flush.
  • Pool water in the sink for shaving instead of letting the water run.
  • Install faucet aerators to cut water consumption.

Leaks

Studies have shown that dripping and leaking faucets and toilets account  for as much as 14% of indoor water use. A slowly leaking faucet can use up to 170 gallons or water each day.

 

What can you do?

 

  • Check all water connections for leaks. To check for toilet leaks, put a few drops of dye in the tank. Your fixtures need adjustment or repair if the dye appears in the bowl after about 15 minutes. Leaky toilets can usually be repaired inexpensively by replacing the flapper.
  • Check for leaks in the underground pipe by turning off all faucets. Then look at your water meter. If it’s running, you probably have a leak.
  • Does your sink, bathtub, or kitchen faucet have a slow drip? Replacing the washer inside or valve or the rubber O-ring can usually repair these.

Kitchen

11% of indoor water use is in the kitchen. When washing or cleaning fruit and vegetable, fill the sink with water and rinse, rather than allowing water to run. 

 

Laundry

14% of indoor water use is contributed to laundry. An average washing machine uses 32 to 50 gallons per cycle. When doing laundry, wash only when you have a full load. 

 

 

 

 

 

Outdoor Conservation 

 

Over 50% of all outdoor water use is in the landscape. This presents an opportunity for greater water efficiency, here are some helpful tips to help you achieve that. 

 

Use an Adjustable Sprinkler

Conserving water in the landscape starts with re-thinking the ways you use and apply water to plantings. Trade in a non-adjustable oscillating sprinkler for on the offers multiple watering patterns. 

 

Install Drip Irrigation

One of the best ways to water plants efficiently is with drip irrigation. A DYI drip irrigation system combines professional grade materials with simple installation. The result is water being delivered directly to the root zone of plants, eliminating runoff and losses through evaporation. 

 

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Choose Water Saving Containers 

Choose containers with low water use in mind. Glazed terra cotta containers don’t just look great, they also don’t lose water through the pot sides, thus requiring infrequent watering.

 

Harvest Rain With Cisterns

Cisterns provide a large water storage option for roof runoff. Think of them like a rain barrel on steroids. A covered cistern eliminates insect issues that can develop with open rain barrels. Most large cisterns include a pump to speed water flow from the tanks.

 

Add Mulch

Cover bare soil with mulch to help slow water evaporation. A mulch layer that’s 2 to 3 inches deep helps retain soil moisture and reduce weed sprouting.

 

Water Pots in the Afternoon

Water plants at the right time of day: in-ground plantings in the morning and containers in the afternoon. Research has shown that watering container gardens late in the day leads to healthier plants.

 

Build a Rain Garden

Include a rain garden on your property to slow down and help filter pollutants from storm runoff. Rain gardens can be large or small and designed to include plants that appeal to your home’s design aesthetic.

 

Choose Native Plants

Native plants are famous for their carefree personalities and ability to thrive on rainfall. The Mexican hat plant is no exception. It delivers season-long color to the landscape and demands minimal care and water.

 

Replace Hose Washers

Check washers – in hoses and attachments – at the start of each season, especially if your area has hard water or if you store hoses in an unheated shed in winter. Washers harden and crack over time, creating easy-to-repair leaks that take a matter of seconds to fix.

 

Group Plants by Water Needs

Arrange plantings in zones based on water use. Group thirsty plants together, including things like bedding plants and lawn. Keep lower water use plants like shrubs and drought tolerant perennials in a separate area. Install an irrigation system controller that supports zone watering to enjoy state-of-the-art water savings.

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