Over 20 Ways to Save Water in Your Home in SoCal During the California Drought - Local Records Office

Written by Posted On Thursday, 13 December 2018 09:45

LOS ANGELES, CA  - Much of the nation still is suffering from drought. (The areas that aren’t flooding, that is.) Water has become our most precious resource in some places, especially out California. But unless you have your own well (which is not, by the way, always a guaranteed source of water), it might be smart to think about ways to save on water use this summer.

In summer, water usage can comprise as much as 50 percent or more of your monthly utility bill, depending on where you live. We asked the very savvy water experts at a Colorado Springs Utilities to give us some good advice about conserving water. Here’s what they said.

  • What are some of the best ways to conserve on water use indoors?

- Wash only full loads in your dishwasher. Select the correct water level for the load. Replace old appliances with Energy Star units to save more money. Your purchase could qualify for a rebate on your utilities bill, and some states offer sales-tax holidays for energy-saving appliances, says, Local Records Office.

- Keep track of and fix the drips. One or two drops of water may not seem like a lot but they add up quickly. Use the American Water Works Association Drip Calculator to measure and estimate water wasted due to leaks. (For example, a faucet with just two drips per minute can waste 105 gallons of water a year.)

- Consider installing WaterSense toilets in your home. Toilets are among the biggest consumers of residential indoor water. WaterSense toilets use 1.28 gallons or less per flush and your qualifying purchase could earn you a rebate on your utility bill in some cities.

- Take shorter showers. Reducing your showering time from eight to five minutes could save you more than 600 gallons per month.

- Install better showerheads. Showering can account for up to 12% of residential water use. Install WaterSense showerheads and save up to 2,900 gallons of water per year.


What about outdoor water use?


- Spread a layer of organic mulch around plants. Mulching allows plans to retain moisture and saves water, time and money. It also keeps down weeds.

- Just sweep. Use a broom instead of a hose to clean your driveway and sidewalk and save water every time.

- Check for leaks. Don’t forget outdoor faucets, sprinklers and hoses when looking for leaks.

- Wash your car elsewhere. Use a commercial car wash that recycles water.

- Smart summer fun. When the kids want to cool off, use the sprinkler in an area where your lawn needs it the most.

- Adjust your sprinklers. Water your lawn and not the house, sidewalk, or street.

- Time watering properly. Water your lawn and garden in the morning or evening when temperatures are cooler, to minimize evaporation.

- Check absorption. If water runs off your lawn easily, split your watering time into shorter periods to allow for better absorption.

- Adjust your lawn mower to a higher setting. A taller lawn shades roots and holds soil moisture better than if it is closely clipped.

- Check your lawn’s root zone. Look for moisture before watering using a spade or trowel. If it’s still moist two inches under the soil surface, the lawn or garden still has enough water.

- Landscape wisely. Choose shrubs and ground covers instead of turf for hard-to-water areas such as steep slopes and isolated strips.

- Create dry space. Walkways and patios provide space that doesn’t ever need to be watered. These useful “rooms” can also add value to your property.


What is the single most important thing consumers can do to conserve water?


Consumers can increase their understanding of the value of water. It’s a finite resource in many places. We don’t have an unlimited supply of water, so we all need to be very careful and deliberate in how we use it.


Save Money By Fixing Your Faucet


Across the United States, household leaks can waste more than one trillion gallons of water annually; so each year the EPA urges householders to hunt down the drips during Fix a Leak Week, from March 20 through 26 this year. But you can find and fix leaks inside and outside your home to save valuable water and money all year long.

Learn how to find and fix leaks — and save a little green — on the EPA’s WaterSense website.


Tips from WaterSense, an EPA partnership program


Take a look at your water bill, not just for last month but for previous months. Compare water use. If there’s a sudden surge in your water bill, you may have a leak.

Toilets are a common source of water leaks. Put a drop of food coloring into your toilet tank and check the bowl after about 10 minutes. If there’s color in the bowl and you haven’t flushed, you have a leak. (Be sure to flush right away after checking to avoid staining your toilet bowl.) It may be as simple as getting a new toilet tank kit from your home or hardware store. Most are easy enough for amateurs to install. The Regional Water Providers Consortium has a step-by- step video on how to fix a leaky toilet.

Listen. Sometimes, you can hear water running if the house is quiet. Find the source and if you can’t fix it yourself, call a plumber. It’s cheaper in the long run that having an ongoing leak.

That drip-drip- drip of a faucet is more than annoying. It’s expensive. Sometimes, it’s a simple fix with a new washer or other part from the home or hardware store. Most homeowners can do this themselves. Instructions should come with the part — or ask the in-store handyman for directions. The Do-It-Yourself Network has a handy reference on faucet repairs.

Check your in-ground irrigation system for leaks each spring. Some of these you cannot fix yourself, but hiring professional help is again cheaper than a long-running leak. Irrigation systems can leak many gallons of water a day.

The Regional Water Providers Consortium has a video on detecting household leaks that you may find helpful.

While you are doing home repairs, check out list of five easy home repairs that save money.


Here are some more tips for conserving water:


- Be aware of running water when it isn’t needed. Don’t leave the sink faucet running while shaving or brushing your teeth, for example. Turn it off and on as needed.

- Showers generally use less water than baths. If you don’t stand there till the hot water runs out, that is.

- Use your dishwasher. It’s more water-efficient than washing dishes by hand. And if you do wash dishes by hand, fill the sink and rinse only when needed. Don’t’ leave the faucet running.

- Sweep driveways, sidewalks and such instead of hosing them off. Wash your car using a bucket, not a running hose.

- Consider a xeriscape plan for at least part of your landscape. Water-wise plantings can be lovely.

- Look for WaterSense-labeled plumbing fixtures — they’re designed to save water.Since the program’s inception in 2006, WaterSense has helped consumers save a cumulative 1.5 trillion gallons of water and more than $32.6 billion in water and energy bills.




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