Water conservation in the home...
There are a number of ways to save water, and they all start with you.
- Check faucets and pipes for leaks
A small drip from a worn faucet washer can waste 20 gallons of water per day. Larger leaks can waste hundreds of gallons.
- Don't use the toilet as an ashtray or wastebasket
Every time you flush a cigarette butt, facial tissue or other small bit of trash, five to seven gallons of water is wasted.
- Check your toilets for leaks
- Use your water meter to check for hidden water leaks
- Install water-saving shower heads and low-flow faucet aerators
- Put plastic bottles or float booster in your toilet tank
- To cut down on water waste, put an inch or two of sand or pebbles inside each of two plastic bottles to weigh them down. Fill the bottles with water, screw the lids on, and put them in your toilet tank, safely away from the operating mechanisms. Or, buy an inexpensive tank bank or float booster. This may save ten or more gallons of water per day.
- Be sure at least 3 gallons of water remain in the tank so it will flush properly. If there is not enough water to get a proper flush, users will hold the lever down too long or do multiple flushes to get rid of waste. Two flushings at 1.4 gallons is worse than a single 2.0 gallon flush. A better suggestion would be to buy an adjustable toilet flapper that allow for adjustment of their per flush use. Then the user can adjust the flush rate to the minimum per flush setting that achieves a single good flush each time.
- For new installations, consider buying "low flush" toilets, which use 1 to 2 gallons per flush instead of the usual 3 to 5 gallons.
- Replacing an 18 liter per flush toilet with an ultra-low volume (ULV) 6 liter flush model represents a 70% savings in water flushed and will cut indoor water use by about 30%.
- Insulate your water pipes.
- Take shorter showers.
One way to cut down on water use is to turn off the shower after soaping up, then turn it back on to rinse. A four-minute shower uses approximately 20 to 40 gallons of water.
- Turn off the water after you wet your toothbrush
- Rinse your razor in the sink
- Use your dishwasher and clothes washer for only full loads
- Minimize use of kitchen sink garbage disposal units.
- When washing dishes by hand, don't leave the water running for rinsing
- Don't let the faucet run while you clean vegetables
Just rinse them in a stoppered sink or a pan of clean water. Use a dual-setting aerator.
- Keep a bottle of drinking water in the fridge.
Water conservation in the yard and garden...
- Plant drought-resistant lawns, shrubs and plants
- Put a layer of mulch around trees and plants
- Don't water the gutter
- Add organic matter and use efficient watering systems for shrubs, flower beds and lawns
Adding organic material to your soil will help increase its absorption and water retention. Areas which are already planted can be 'top dressed' with compost or organic matter.
You can greatly reduce the amount of water used for shrubs, beds and lawns by:
- the strategic placement of soaker hoses
- installing a rain barrel water catchment system
- installing a simple drip-irrigation system
Avoid over-watering plants and shrubs, as this can actually diminish plant health and cause yellowing of the leaves... When hand watering, use a variable spray nozzle for targeted watering.
- Use a broom, not a hose, to clean driveways and sidewalks
- Check for leaks in pipes, hoses, faucets and couplings