Be Water Wise – Implement these tips for big water savings
Know where your main water shut-off valve is located and that it is in working order – Shutting off the water yourself if a pipe breaks or leak occurs will not only save water but eliminate or minimize damage to property. (Source: Utah Division of Water Resources)
- Water your lawn only when it needs it! Watering frequently can be very wasteful as it doesn’t allow for cool spells or rainfall that can reduce the need to water. A good way to see if your lawn needs water is to step on the grass. If the grass springs back when you moved your foot, it doesn’t need water. Change your sprinkler clocks to suit weather conditions. (Remember less water is needed in the Spring and Fall.)
- Deep-Soak your lawn. When you do water your lawn, do it long enough for water to seep down to the roots where it won’t evaporate quickly and where it will do the most good. A light sprinkling, which sits on the surface, will simply evaporate and be wasted. A slow, steady fall of water is the best way to irrigate your lawn. Aerate your lawn in the spring to allow the water to get to the roots.
- Water during the cool part of the day. Avoid watering between 10:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m. During the cooler morning and evening hours, there is less evaporation and the wind is generally lighter.
- Avoid watering sidewalks and gutters. Position your sprinklers in such a way that water lands on your lawn or garden, not on concrete where it does no good. Avoid watering on windy days when much of your water will be carried off before it ever hits the ground.
- Put a layer of mulch around trees and plants. A layer of mulch (3 to 4 inches) will slow the evaporation of moisture and inhibit weeds!
- Plant drought resistant trees and plants. Visit your local nursery to see the many varieties of trees and plants that thrive in Utah and require far less water than other species. For Example: Arizona Cypress Tree, Bristlecone Pine, Incense Cedar, Limber Pine, Utah Juniper, Amur Maple, Chinese Elm, Gambel Oak, Ginkgo, Yucca, Utah Agave, Fragrant Sumac, Shrub Rose, Lilac, Scotch Broom, and many others. Check for the yellow tag “Water-Wise Plant”.
For more information go to: www.waterwiseplants.utah.gov
OUTSIDE THE HOUSE
- Don’t run the hose while washing your car. Soap down your car with a pail of soapy water then turn on the hose just to rinse it off.
- Teach your children that your hose and sprinklers are not toys. There are few things more cheerful than the sound of happy children playing under a hose or sprinkler on a hot day. Unfortunately, there are few things more wasteful of precious water. Instead, fill a small pool for splashing and then use the water on the lawn later.
- Use a broom to clean driveways, sidewalks and steps. A broom is the proper tool for cleaning these areas. Using a hose wastes hundreds of gallons of water.
- Check for leaks in pipes, hoses, faucets and couplings. Leaks outside the house may seem bearable since they don’t mess up the floor or drive you crazy at night. But they can waste large amounts of water without your realizing it.
- Check your system for leaks. Follow these easy steps to determine if you have a leak:
- Call the BRWCD Office at 723-7034 or Operator Bob Phippen at 230-0731 and set a time to have the water meter read.
- Make sure no water is running. All faucets and water consuming appliances turned off. (automatic ice maker and evaporative cooler, etc.)
- Read the water meter. Write down the current reading.
- Read the water meter again after thirty minutes. If the meter has changed, you have a leak. Whether you see them or not, drips can waste thousands of gallons of water.
- Never use the toilet for a wastebasket or ashtray. Every time you flush a bit of trash or cigarette butt down the toilet, you waste five to seven gallons of water.
- Replace your old toilet with a low-flow model. Toilets are the biggest water users inside the home. New ultra low-flow toilets use approximately 1.6 gallons per flush as opposed to older style toilets that use five to seven gallons per flush.
- Take shorter showers. Long, hot showers waste five to ten gallons of water for every unneeded minute. Limit your showers to the time it takes to soap up, wash down and rinse off.
- Install water saving shower heads. Replace your old shower head with a new low-flow shower head that uses 2.5 gallons per minute. A good low-flow shower head produces a great shower. Try it! You’ll like it!
- Turn off the water after you wet your toothbrush. After you have wet your toothbrush and filled a glass for rinsing your mouth, there is no need to keep the water pouring down the drain while you brush your teeth.
- Rinse your razor in the sink. Before shaving, partially fill the sink with a few inches of warm water. Use that to rinse your blade just as efficiently as running water and far less wasteful.
KITCHEN & LAUNDRY
- Use the automatic dishwasher only for full loads. Every time you run your dishwasher, you use about 25 gallons of water.
- If you wash dishes by hand, don’t leave the water running for rinsing. If you have two sinks, fill one with soapy water and the other with rinse water. If you have one sink, gather all the washed dishes in the dish rack and rinse them with an inexpensive spray device.
- Don’t let the faucet run to clean vegetables. To wash vegetables, put a stopper in the sink and fill with a few inches of clean water. Swish the vegetables in the water to remove the dirt. Drain the sink and quickly rinse all at once with a spray device.
- Keep a bottle of drinking water in the refrigerator. You can also add ice to tap water. Running the water to cool if off for drinking is extremely wasteful.
- Use the automatic washing machine only for full loads or adjust the size of load. The automatic washer can use up to 30 or 35 gallons of water in a cycle. When replacing your washing machine, get a more efficient model that uses less water.
Suggestions to follow if you do have a leak:
Faucets: Check for worn washers in faucets and showerheads. Even a slow drip can use as much as 5,000 gallons of water per month. A steady stream can lose up to 21,000 gallons per month. To repair a leak, turn off the water supply line, replace the washer and turn the line back on again.
Running Toilet: If water is still running into the toilet bowl or if water can be heard running, your toilet is leaking. You can put a few drops of food coloring in the tank and see if it seeps into the toilet bowl. If it does, replace the flapper valve and/or rubber gasket at the bottom of the tank.
Most leaks occur at the overflow pipe or at the plunger ball. Take the lid off and flush. The water level should come up to about a half inch or so below the overflow pipe. If needed, call a plumber.
Outside leaks: An underground leak may not be apparent on the surface. Look for areas of lush grass, unexpected vegetation or dark spots in your lawn resulting from fungus growth. Make sure outside taps are turned off tightly every time you shut off the water! A hose that is mistakenly left on can waste thousands of gallons of water over the course of a summer.