Water Conservation Tips

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The average family of four uses 350 gallons of water each day. By becoming waste conscious, you can easily reduce your use by one third. Saving water also saves the energy needed to pump water into your home and the cost of heating wasted hot water.

Some general, practical water conservation tips include:

  • Wash only full loads in your washing machine and dishwasher.
  • Don't run water continuously when washing dishes by hand.
  • Attach "low-flow" faucet aerators to faucets.
  • Take short showers instead of baths. A full bathtub requires about 36 gallons of water. A five-minute shower using a flow restrictor will use just 15 to 25 gallons.
  • Install "low-flow" showerheads and toilets.
  • Don't leave the water running when brushing your teeth or shaving. With the tap running at full force, shaving takes 20 gallons of water, teeth brushing takes 10 and hand washing takes two.
  • Check for leaky faucets and toilets, and then repair them immediately. A leaky tap, dripping once per second, wastes six gallons of water a day.
  • Don't run water continuously when washing your car. Use a nozzle on the hose to stop the water flow between rinsing. Clean the car with a pail of soapy water.
  • Use a broom, not a hose, to clean driveways and sidewalks.

Use water for landscaping more efficiently:

  • Plan before you plant - consider plant needs for moisture, sunlight, etc. in advance.
  • Improve the soil structure - work organic material such as peat moss or compost into the soil to help retain water and assist in plant growth. Aerating your yard once a year also will help it retain water.
  • Cut down on grass - grass requires up to four times as much water as other plants. Cut back on the amount of grass in your yard by planting shrubs or ground cover or putting in rock gardens.
  • Water efficiently - use a sprinkler with a low application rate (about one-third inch per hour) and check for even coverage. Established grass only needs an inch of water each week.
  • Water your lawn in the evenings or early mornings to reduce evaporation. When you do water, water long enough for moisture to soak down to the roots where it will do the most good.
  • Make the most of mulches - three to four inches of mulch on top of the soil, especially before spring and fall rains, will reduce water needs, moderate soil temperature and inhibit weed growth.
  • Choose climate friendly plants - many native plants can survive on rainwater alone, and they're more disease and insect resistant.
  • Care for what you plant - weed and prune regularly to ensure water is going where it's needed.
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