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Water Efficiency Tips Inside & Outside
Indoors Print these tips and post them in a conspicuous place. Then check them regularly to ensure that you're doing what you can to use water wisely. When a problem is discovered, make repairs right away. Install low flow plumbing fixtures such as water saving shower heads, low flush toilets, and faucet aerators. They save water and minimize wastewater treatment costs.
When bathing, fill the bathtub so that after you have entered the tub, the water level is two inches below the overflow.
Be water smart! Do not let the water run while washing your hands, shaving, or brushing your teeth. Allowing water to run continuously out of the faucet can use as much five gallons of water a minute.
Decrease your shower time; even if you are currently using a low-flow shower head, shortening your shower time can save 2.5 gallons each minute.
Do not use your toilet as an ashtray or waste can. Each flush can waste up to 7 gallons of water.
Do you hear periodic water sounds and most noticeably in the middle of the night? If so, it is most likely a leaky toilet. A leaky toilet can waste up to 50 gallons of water a day. Cleaning or replacing the flush valve flapper inside the tank may do the trick. However, some leaky toilets may be silent and unnoticeable. Performing a leak test will determine if you have a leaky toilet.
Toilet Leak Test-Introduce food coloring or a dye tablet to the inside of the toilet tank. Wait several minutes to see if the coloring leaks from the tank to the bowl. If it does, the toilet flapper is leaking and shoul be replaced.
When washing dishes by hand, use a sink or tub filled with warm, soapy water. Do not let the water run while washing dishes. Running water unnecessarily can use as much as five gallons per minute! Soak hard to clean pots and pans overnight and use an abrasive pad to finish the job.
Want a cold drink of water? Instead of running the water to get it cold, keep a pitcher of water in the refrigerator or add ice to the glass before filling it.
Don't use running water to thaw frozen food or to clean vegetables. Instead, use a partially filled sink of clean water. When you are done, use the rinse water to water your house plants.
Use a lid or a pressure cooker when cooking food using water: you'll use less water.
Laundry Room Tips
When washing clothes, wash full loads or use the water level adjustment to regulate the amount of water needed. If your machine doesn't permit you to set load size, wait until you have a full load before washing clothes.
When washing clothes by hand, use a sink or a tub. Don't run the water while you scrub or rinse clothing.
When replacing your washing machine, replace it with a high-efficiency model. We'll give you a rebate!
Water Efficiency Brochures
Be Water Smart- Water Saving Tips for your Home
Be Water Smart- Efficient Water use with Irrigation Timers
Be Water Smart- Troubleshooting your Irrigation System
Be Water Smart- Strategies for Water Efficient Landscapes
Be Water Smart- Identifying Common Plant Problems
Be Water Smart- Maintaining your Water Efficient Landscapes
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Outdoors Regularly check the landscape irrigation system, irrigation controller time settings, hose connections, pool plumbing, and any other water using equipment or fixtures you may have.
Print these tips and post them in a conspicuous place. Then check them regularly to ensure that you're doing what you can to save water.
General Maintenance Tips Regularly check the landscape irrigation system, irrigation controller time settings, hose connections, pool plumbing, and any other water using equipment or fixtures you may have.
Check the landscape irrigation system, irrigation controller time settings, hose connections, pool plumbing, and any other water using equipment or fixtures you may have.
Irrigation water run off serves no purpose. Make adjustments so that water does not run off to the gutter or adjacent properties.
Attach a shut off nozzle to the end of all water hoses.
Use a layer of mulch (such as ground bark or compost) to keep the soil cooler. This reduces evaporation and discourages weed growth.
Destroy weeds and remove sick or dead plants. Their water demand is high. Weeds and stressed plants compete with turf and ornamental plants for limited water supplies.
Set your lawn mower to 2 to 3 inches in height. The longer grass blades will shade each other and the soil, cutting down on water evaporation.
When planting or replacing landscaping, use water efficient plants, trees and shrubs. They look great and they save water.
Know where your water shut off valve is located and how to turn it off in an emergency.
Swimming Pool Tips
Check for leaks in and around the swimming pool, spa, or hot tub. Fix problems immediately.
Keep the water level in pools, spas, and hot tubs low to minimize water waste from splashing.
Don't drain or refill your swimming pool, except when necessary for health and safety reasons. When in doubt, consult your local pool supply shop for the best course of action. Bring a water sample (one quart is required). They'll test it and make a recommendation.
Use a pool cover to keep evaporation losses to a minimum. A cover will help you save time on maintenance and reduce chemical use, and will result in warmer water temperatures.
Keep sprinklers properly adjusted.
Replace broken sprinkler heads and irrigation pipes. Be sure to inspect weekly during mowing and irrigation season.
If plants and shrubs are being irrigated by an overhead sprinkler, convert to a drip system to save water and get water directly to the root zone and reduce weeds. Drip systems slowly emit 1/4 to 2 gallons of water pert hour rather than 1/2 to 2 gallons of water per minute and overhead sprinkler puts out.
If you have a gardener, don't assume that he or she will set the irrigation controller to water efficiently. Check the controller weekly to ensure its settings are correct and in accordance with your irrigation plan.
Install a backup battery in your sprinkler timer to preserve the settings during power outages.
If you have an irrigation controller, set it to use multiple start times. This is a particularly good tool for watering areas with slopes and/or hardpan soils. For example, a 9 minute station run time per irrigation day can be split into 3 minute increments until the desired amount of water is applied. Splitting runtime this way permits the water to soak into soils with slow infiltration rates (hardpan, clay), minimizing or eliminating water run off. Programing your irrigation controller to water multiple start times works great for the Roseville area.
Check the moisture level of plants at the root level. This can be done with a shovel or an inexpensive moisture tester. Over watering not only wastes water but results in less healthy plants.
Don't have time to do it yourself? Call us today to schedule a free Water Wise House Call. Let us evaluate your irrigation system and irrigation controller schedule for you. We will help you develop a proper irrigation schedule for your landscape and identify any inefficiencies with your irrigation system.
Before you begin your next gardening project, explore these helpful brochures Rules of Thumb for Water-Wise Gardening , Water Efficient Landscapes & Watering Can Be Efficient. You’ll find lots of helpful information.
Native plants use less water. Click here for more information from the California Native Plant Society.