Jul 27,2007 00:00
Population growth means people are using more and more water every day. In most parts of the country, voluntary conservation is the water-wise way to live.
Here are some ways you can put a stopper in your water-wasteful ways:
- Don't let the water run while you're brushing your teeth, shaving or washing your face. It can waste up to 4 gallons a minute.
- Take a 1-gallon bucket into the shower with you. If it fills in less than 20 seconds, replace your shower head with a water-efficient, ultra-low-flow version. It can save up to 500 gallons of water a week.
- Instead of letting water run down the drain, save it and use it for watering a plant or a garden or cleaning.
- Take shorter showers. If you keep your shower time to under five minutes, you'll save 1,000 gallons a month.
- Don't use the toilet as a wastebasket. Throw tissues and other debris into a trash can to avoid flushing unnecessarily.
- Insulate hot water pipes so you don't have to run as much to get hot water to the faucet.
- Don't thaw meat or other frozen foods under running water. Defrost food overnight in the refrigerator or by using the defrost setting on your microwave.
- To check for toilet leaks, put food coloring in the tank. Color will appear in the bowl in 30 seconds if there's a leak. Check for worn out, corroded, or bent parts and replace. You can save up to 600 gallons a month.
- Install an instant water heater on your kitchen sink. This cuts down on the time the water runs before it gets hot (it also reduces heating costs).
- Sink disposals require a lot of water to work. Start a compost pile with food debris instead (avoid meats, fats and grease).
- Soak dirty pots and pans instead of letting the water run while you scrape them clean.
- Use the proper size pans for cooking. Large pans need more cooking water than might be necessary.
- Water gardens and lawns early in the morning to cut down on evaporation.
- Use a broom instead of water to clean driveways and sidewalks.
- Use sprinklers that throw big drops of water close to the ground. Smaller drops of water and mist can evaporate before they hit the ground.
- Bathe your pets outside in an area that needs watering.
- Aerate your lawn by punching holes about 6 inches apart in the grass so water will reach the roots rather than run off the surface.
- Wash your car on the lawn instead of the driveway, and use a hose that allows you to turn the water off at the nozzle. That can save more than 100 gallons.
- Only water the lawn when needed. Walk across the lawn, if you leave footprints, it's time to water.
- Take your car to a professional car wash, where the water is recycled.
- Check sprinklers to make sure only the lawn is being watered, not the sidewalk, house or street.
- Don't water the garden or the lawn when it's windy.
- Weed frequently. Weeds compete with other plants for nutrients, light and water.
- When cleaning the fish tank, use the water on your plants. It's rich in nitrogen and phosphorus, the components in fertilizers.
- Plant drought-tolerant native plants instead of grass, which requires a lot of water to maintain.
- When watering plants on a slope, use a soaker system, which cuts down runoff.
- Choose a fountain or water feature that doesn't spray water into the air. Trickling or cascading fountains lose less water to evaporation.
INDOORS AND OUT:
- Do one thing every day that will save water. Every drop counts.