Home Water Conservation

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Real Estate

Home Water Conservation

With many parts of the country suffering from near-drought conditions, it’s time to think about how you as a homeowner can help conserve water (and save money in the bargain). What follows are a list of tips that show how.

l Check your toilets for leaks – place a drop of food coloring in the tank. If the color shows up in the bowl, repair the leak pronto.

l To reduce the water required to flush, put a quart plastic bottle of water in the tank and save one quart per flush.

l Have the float level adjusted to reduce the water needed.

l Don’t use the toilet as a trash receptacle.

l Replace your old toilet if it was manufactured before 1992. Newer toilets use only 1.6 gallons per flush.

l Avoid using caustic toilet bowl cleaners because they can erode plastic and rubber parts which contribute to leaks.

l Flush less frequently, and if the toilet handle sticks, replace or adjust it.

l Take showers instead of tub baths, and limit shower time to two minutes or less.

l Install a flow-control device in your showers.

l Cut down on the number of showers taken. Try a sponge bath using water in a basin or bucket.

l Turn off shower water while you apply soap to body, or shampoo and shave.

l Keep a bucket in the shower to collect excess water. You can use this water to irrigate your plants.

l Turn off water while you shave, lather your hands and brush your teeth.

l Don’t use your clothes washing machine with less than a full load or use a lower water-level setting.

l Save hand-washing jobs and do several items at one time. Example: wash a week’s supply of hosiery rather than daily.

l Wear outfits more than once – Don't wash clothes more often than necessary.

l Replace your clothes washer. Newer models can use up to 50 percent less water than older ones.

l Pretreat stains to avoid rewashing, and use the shortest wash cycle for lightly soiled loads.

l Check your clothes washer hoses regularly for cracks that could result in leaks.

l Use a pan of water when peeling and cleaning vegetables and fruits rather than letting the sink tap run.

l Use the garbage disposal only once per dishwashing session.

l Use the least water necessary to cook foods like frozen vegetables and stews. You'll preserve nutrients as well as save water.

l Prevent excess evaporation by using tight-fitting lids on your pots and pans.

l Use appropriate sized pans for cooking. Large pans require more cooking water.

l Don’t run the tap to get cold water. Keep a bottle of water in the refrigerator for drinking.

l Don’t thaw frozen foods with running tap water.

l Use fewer utensils while cooking to cut down on the amount of dishwashing water you use.

l Run the dishwasher only when it is completely full.

l Scrape rather than rinse dishes that go in the dishwasher.

l Use one pan of soapy water and one of hot water for For washing dishes by hand.

l Water the lawn less frequently. Frequent watering encourages shallow roots.

l Water between midnight and 6 a.m. to reduce evaporation losses, and water dry areas by hand.

l Install an automatic sprinkler system, which is much more water efficient than hand watering.

l Use a plastic garbage can to collect rainwater for use in watering plants or washing the car.

l Don't water your driveway, sidewalks, house or neighbor’s lawn, and don't water when it’s windy out.

l Use a drip system for gardens, which encourages strong root systems and cuts down on evaporation.

l Plant drought-resistant plants and trees. Remove weeds promptly – they rob other plants of water.

l Mow less – mowing puts grass under stress, which makes it need more water.

l Don’t use the hose to clean driveways and decks. Use a broom.

l When washing the car, get it wet then turn off the water while you soap the car down. Use the hose only for the final rinse.

l Wash your car in the rain with a soapy sponge.

l Cover your swimming pool to reduce evaporation loss, and recycle your pool water.

l Turn off all water if you are going to be away from home on a vacation or trip.

l Mulch shrubs and garden plants to retain moisture in the soil longer.