Be Water Wise
Be Water Wise
Texas is in various stages of a multiyear drought. Here are some helpful hints to be water wise.
TIPS FOR AROUND THE HOUSE:
- Check for leaks!
- On average, 10 gallons per day of your water footprint (or 14% of your indoor use) is lost to leaks. Short of installing new water-efficient fixtures, one of the easiest, most effective ways to cut your footprint is by repairing leaky faucets and toilets.
- Use your water meter to check for hidden water leaks. Read the house water meter before and after a two-hour period when no water is being used. If the meter does not read exactly the same, there is a leak.
- Low-flow is the way to go!
- If you use a low-flow shower head, you can save 15 gallons of water during a 10-minute shower. Showers are also significantly more water efficient than baths, so stick to showers when bathing.
- If you still have a standard toilet, which uses close to 3.5 gallons a flush, you can save by retrofitting or filling your tank with something that will displace some of that water, such as a brick.
- Did you know that nearly 22% of a household’s water usage comes from doing laundry?
- Most front-loading machines are energy- and water-efficient, using just over 20 gallons a load, while most top-loading machines, unless they are energy-efficient, use 40 gallons per load.
- Save water by making sure to adjust the settings on your machine to the proper load size.
- Dishwashers use less water!
- Dish-washing is a relatively small part of your water footprint—less than 2 percent of indoor use—but there are always ways to conserve. Using a machine is actually more water efficient than hand washing, especially if you run full loads.
- Energy Star dishwashers use about 4 gallons of water per load, and even standard machines use only about 6 gallons. Hand washing generally uses about 20 gallons of water each time.
Small upgrades can make all the difference!
|Install aerators on bathroom faucets
||1.2 gallons per person/day
|Install efficient, WaterSense-labeled shower heads
||1 gallon per minute (or 10 gallons per average 10- minute shower)
|Wash only full loads of clothes
||15-45 gallons per load
|Turn off water when brushing teeth or shaving
||Approximately 10 gallons per day
|Take five minute showers instead of 10 minute showers
||12.5 gallons with a water efficient showerhead (2.5 gallons per minute)
|Fix leaky toilets
||30-50 gallons per day per toilet
|Install a high-efficiency WaterSense-labeled toilet (1.28 gallons per flush)
||19 gallons per person/day
TIPS FOR OUTSIDE THE HOUSE:
- Save up to 25 gallons each time by watering early in the morning or later in the evening when temperatures are cooler.
- Check your sprinkler system frequently and adjust sprinklers so only your lawn is watered and not the house, sidewalk, or street. This can save 15-12 gallons each time you water.
- Save 15 gallons each time you water by choosing a water-efficient irrigation system such as drip irrigation for your trees, shrubs, and flowers.
- Aerate your lawn periodically. Holes every six inches will allow water to reach the roots, rather than run off the surface.
- Topdress your lawn with topsoil/compost suggested locally for a lawn that holds more water, longer.
- Water deeply but less frequently to create healthier and stronger landscapes.
- Put a layer of mulch around trees and plants to reduce evaporation and keep the soil cool. Leave grass clippings on the lawn to hold in moisture. Organic mulch also improves the soil and prevents weeds.
- Plant drought-resistant trees and plants.
- For hanging baskets, planters and pots, put ice cubes on top of the soil to give your plants a cool drink of water without overflow.
- Click here to read about saving water if you have a pool!
- Click here to read about saving water if you have a spa or hot tub!