Water Conservation Tips Archive

  • (5/27/2021)

    Reuse your cook water!

    Boiling water for cooking, making tea, and other kitchen tasks can be a real water waster. Only boil what you need—don’t fill up the pot if it’s not necessary. You can also reuse water used for cooking by letting it cool first and watering plants with it.

  • (1/1/2021)

    Drinking Water

    Keep a container or bottle of drinking water in the fridge. This beats the inefficient tendency for running tap water to cool it for drinking. This could save 200 to 300 gallons every month.

  • (10/1/2020)

    Laundry

    Were you aware that laundry accounts for about 22 percent of all water usage in a household? When doing laundry run full loads and skip the extra rinse. By taking these small steps you will make a positive impact on water conservation!

  • (9/3/2020)

    Fix That Leak!

    Fixing a toilet leak is a great way to reduce household water use
    and boost water conservation. It may even reduce your water and sewer costs! If your
    toilet has a leak, you could be wasting about 200 gallons of water every day. That
    would be like flushing your toilet more than 50 times for no reason! Try this
    experiment: test for leaks by placing a drop of food coloring in the toilet tank. If the
    color shows up in the bowl without flushing, you have a leak!

  • (7/1/2020)

    Cleaning Produce

    Summertime is here and with fresh vegetables and fruits in season, try cleaning your produce in a bowl of clean water rather than cleaning them under a running faucet.

  • (4/2/2020)

    Scrape – Don’t Rinse!

    Before putting your dishes in the dishwasher, scrape — don’t rinse!

    Pre-rinsing can use more than 6,000 gallons of water per household every year.

  • (1/12/2020)

    Have you heard of a Water Pebble?

    The water pebble is a small, disc that is placed near the plughole on your shower and measures the amount of water you use. It can also memorize your usage. During the start of your bath, it flashes a green light. The light will start to turn amber when you’re halfway through the acceptable amount of water then switches to red. While this may not make showers fun, it is an ingenious gadget that will help you save a lot of water during your next shower.

    Click here to learn more about the Water Pebble

  • (7/18/2019)


    Saving Water During Summer

    As summer arrives, average household water consumption
    more than doubles, mostly due to landscape irrigation. But you don’t have to forego gardening
    to trim outdoor water use. With just a few simple steps, you can reduce your landscape’s water
    needs.
    Reducing household water usage won’t just preserve existing resources – it will also save you
    money. Try these 16 easy ways to save water.


    1. Water at the right time
    Water landscapes early in the morning, when air is still and evaporation loss minimal.
    Conversely, avoid watering on windy days and at midday, when water frequently evaporates
    before it can soak into soil. With automatic irrigation systems, always adjust your controller
    when the seasons change.


    2. Monitor leaks
    Check all hose connections for drips. Frequently inspect washers, replacing as needed. Repair
    leaky exterior spigots. Many faucet fixes are simple do-it-yourself tasks. Also inspect valves in
    automatic irrigation systems for leaks.


    3. Collect rain
    Create your own water supply by collecting rain runoff. Rain barrels offer fast and easy
    installation. A cistern provides large-volume water collection and is often a project you can
    tackle yourself. Contact your local Cooperative Extension System office for cistern schematics
    and considerations.


    4. Reconsider slopes
    It’s difficult to irrigate slopes efficiently. Buffer and reduce runoff on grassy slopes by planting
    edges with ground covers or shrubs. Native plants are an ideal choice.


    5. Know your soil
    With automated irrigation, make sure soil is absorbing water – and not permitting runoff. Many
    soil types, such as clay or dry desert soil, don’t absorb large amounts of water easily. Use short,
    repeated watering cycles to deliver water at a rate soil can absorb. Most irrigation controllers
    can be programmed to water in short, repeated intervals. Follow this same technique when
    irrigating slopes. Also consider amending soil with organic matter to improve soil’s water holding
    capacity.


    6. Build basins
    Mound soil to form a water collection basin around plants and shrubs. If space permits, extend
    the basin to a plant’s dripline.

    7. Replace lawn
    Carefully consider lawn needs. Lawns need twice as much water as beds filled with flowers and
    shrubs. Some of the most challenging lawn areas to water efficiently are slopes (see No. 4),
    curving areas and narrow swaths under 10 feet. Replace lawn with native plant groupings or
    outdoor living areas.


    8. Re-use water

    Collect household wastewater from dehumidifiers or air conditioning condensers for irrigation.
    Use water immediately, or save it in a bucket for future use. Don’t recycle water containing
    bleach, fabric softener or automatic dishwashing detergent.


    9. Sweep debris
    Grab a broom instead of a hose to clean sidewalks, driveways, porches or decks. Sweeping
    conserves water (and burns calories).


    10. Create zones
    Group plants based on water needs to enhance irrigation efficiency. In an existing landscape,
    tackle this project over several years by renovating one planting area at a time.


    11. Mulch soil
    Apply a 2-inch layer of mulch to planting beds to slow water evaporation from soil. Mulch also
    helps suppress weeds.


    12. Update equipment
    Replace and upgrade irrigation equipment, including timers and sprinklers. Look for low
    precipitation rate sprinklers, smart controllers, and low-volume micro-irrigation, such as drip
    irrigation, soaker hoses, bubbler irrigation and micro-sprinklers. These items water plants
    slowly, minimizing evaporation, runoff and overspray. Consider retrofitting landscape sprinklers
    to drip irrigation.


    13. Dethatch & aerate
    Help lawns absorb water efficiently by limiting thatch and aerating on a regular basis.


    14. Mow correctly
    Mowing at the proper height for summer growing conditions reduces a lawn’s water needs.


    15. Sprinkle wisely
    Observe sprinklers to make sure they’re working properly. When running a sprinkler, set an
    oven timer to ensure you don’t forget to turn the water off.


    16. Stop dribbles
    Add a shut-off valve to the end of hoses. Turn the valve to the off position when you’re dragging
    the hose from place to place.

  • (5/1/2019)

    Household Leaks

    According to the EPA, the average household leak wastes 10,000 gallons of water each year. However, 1 in 10 homes waste at least 90 gallons of water each day in leaks. A leaky faucet dripping one drop per second can waste more than 3,000 gallons a year, and a leaky shower with 10 drips per minute can waste over 500 gallons of water per year. The average leaky toilet can waste about 72,000 gallons of water per year. Finding and fixing these leaks can save you 10% on your water bill.


    To check for a leaky toilet, place a few drops of food coloring in the toilet tank and see if it spreads into the bowl within a half-hour. If it does, that means a leak is present and gallons of water may be being wasted.


    Water conservation efforts can help the homeowner save a little money while benefiting the planet as well.