Most of us remember the New York drought of 2016. It is thought by many to be the most intense drought period on record for the region. While we haven’t reached that level of intensity this year, all citizens have the responsibility to try and conserve water where possible. In the summer months, this may seem like an impossible task. Summer days mean filling the pool, multiple showers a day, and tending to lawns and gardens – all of which means increased water consumption. However, despite the increased need for water in this period, there are plenty of easy steps you can take to reduce your consumption and aid in preventing further drought conditions in the region.
Be Smart About How (and When) you Water your Lawn
It’s understandable to want your lawn and gardens green and thriving in the summer. However, the EPA studies water usage and discovered that as much as 50% of the water used outdoors is actually wasted. There is a smart way in which you can keep those lawns green and still conserve water. Certain times of the day are ideal for watering. As the sun rises and the day gets hotter, water provided to grass and plants evaporates at a quicker rate. So, watering either first thing in the morning or once the sun sets will allow water to be more efficiently absorbed by the soil. Whether you water manually or via a sprinkler system, be sure to also aim the water stream on the yard or garden. Lots of water is wasted daily by the inefficient placement of sprinklers that aim toward sidewalks and driveways. Conservative lawn maintenance isn’t just a set it and forget it process either. Throughout the summer, it’s important to regularly check for any leaks or damaged sprinkler or hose heads so no more precious water is used than needed.
Shave a Few Minutes Off your Shower
It may not seem like a big change, but shortening your showers by even just a few minutes saves gallons of water. Those sweaty summer months often mean taking multiple showers a day. So, any effort to reduce how much water you use in each of these can make a real impact. Water-efficient showerheads are also gaining in popularity. Investing in a more efficient head can help you reduce the water used per shower as well.
In addition to conserving water in the shower, be conscious of what you use in other areas, such as the kitchen. Washing fruits and vegetables under a running kitchen faucet unnecessarily wastes a lot of water. A more efficient way of cleaning your produce is in a large container of water. The food will get just as clean and you save gallons of water. Additionally, hand washing dishes can also be a big waste. If you must wash your dishes by hand, fill up the sink before doing so, and then simply rinse once the items are scrubbed. If you have a dishwasher in your home, running this as opposed to handwashing generally saves a ton of water. However, be sure to only run when needed, making sure the appliance is full to avoid running more often than required.
The laundry room can also be a target area for efforts to reduce water consumption. High-efficiency washers are the best option for doing so. However, with any machine – you can save water by only running full loads. Additionally, the permanent press setting on a washer tends to require more water, so if it isn’t necessary for your household, avoid that on laundry day.
Use Proper Pool Maintenance Techniques
Those lucky enough to have a backyard pool know how refreshing it can be to jump in on a hot summer day. Pools are an excellent way to stay cool in the summer and have fun with friends and family. However, pools also require a lot of water. Like the water used to water your lawn, water in a pool evaporates under the heat of the sun. So, remembering to cover the pool when not in use can help ensure as much water stays in as possible. This leads to less water needed to keep water levels up throughout the summer.
When it comes to the filter, keeping that clean will both keep the pool water clean and limit backwashing which consumes additional water. Also, be conscious when you first fill the pool (or refill throughout) to overfill it. Some water will inevitably escape over time due to splashing or games of chicken. However, keeping the water level lower reduces the amount that is lost.
Efficient Plumbing Systems Conserve Water
In addition to taking steps in your home to avoid excess water usage, an efficiently running plumbing system is a great way to contribute to water conservation. Issues like leaky faucets and running toilets waste hundreds of gallons of water yearly if not addressed. Additionally, those problems can lead to bigger ones, such as pipes rusting and corroding quickly. Routine plumbing maintenance is key to ensuring your system not only functions properly but also at high efficiency. This will help both saving water, and ultimately – saving money. Flotechs Plumbing and Heating offers a comprehensive plumbing maintenance program so you can be confident that your system is in good shape each year. Contact us to schedule a plumbing maintenance appointment today.