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Water Conservation Tips

(2005-03-16) Indoor Water
Conservation Tips General
• Never pour water down the drain when there may be another use for it. Use
it to water your indoor plants or garden.
• Repair dripping faucets by replacing washers. One drop per second wastes
2,700 gallons of water per year!
• Check all plumbing for leaks. Have leaks repaired by a plumber.
• Retrofi t all household faucets by installing aerators with fl ow restrictors.
• Install an instant hot water heater on your sink.
• Insulate your water pipes to reduce heat loss and prevent them from breaking.
• Install a water-softening system only when the minerals in the water would
damage your pipes. Turn the softener off while on vacation.
• Choose appliances that are more energy and water effi cient.
Bathroom
• Consider purchasing a low-volume toilet that uses less than half the water of
older models. Note: In many areas, low-volume units are required by law.
• Install a toilet displacement device to cut down on the amount of water needed
to fl ush. Place a one-gallon plastic jug of water into the tank to displace
toilet fl ow (do not use a brick, it may dissolve and loose pieces may cause
damage to the internal parts). Be sure installation does not interfere with the
operating parts.
• Replace your showerhead with an ultra-low-fl ow version.
• Place a bucket in the shower to catch excess water for watering plants.
• Avoid fl ushing the toilet unnecessarily. Dispose of tissues, insects, and other
similar waste in the trash rather than the toilet.
• Avoid taking baths—take short showers—turn on water only to get wet and
lather and then again to rinse off.
• Avoid letting the water run while brushing your teeth, washing your face, or
shaving.
Kitchen
• Operate automatic dishwashers only when they are fully loaded. Use the
“light wash” feature, if available, to use less water.
• Hand wash dishes by fi lling two containers—one with soapy water and the
other with rinse water containing a small amount of chlorine bleach.
• Clean vegetables in a pan fi lled with water rather than running water from the
tap.
• Start a compost pile as an alternate method of disposing of food waste or
simply dispose of food in the garbage. (Kitchen sink disposals require a lot of
water to operate properly).
• Store drinking water in the refrigerator. Do not let the tap run while you are
waiting for water to cool.
Appendix A Are You Ready?
192
• Avoid wasting water waiting for it to get hot. Capture it for other uses such as
plant watering or heat it on the stove or in a microwave.
• Avoid rinsing dishes before placing them in the dishwasher; just remove large
particles of food. (Most dishwashers can clean soiled dishes very well, so
dishes do not have to be rinsed before washing)
• Avoid using running water to thaw meat or other frozen foods. Defrost food
overnight in the refrigerator or use the defrost setting on your microwave
oven.
Laundry
• Operate automatic clothes washers only when they are fully loaded or set the
water level for the size of your load.
Outdoor Water
Conservation Tips General
• Check your well pump periodically. If the automatic pump turns on and off
while water is not being used, you have a leak.
• Plant native and/or drought-tolerant grasses, ground covers, shrubs, and trees.
Once established, they do not need water as frequently and usually will survive
a dry period without watering. Small plants require less water to become
established. Group plants together based on similar water needs.
• Install irrigation devices that are the most water effi cient for each use. Micro
and drip irrigation and soaker hoses are examples of effi cient devices.
• Use mulch to retain moisture in the soil. Mulch also helps control weeds that
compete with landscape plants for water.
• Avoid purchasing recreational water toys that require a constant stream of
water.
• Avoid installing ornamental water features (such as fountains) unless they use
recycled water.
Car Washing
• Use a shut-off nozzle that can be adjusted down to a fi ne spray on your hose.
• Use a commercial car wash that recycles water. If you wash your own car,
park on the grass so that you will be watering it at the same time.
Lawn Care
• Avoid over watering your lawn. A heavy rain eliminates the need for watering
for up to two weeks. Most of the year, lawns only need one inch of water per
week.
• Water in several short sessions rather than one long one, in order for your
lawn to better absorb moisture.
• Position sprinklers so water lands on the lawn and shrubs and not on paved
areas.
Appendix A Are You Ready?
193
• Avoid sprinklers that spray a fi ne mist. Mist can evaporate before it reaches
the lawn. Check sprinkler systems and timing devices regularly to be sure
they operate properly.
• Raise the lawn mower blade to at least three inches or to its highest level. A
higher cut encourages grass roots to grow deeper, shades the root system, and
holds soil moisture.
• Plant drought-resistant lawn seed.
• Avoid over-fertilizing your lawn. Applying fertilizer increases the need for
water. Apply fertilizers that contain slow-release, water-insoluble forms of
nitrogen.
• Use a broom or blower instead of a hose to clean leaves and other debris from
your driveway or sidewalk.
• Avoid leaving sprinklers or hoses unattended. A garden hose can pour out
600 gallons or more in only a few hours.
Pool
• Install a new water-saving pool fi lter. A single back fl ushing with a traditional
fi lter uses 180 to 250 gallons of water.
• Cover pools and spas to reduce evaporation of water.

 

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Sweetwater - Nolan Country Health Department - 301 East 12th St. - Sweetwater, Texas 79556
Phone: (325) 235-5463 - Email: swnchd@camalott.com
www.nolancountyhealth.com