August 18, 2009
Fresh water is a luxury that most of us take for granted despite it being our most important resource. It may be hard to believe, but in some countries, there are those who have never seen fresh water flowing from a faucet. Some of whom, as part of their daily routine, must walk miles to retrieve fresh water for their families.
Efforts to conserve water have grown considerably. Plumbing fixtures are becoming increasingly more efficient. Rain water reclamation devices are becoming more popular. Many commercial establishments are using waterless urinals. Rain monitoring devices, moisture and wind sensors are available for irrigation systems. Some municipal water districts have limited lawn irrigation to specific days or between specific hours. All of these efforts are making a difference. However, only when we have changed our habits and increased our awareness will we be most effective.
How can you make a difference?
Irrigation System Inspection
Poorly maintained and/or improperly calibrated irrigation systems account for a significant volume of wasted water. Irrigation systems should be inspected frequently for missing or broken sprinkler heads and misdirected water streams. Irrigation systems with timers should be calibrated to avoid over watering.
Plumbing System Maintenance and Repair
Dripping faucets, worn out flush valves and/or flappers in toilets and defective T & P valves on water heaters can account for thousands of gallons of wasted water annually in a single household
Responsibly correcting these problems will make a difference.
Changing our habits when using water is important. Obviously, the less time we spend in the shower will lower our usage. However, here are some other habit changing suggestions that will make a difference:
- Run full loads in washing machines and dishwashers.
- Turn water off while brushing teeth until time to rinse.
- For men while shaving, fill the sink with rinse water for the razor rather than using a constant stream.
- Use a nozzle with a shut off on garden hoses.
- Use garbage disposals sparingly. Compost vegetable food waste instead.
- Water your lawn and garden in the morning or evening when temperatures are cooler to minimize evaporation.
- Use a broom or blower to clean driveways and sidewalks rather than water.
- When running a bath, plug the tub before turning the water on, then adjust the temperature as necessary.
- Use a single cup each day for drinking water to avoid washing several.
- Soak dishes in sudsy water and clean rather than using running water.
- Avoid thawing food with running water.
- Avoid watering lawns on windy days.
- Do not use the toilet as a trash receptacle.
Other Water Conserving Recommendations
- Choose grasses, plants and shrubs that are drought tolerant.
- Collect rain water to water plants.
- Spread mulch around plants, trees and in flower beds.
- Use drip irrigation for shrubs and trees rather than conventional sprinklers.
- Install covers on pools and spas to slow evaporation.
- If hot water is slow to arrive to a faucet, install a circulating pump on the water heater. Thousands of gallons of water are wasted daily when waiting for hot water.
- If water runs off your lawn easily, split watering times into shorter periods to allow for better absorption.
- Replace older toilets with water efficient models.
If water conservation is important to you, there are many other ways in which you can make a difference. In addition to developing new usage habits, updating plumbing fixtures with new low consumption models can equally have an impact. Furthermore, many municipalities may offer incentives for upgrades. For more details please contact your local municipal water district, or contact AAA AUGER for further assistance.
Municipal website information (for municipalities within our service areas) may be found on our web page; Municipal Directory. Please select your appropriate market for that information.