Efficient water use can improve water quality, maintain aquatic ecosystems, and protect drinking water resources. It can also help mitigate the effects of drought and save money on water and energy bills.
Here are some simple tips to get started, indoors and out:
Fixing easily corrected household water leaks can save you more than 10 percent on your water bill.
Visit the EPA Fix a Leak website to learn more about how to fix leaks, conserve water and save money.
Put food coloring in your toilet tank. If it seeps into the toilet bowl without flushing, you have a leak. Fixing it can save up to 1,000 gallons a month.
Install water-saving showerheads and faucet aerators. A shower can use up to 7 gallons of water per minute. Don't let the shower run too long while waiting for it to warm up or while soaping up.
Keep a bucket in the shower to catch water as it warms up or runs. Use this water to flush toilets or water plants.
The city offers residents a home water saving kit which includes dye tablets to detect leaks, a spray clean shower head, water saving bathroom aerators and a toilet displacement bag. For more information call Public Works at 220-6140 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Sweep, don't wash, sidewalks and driveways. Instead of using a hose, use a broom or leaf blower, and save 3-5 gallons of water per minute.
If you need to water your lawn, do it every other day in the early morning hours to minimize evaporation and increase water penetration.
Landscape with plants that require little water and mulch around ornamental plantings to conserve moisture. For plants that are eco-friendly, visit the website of the Virginia Cooperative Extension of Virginia Tech: http://pubs.ext.vt.edu/426/426-713/426-713.html
Turn off the tap while brushing your teeth.
Flush only when needed. Don't use the toilet as a wastebasket.
Only use dishwashers and washing machines when you have a full load. Water-saving models will allow you to adjust the washer's water level.
When you give your pet fresh water, don't throw the old water down the drain. Use it to water your trees or shrubs.
If you accidentally drop ice cubes when filling your glass from the freezer, don't throw them in the sink. Drop them in a house plant instead.
Use a commercial car wash that recycles water.
For hanging baskets, planters and pots, place ice cubes under the moss or dirt to give your plants a cool drink of water and help eliminate water overflow.