Conservation Education

For most of us, water use is a habit. Conservation doesn't mean sacrifice, all it takes is common sense and thinking about conserving anytime you use water. Our residents have access to an abundance of water most of the time, so the importance of clean water is often overlooked.††

 

We are accustomed to having water at the twist of a faucet.† We usually do not think about how much water we use.†Our water resources are not unlimited.†They are affected everyday by precipitation, population growth, economic development, and pollution.† Because water is a resource that must be shared, competition for its use is an ever increasing management problem.

 

In the past, communities attempted to alleviate supply problems by constructing storage facilities and developing new resources such as wells and reservoirs.†However, these measures can be costly, both economically and environmentally. A more cost-effective way to protect our water resources is through sound management and conservation.

 

Be aware of how much water you use!† The following table indicates how much water the average person uses each day.

 

Toilet 19 Gallons per person per day
   
Bathing & Hygiene 15 Gallons per person per day
   
Laundry 8 Gallons per person per day
   
Kitchen 7 Gallons per person per day
   
Housekeeping 1 Gallon per person per day
   
Total 50 Gallons per person per day

 

A dripping faucet is more than annoying, it is expensive.† Even small leaks can waste significant amounts of water.† Hot water leaks are a waste of both water and of the energy used to heat the water.
††

Leaks inside the toilet can waste up to 200 gallons of water a day.† Toilet leaks can be detected by adding a few drops of food coloring to the water in the toilet tank.†If colored water appears in the bowl, the toilet is leaking.


If you have a leaking faucet or toilet, stop pouring money down the drain and repair it. There are inexpensive and easy repair kits sold at home improvement stores

 

For more information on how you can save water, visit EPA's Using Water Efficiently: Ideas for Residences.

 

 

Conservation Tips


How can I save water outside my home?
How can I save water in the bathroom?
How can I save water in the kitchen?
How can I save water in the laundry?

Save Water Outside the Home

The watering of lawns and gardens can double normal household water use during hot, dry summer months.† At standard household water pressures, a garden hose will discharge up to 6? gallons of water per minute.† To apply an inch of water to 1000 square feet of lawn or garden requires 620 gallons of water.


Watering should be limited to gardens, and newly planted lawns and landscaped areas.† Established lawns and landscaped plantings will usually survive without watering.† Inadequate watering encourages shallow root growth and increases the risk of mortality.† When water is scarce, your community water supply should be reserved for your most essential† needs.

The following water-saving measures should be practiced regularly, but remember, during mandatory water use restrictions, all water use outside the home is restricted.

 

  • Use a broom, not a hose to clean driveways, steps and sidewalks.

  • Wash the car with water from a bucket.

  • If a hose must be used, control the flow with an automatic shut-off nozzle.

  • Wash the car with water from a bucket, or consider using a commercial car wash that recycles water.
  • Avoid purchasing recreational water toys which require a constant stream of water.
  • Consider purchasing a new water-saving swimming pool filter.
  • Use a pool cover to reduce evaporation when pool is not being used.
  • Do not install or use ornamental water features unless they recycle the water. Do not operate during a drought.
  • Water the lawn or garden during the coolest part of the day. Do not water on windy days.

  • Set sprinklers to water the garden only.† Do not water the street or sidewalk.

  • Use soaker hoses and trickle irrigation systems to reduce the amount of water used for irrigation by 20 to 50 percent.

  • Use mulch around shrubs and garden plants to reduce evaporation from the soil surface and cut down on weed growth.

  • Use native plants in landscaping your lawn, because they require less care and water than ornamental varieties.

  • Keep weeds out of flower and vegetable gardens. Weeds are notorious for stealing water away from other plants, so if you keep their populations in check, you wonít have to water as often.
  • Add hyrogels to plants that dry out quickly, whether in the garden or in containers. These water absorbing polymer crystals swell to several times their original size and slowly release water into the surrounding soil. Hyrogels can be found at your local garden center.
  • Capture and recycle rainwater by placing barrels or buckets beneath your downspouts.
  • Deep soak each time you water. Many people water lightly and frequently, causing a shallow root system. Watering deeply and infrequently, deep soak, creates a healthy root system that is better equipped to withstand heat and drought.
  • Water early in the morning, when temperatures are mild and winds are calm, so less water will be lost through evaporation.
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Save Water in the Bathroom

  • When constructing a new home, or remodeling your bathroom, install low consumption (1.6 gal./flush) toilets.

  • Place a weighted plastic gallon jug in the tanks of conventional toilets to displace and save an equal amount of water with each flush.

  • Install low-flow aerators and showerheads.†They are inexpensive, easy to install and save water and energy.

  • Donít let the water run while brushing your teeth, shaving, or washing your face. Youíll save between three and five gallons of water each minute your faucet is turned off.

  • Take showers instead of tub baths.†Consider bathing small children together.

  • If your shower has a single-handle control or shut off valve, turn off the flow while soaping or shampooing.

  • Leaking diverter valves (valves that divert water from tub to showerhead) should be replaced.

  • Does your toilet ever make noises when it is not in use? A toilet with even a small leak can greatly increase your water bill. To check your toilet for leaks, put a few drops of food coloring in your toilet tank, wait 10 minutes. If, without flushing, the color begins to appear in the bowl, you have a leak, which should be repaired immediately.
  • How long should the parts in your toilet tank last? It depends. Replaceable parts such as flappers and washers or seals inside the refill valve may last several years. However, factors such as water treatment processes, toilet bowl cleaners, and high water pressure can cause parts to disintegrate much sooner. If you touch the flapper and get black "goo" on your hands, the flapper needs to be replaced.
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Save Water in the Kitchen

  • Store drinking water in the refrigerator rather than letting the tap run, when you want a cold glass of water. Did you know that you could refill an 8-oz. glass of water approximately 15,000 times for the same cost as a six-pack of soda?

  • Donít let the faucet run when you scrub vegetables or prepare other foods. Put a stopper in the sink instead.
  • 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.
  • Start a compost pile! Garbage disposals require lots of water to operate properly. Composting scraps will also reduce demand on our landfills and wastewater reclamation facilities.
  • If you wash dishes by hand, donít leave the water running for rinsing. If you have two sinks, fill one with soapy water and one with rinse water. If you have only one sink, gather washed dishes in a dish rack and rinse them with a sprayer or a panful of hot water.

  • Fill your dishwasher full because it will use the same amount of water for a normal cycle, whether it contains a full load of dishes or just a few items. Also, thereís really no need to fully wash dishes before loading in the dishwasher. Just scrape the food off and let the dishwasher do the rest of the work.
  • Pre-washing dishes prior to loading a dishwasher is unnecessary and wasteful of water.

  • When purchasing a dishwasher, consider water consumption as well as energy efficiency.† Automatic dishwashers claim the most water in kitchens, about 14 gallons per load. When itís time to replace your dishwasher look for the most water efficient ones. A dishwasher with a water-saver function uses 8.5 gallons/load, which is 5.5 gallons per load less than a standard dishwasher.

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Save Water in the Laundry

  • Use full loads of laundry whenever possible. Each load of laundry uses between 27 and 54 gallons of water.

  • Most washers now offer preset levels for small, medium, and large loads, so you can select the appropriate water level for the size of your laundry.

  • For hand laundering, put a stopper in the washtub for both wash and rinse. Donít let the faucet run.
  • Washers are the second largest water user in your home. If your washer is old, you should consider replacing it with an ENERGY STAR qualified clothes washer. Most ENERGY STAR washers use 35 to 50 percent less water and 50 percent less energy per load. To save more water, look for a clothes washer with a low water factor. The lower the water factor, the less water the machine uses.

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