WISE WATER USE - Using water wisely
you can conserve
Using water carefully is important at any time. Here are some basic guidelines to help
you practice efficient water use. Remember that for most single family residential
customers, focusing on outdoor water use can result in easy water savings.
WATER USE IN YOUR YARD
· Water lawns during the early morning hours when temperatures and wind
speed are the lowest this reduces losses from evaporation.
· Don’t over water your lawn. Generally, lawns only need one inch of water per
· Don’t allow sprinklers to water your street, driveway, or sidewalk. Position
them so water lands on the lawn and shrubs, not the paved areas.
· Avoid over fertilizing your yard. Fertilizer applications increase the need for
· Set your mower blades so they cut grass about 2 to 3 inches tall. Mowing is
shorter dries out the soil faster and increases water use.
· Mulch plants to reduce evaporation and weed growth.
· Adjust automatic irrigation times as needs changed.
· Whenever possible, place plants with similar water needs close together.
LAWN WATERING GUIDE
If you live in a home with an average sized yard, you are probably using at least half of
your water outdoors. A typical Mountain Home residence could save more than
50,000 gal of water each year through improved lawn irrigation practices.
· Water your lawn no more than 3 times per week.
· Water in the early morning hours when there usually is less wind.
· Adjust sprinkler system according to the season.
· Apply water according to your lawn’s seasonal needs.
Use this simple test to determine how much water your sprinkler system applies to your
yard. Place 5 or 6 flat-bottomed containers (such as coffee mugs, tin cans, cake pans,
etc.) on your lawn. Distribute them evenly over your lawn as possible, keeping them at
least 2 feet from the sprinkler heads. Turn on the sprinkler system so that the
containers begin the fill with water. Wait 15 minutes, turn off the water system. Use a
ruler or tape measure to determine the depth of water in each container. The
measurements will probably be between 1/8” to 7/8” deep. Use the chart below to
determine how many minutes a week to water your lawn.
“WINTER LITTLE OR NO WATER REQUIRED”
OTHER WATER SAVING TIPS FOR YOU LAWN INCLUDE:
· Replace or repair broken sprinkler heads as needed.
· Avoid water runoff especially on sloped lawns by turning off the sprinklers for 15 minutes half way through
your complete watering time to allow the soil to absorb the water.
OTHER OUTDOOR ACTIVITIES
· Use an auto-shutoff spray nozzle on your garden hose.
· Wash your car at a commercial car wash-they recycle the wash water.
· Avoid hosing down your driveway and sweep instead.
WATER USE IN YOUR HOME
· Make sure your home appliances are water efficient.
· Install a toilet dam or displacement device (bad or bottle filled with water) to cut down on the amount of water
needed for each flush. Make sure installation does not interfere with the operating parts.
· Put bathroom trash in the waste basket instead of flushing it down the toilet.
· Installing a water efficient showerhead can save 5 to 10 gallons per shower.
· Run the clothes washer and dishwasher with full loads.
· Do not use running water to thaw meats or other frozen foods. Defrost food overnight in the refrigerator or
use the defrost setting on the microwave.
· Kitchen sink disposals require lots of water to operate properly, Start a compost pile as an alternate method of
disposing of food waste, instead of using a garbage disposal.
FIX YOUR TOILET AND SAVE MONEY
Leaking toilets are major cause of high water bills for residential users. Unlike dripping faucets toilets can silently
leak thousands of gallons in a single month, significantly increasing your utility bill. A “running toilet” can waste two
gallons of water per minute, a “silent leak” can waste 7,000 gallons per month or more.
· If you have to jiggle the handle to make a toilet stop running
· Any sounds coming from a toilet that is not being used are sure signs of a leak
· If you have to h hold the handle down to allow the tank to empty
· If you see water running over the top of the overflow, you definitely have a leaking refill valve
· If you see water trickling down the sides of the toilet bowl long after it has been flushed
· If water drips out of the refill tube into in the overflow pipe
· If a toilet turns the water on for 15 seconds or so without you touching the handle, otherwise known as the
Some leaks are slow enough that they cannot be observed in a matter of seconds; however there are simple and easy-
to-do test that will let you know if you have a problem.
Remove the tank lid and add some instant coffee, powdered fruit drink , food coloring or any water soluble non-toxic
dye to the water (anything but red it tends to stain the tank). Add enough to dye the water a deep color. (If you are
currently using an in-tank colored bowl cleaner, remove it first and flush several times till water runs clear. You can
then re-insert it and use the bowl cleaner to dye the water instead.
Make sure no one uses the toilet for the next half hour. After 30 minutes, look in the toilet bowl if the water in the
bowl has been colored by the dye in the tank, the toilet is leaking.
Toilet leaks are typically (but not always) caused by a worn out flapper valve or a fill valve that doesn’t completely
shut off when the tank is full. The flapper valve is the stopper in the bottom of the tank that lifts up when you push the
flush handle and is most likely culprit. The solution: Replace your flapper. Shut off the water at the toilet, not at the
house line. Remove the worn flapper and replace with a comparable flapper valve (you can ask your hardware retailer
for assistance in choosing the proper replacement.) or contact your local plumber for assistance in replacing
whatever is broken.
2 gal per minute, 120gal per hour, 2,880/day (medium effiency)
Varies, up to 7,000gals per month (& maybe more)
¾” @ 25gal per minute, 1,500gal per hour, 36,000 gal per day
¾” @ 10 gal per mintute, 600gal per hour, 14,400 gal per day