20 Ways to Save Water NOW
As you may have heard, several wells in our immediate community have recently run dry due to the prolonged drought we have endured this year, including wells that have never run dry before. Therefore, it is critical that we pull together as a community and immediately conserve as much water as possible through December. How can we do this? Here are 21 ways, listed mostly by importance.
1. MOST IMPORTANT: Reduce Yard Irrigation
Or if possible shut off all irrigation completely and hand water distressed plants instead. Yard irrigation uses up more water than any other household use, so this step alone will be more helpful than all other steps listed below.
2. Don’t water your walkways or driveways
Position your sprinklers so that water lands only your lawn or garden, not in areas where it does no good. Also, avoid watering on windy days when much of your water may be carried off to the streets and sidewalks. Please keep in mind that LFMWC has a fiduciary duty to impose fines on those who repeatedly waste water in this manner.
3. Use a broom to clean driveways, sidewalks and steps
Using a hose wastes hundreds of gallons of water.
4. Check your toilet for leaks
Easy tip: Put a few drops of food coloring into the tank. If, without flushing, the coloring begins to appear in the toilet bowl, you have a leak that may be wasting more than 100 gallons of water a day.
5. Check for leaks in pipes, hoses, faucets, and couplings
Leaks outside the house are easier to ignore since they since they don’t mess up the floor or keep you awake at night. However, they can be even more wasteful than inside water leaks especially when they occur on your main water line. Even a small drip can waste 50 or more gallons of water a day.
6. Install water-saving shower heads or flow restrictors
Your hardware or plumbing supply store stocks inexpensive shower heads or flow restrictors that will cut your shower flow to about three gallons a minute instead of five to ten. They are easy to install, and your showers will still be cleansing and refreshing.
7. Take shorter showers
A typical shower uses five to ten gallons of water a minute. Limit your showers to the time it takes to soap up, wash down and rise off.
8. Conserve cold tap water for other uses
While waiting for hot water from the tap, fill a bucket and then use the water for drinking, cooking, or to irrigate plants.
9. Put a plastic bottle in your toilet tank
Put an inch or two of sand or pebbles inside a one liter bottle to weigh it down. Fill the rest of the bottle with water and put it in your toilet tank, safely away from the operating mechanism. In an average home, the bottle may save five gallons or more of water every day without harming the efficiency of the toilet.
10. If you wash dishes by hand, don’t leave the water running for rinsing
If you have two sinks, fill one with rinse water. If you have only one sink, first gather all your washed dishes in a dish rack, then rinse them quickly with a spray device or a pan of water.
11. Turn off the water while shaving or brushing your teeth
Before brushing, wet your brush and fill a glass for rinsing your mouth. When shaving, fill the bottom of the sink with a few inches of warm water in which to rinse your razor.
12. Use your automatic dishwasher or washing machine for full loads only
Every time you run your dishwasher, you use about 25 gallons of water. The typical washering machine uses 30 to 35 gallons per cycle.
13. Don’t let the faucet run while you clean vegetables
Rinse your vegetables instead in a bowl, tub or sink full of clean water.
14. Water your lawn only when it really needs it
Watering on a regular schedule doesn’t allow for cool spells or rainfall which reduce the need for watering. Step on some grass. If it springs back up when you move your foot, it doesn’t need water.
15. Stop using your toilet as an ashtray or wastebasket
Every cigarette butt or tissue you flush away also flushes away five to seven gallons of water.
16. Water during the cool parts of the day
If you must water, do so early or very late in the day so as to prevent as much evaporation as possible.
17. Put a layer of mulch around trees and plants.
Mulch slows the evaporation of moisture and protects your plants from cold spells.
18. Install an automatic shutoff sprayer on the end of your hose
This will prevent water from flowing when you are watering from area to area.
19. Discourage children from playing with the hose and sprinklers
Children love to play under a hose or sprinkler on a hot day. Unfortunately, this practice is extremely wasteful of precious water and should be discouraged especially when we are facing drought conditions.
20. Take a soak in the tub
A partially filled tub uses less water than all but the shortest showers, and can be very relaxing too!