Water Conservation Practices
Many water conservation methods can be accomplished by modifying just a few everyday habits and using inexpensive upgrades to fixtures in your home.
Indoor Water Conservation
- Install aerators in all home faucets, by doing this, you will be able to increase spray velocity while reducing splash, water and energy use.
- If you wash dishes by hand, do not let the water run while you rinse. Fill one sink with soapy water and the other with clean rinsing water.
- Soak your pots and pans instead of letting the water run while you scrap and scrub.
- Instead of using the garbage disposal, try composting your organic material instead.
- Scrap food off of dirty dishes instead of rinsing them. Newer models of dishwashers are able to handle some leftovers and pre-rinsing is not necessary.
- Only run your dishwasher when it has a full load in it.
- Do not use running water to thaw meat or other frozen foods. This not only is a waste of water, but it can increase the potential for a food borne illnesses. Instead, defrost them in the refrigerator overnight.
- Keep a pitcher of water in the refrigerator instead of running the tap every time you want a drink.
- Wash your produce in a partially filled pan instead of running the faucet and use the left over water to water your household plants.
- Like aerators, by installing low flow showerheads, you will be able to conserve water and energy.
- Try and limit your showers time to 5 minutes.
- Baths use more water than showers so try not to fill the tub more than halfway, and plug the bathtub before turning the water on and then adjust for temperature.
- Turn the faucet off while you shave and brush your teeth.
- If your home has older toilets, replace them with newer more water efficient models, or consider using a toilet water displacement device.
- Do not use your toilet as a trash can.
- Check your faucets and toilets for leaks.
- If possible, replace older units with newer, high efficient models.
- By only washing full loads of laundry, you will conserve both water and energy.
- Use the water level setting if you washer is equipped with one.
- Rinse with cold water and only use hot water when necessary.
- When you clean your fish tank, use the water you have drained to water your indoor plants.
Outdoor Water Conservation
- Water your landscape early in the morning (before 10:00am) or late in the evening (after 6:00pm). If you water in the heat of the day, most of your water will be lost to evaporation.
- Do not over water your lawn. During the summer months, only apply one inch of water on your lawn every 7 days. Doing this, will encourage a deep root system and a healthier lawn. Also, during the winter months reduce your watering frequency to once every 15 to 20 days.
- Remember, rain water counts. If it rains, you do not have to water your lawn. To better track rainfall, buy a rain gauge.
- Water your landscape by hand or run sprinklers in manual mode.
- If you have an automatic sprinkler system, adjust the heads to water the landscape and not the pavement, and be sure to check your system regularly for leaks or misdirected spray heads.
- Install and maintain rain and freeze sensors.
- If possible, replace overhead sprayers with soaker hoses or drip tubes.
- Do not water on windy days.
- Use native and adapted plants that are more suited to the climate in which we live. They tend be lower water use plants.
- To water shrub beds, ground cover gardens and trees use a drip irrigation system and soaker hoses that apply water to the roots where it does the most good.
- To hold in moisture and limit weed growth, keep a 3 to 4 inch layer of organic mulch on flower beds, around trees, shrubs and ground covers.
- Plant during the fall or early spring when water requirements are lowest.
- Taller grass blades holds moisture and slows down evaporation so cut your grass at a higher setting and leave the clippings on the ground, as they will return nutrients to the soil.
- Before fertilizing your lawn, conduct a soil test. The wrong amount and type of fertilizer can increase water usage.
- Install a pool cover to reduce evaporation.
- Fill your pool manually.
- Sweep your sidewalk or driveway, do not hose it down.
- Wash your car on the lawn and use a bucket instead of a hose, or better yet, use a commercial car wash that uses recycled water.
- Bathe your pets outdoors in an area that needs to be watered.