Water Saving Tips
The American Water Works Association recommends the following steps to help conserve water.
Inside Your Home
- Defrost frozen food in the refrigerator or in the microwave instead of running water over it.
- If you have a swimming pool, get a cover. You'll cut the loss of water by evaporation by 90%.
- Only run the dishwasher and clothes washer when they are fully loaded.
- Repair dripping faucets and leaky toilets. Dripping faucets can waste about 2,000 gallons of water each year. Leaky toilets can waste as much as 200 gallons each day.
- Use a broom, rather than a hose, to clean sidewalks and driveways.
- When washing dishes by hand, use two basins - one for washing and one for rinsing rather than let the water run.
Outside Your Home
- Aerate clay soils at least once a year to help the soil retain moisture.
- Avoid planting turf in areas that are difficult to irrigate properly such as steep inclines and isolated strips along sidewalks and driveways.
- Collect rain water in a barrel and use it to water your garden (please note, this is not a legal practice in all areas).
- Don't over water your lawn. Only water every three to five days in the summer and 10 to 14 days in the winter.
- Maintain a lawn height of 2 1/2 to 3 inches to help protect the roots from heat stress and reduce the loss of moisture to evaporation.
- Mulch around plants, bushes and trees to help the soil retain moisture, discourage the growth of weeds, and provide essential nutrients.
- Plant in the spring or fall, when watering requirements are lower.
- Promote deep root growth through a combination of proper watering, aerating, appropriate fertilization, thatch (grass clippings) control, and attention to lawn height. A lawn with deep roots requires less water and is more resistant to drought and disease.
- To prevent water loss from evaporation, don't water your lawn during the hottest part of the day or when it is windy.
- Use porous materials for walkways and patios to keep water in your yard and prevent wasteful runoff.
- When choosing plants, keep in mind that smaller ones require less water to become established.