Other than the air we breathe, water is the single most important element in our lives. Water is a valuable natural resource. Safe, reliable, good-tasting drinking water is a carefully manufactured product. It’s collected, treated, tested and delivered to your home and business 24 hours a day. It is vital to conserve water inside and outside of your home year round. The idea of conserving water may seem difficult at first, but many major water saving tips are actually easy to accomplish without any inconvenience! Achieving one act of conservation each day will help significantly reduce the amount of water that is used each year! Practice the following tips to aid in your communities’ efforts to save water, and to reduce consumption on your monthly bill!
Important: Please be sure to follow all water restrictions for your system.
Conserving Water Outside of your Home
- Adjust your lawn mower to a higher setting. Longer grass holds moisture better than shorter grass!
- Collect rain water in a rain bucket or from a downspout to use for watering plants.
- Cover your pool when it is not being used. Evaporation could cause you to lose hundreds of gallons of water per month!
- Keep pool water levels low, and reduce splashing outside of the pool.
- Do not drain your pool in the fall. Cover it and save the water for next summer.
- Wash your car less frequently. When washing your car, make sure to soak it, and then turn the hose off. Leaving the hose on could result in major water loss.
- Water your lawn either early in the morning or later in the evening. This will reduce evaporation.
- Clean sidewalks and driveways with a broom instead of a hose. Using a hose wastes about 25 gallons of water in 5 minutes.
- Don’t forget to repair outdoor leaks!
- Install a rain shut off device on automatic sprinklers. This can eliminate unnecessary watering on rainy days!
Conserving Water Inside of your Home
- Install low volume toilets. These toilets are designed to use only about 1.5 gallons per flush. That could reduce your indoor usage by about 20%!
- If you do not want to install an entire new toilet fixture, place a brick or water bottle filled with pebbles in your toilet’s tank. This will reduce the amount of flushing water.
- One of the easiest and most effective ways of saving water is to fix leaky faucets, toilets, and showers. Check them out a few times a year to ensure there are no leaks. This could save thousands of gallons of water and noticeably reduce your monthly bill!
- When doing laundry, use an energy-efficient machine, and adjust the level of water to the amount of clothing being washed.
- When brushing your teeth, make sure to turn the faucet off. This could save you about 10 gallons of water per brush!
- Instead of hand washing dishes, run full loads in the dishwasher. This reduces water use by about 15 gallons!
- For cool drinking water, place a pitcher of water in the refrigerator instead of letting the water run.
- Take either a short shower, or bathe in a partially filled tub. Full tubs and long showers are both significant water wasters.
- Throw away tissues and other trash in the wastebasket instead of flushing it down the toilet to reduce the amount of toilet flushes each day.
- Educate everyone in the home where the master water shut off is in your house. If there is ever a pipe burst or leak, being able to turn the water completely off in a timely manner could save you thousands of gallons of water, and thousands of dollars in potential property damage!
Lawn Irrigation Tips
In summer months, outdoor usage accounts for half of the water used by an average household. Here’s how you can reduce outside water consumption without sacrificing the beauty of your lawn.
- Know when to water: Watering is only necessary when the soil is dry. Dig your finger into the soil. Only water if it’s dry to a depth of 1 1/2 inches. The best time to water is in the morning. If you sprinkle your lawn under the midday sun, you’ll lose as much as 30% through evaporation.
- Shorter sessions are better: Lawns can only absorb so much water. Three 10-minute sessions, spaced half an hour apart, are much better than one 30-minute session that results in run-off.
- The best tools for the job: When you water, use a sprinkler rather than a hand-held hose. Sprinklers provide steady, uniform watering, covering a large area at a consistent rate. Soaker hoses are great for smaller areas in gardens and around shrubs. These porous hoses, placed on the ground, deliver water slowly right to the root zone.
- How much is enough: A mature, healthy lawn needs between 0.7″ and 1.0″ of water a week during the summer. In cool, cloudy weather, 0.7″ should be sufficient. In hot, sunny, windy weather 1.0″ may be needed. Use a rain gauge to monitor how much water falls naturally, and supplement as needed. Here in New England, generally it is not necessary to irrigate during the spring and fall.
Leaks are a big drain on your wallet!
Leaks account for a large portion of home water waste, and even small leaks can add up to big money over time. If you have a dripping faucet or a leaky toilet, it pays to fix it fast.
Pennichuck has partnered with the USEPA’s WaterSense program to encourage efficient use of water resources. Please visit epa.gov/watersense to test your water sense, calculate your water savings, find rebates in your area, and more!