Ways to Save Water
- Shower Bucket. Instead of letting the water pour down the drain, stick a bucket under the faucet while you wait for your water to heat up. You can use the water for flushing the toilet or watering the plants.
- Turn of the tap while brushing your teeth. Water comes out of the average faucet at 2.5 gallons per minute. Don’t let all that water go down the drain while you brush! Turn off faucet after you wet your brush, and leave it off until it’s time to rinse.
- Turn off tap while washing hands. Do you need the water run while you’re scrubbing your hands? Save a few gallons of water and the faucet off after you wet yours hands until you need to rinse.
- Fix your leaks. Whether you go DIY or hire a plumber, fixing leaky faucets can mean big water saving.
- Re-use your pasta cooking liquid. Instead of dumping that water down the drain, try your pasta water into a large pot. Once it cools, you can use it to water your plants. Just make sure you wait, because if you dump that boiling water on your plans, you might harm them.
- Head to the car wash. If you feel compelled to wash your car, take it to a car wash that recycles the water, rather than washing at with the hose.
- Cut your showers short. Older shower heads can use as much as 5 gallons of water per minute. Speed things up in the shower for some serious water savings.
- Choose efficient fixtures. Aerating your faucets, investing in a low-flow toilet, choosing efficient shower heads, and opting for a Water Sense rated dishwasher and washing machine can add up to big water saving.
- Shrink your lawn. Even better: lose the lawn completely. Instead, opt for a xeriscaped landscape that incorporates water wise ground cover, succulents, and other plants that thrive in drought conditions.
- Don’t run the dishwasher or washing machine until it’s full. Those loads add up to gallons and gallons of waste water.
- Keep an eye on your bill to spot leaks. If your bill spikes suddenly, there’s a good chance that a leak is the culprit. Call in a plumber to check your lines to save water and cash!
- Install a rain barrel. Rainwater harvesting is a great way to keep your plants hydrated without turning on the hose or sprinkler.
- Flush with less. Older toilets use a lot of water. You can reduce your usage by sinking a half gallon of jug of water in the toilet tank. Do not use a brick, because it will break down and the sediment can damage the tank.
- Water outdoor plants in the early morning. You’ll need less water, since cooler morning temperatures mean losing less water to evaporation. It’s not a great idea to water in the evenings, since this can promote mold growth.
- Hand-washing a lot of dishes. Fill up your sink with water, instead of letting it run the whole time that you’re scrubbing.
- Use less electricity. Power plant use thousands of gallons of water to cool. Do your part to conserve power, and you’re indirectly saving water, too.
- Wash Fido outdoors. That way you’re watering your yard while you’re cleaning your pup. Just make sure that the soap you’re using isn’t harmful to your plants.
- Skip the shower from time to time. Do you really need to shower multiple times a day or even daily? Skipping one shower a week adds up to big water saving.
- Re-use grey water. Check to make sure that is legal where you live, but in some areas you can do things like re-route the runoff from your clothes washer and use that water for things like flushing the toilet.
- If it’s yellow, let it mellow. This tip might not be for everyone, but the toilet is one of the most water-intensive fixtures in the house. Do you need to flush every time?
Do You Have A Leak?
To check for leaks in your home, you first need to determine whether you’re wasting water and then identify the source of the leak. Here are some tips for finding leaks.
- Take a look at your water usage during a colder month, such as January or February. If a family of four exceeds 12,000 gallons per month, there are serious leaks.
- Check your water meter before and after a two-hour period when no water is being used. If the meter changes at, you probably have a leak.
- Identify toilet leaks by placing a drop of food coloring in the toilet tank. If any color shows up in the bowl after 10 minutes, you have a leak. (Be sure to flush immediately after the experiment to avoid staining the tank.)
- Examine faucet gaskets and pipe fittings for any water on the outside of the pipe to check for surface leaks.
Old or worn-out toilet flappers (e.g., valve seal) can cause leaks.
Old and worn faucet washers and gaskets frequently cause leaks in faucets. A leaky faucet that drips at the rate of one drip per second can waste more than 3,000 gallons per year. That’s amount of water needed to take more than 180 showers! Many tutorials are available online for how to fix a wide variety of faucets. Here are a couple of examples:
- The Do-It-Yourself Network has a handy reference on faucet repairs.
- You Tube has numerous video tutorials on how to fix a dripping faucet.
St Lucie County Utilities is starting a new program on reaching out to the schools to educate the children's on how the water and wastewater processes works, the importance of conserving water. We are scheduling a presentation with Lakewood Park Elementary School in the upcoming month.
For more information about classroom presentations, field trip opportunities, and Utility System-related resource, contact:
Water – Did You Know?
See what you can do to save water and save money while helping the earths future. Take a look at some of the videos and start saving water.
Wastewater - Did You Know?
Do you know what you can’t flush down the toilet? Here is a video to see what you shouldn’t flush so please help the Utilities.
Other Resourceful Links:
10 EASY WAYS TO SAVE WATER IN YOUR YARD AND GARDEN
- Install an automatic-rain-shutoff device. This is an inexpensive device you can install on your irrigation system controller that tells it to shut off when a specified amount of rain has fallen. It protects your lawn (and your water bill) from accidental overwatering. An automatic rain shutoff typically costs under $200 to install, including labor. In many parts of the country, it can save enough water to pay for itself within the first season.
- Update your irrigation system with a smart controller. A slightly larger investment ($300 to several thousand dollars) will buy you a weather-based irrigation controller capable of improving your watering efficiency by up to 40%. If your water bill has been large it will probably pay itself back within a couple of years.
- Upgrade to water-efficient emitters. The past decade has seen growth of leaps and bounds in emitter technology. If your sprinkler heads, rotors, or drip irrigation emitters are more than a couple of years old, ask your local irrigation expert to inspect your system and recommend more efficient alternatives if appropriate.
- Eliminate leaks. According to the EPA, a single 1/32” diameter leak on a hose, emitter or outdoor faucet can waste more than 6,000 gallons of water in a year. Imagine the cost if you have multiple leaks! Outdoor leaks are especially prone to waste because they often aren’t noticed. If you hire a competent landscape company to maintain your lawn, you won’t have to worry because they will check for leaks at each visit. However, if you do your own maintenance, be sure to put leak inspection on your weekly list.
- Install a rain barrel. It’s good for plants because it’s free of many of the salts and chemicals that are present in most groundwater or city-water sources. Many municipalities are now offering incentives to homeowners who install these inexpensive water-saving devices. A landscape-irrigation expert can help you decide how best to integrate your rainwater with your existing irrigation system.
- Choose drought-tolerant plants. Careful plant selection can make a huge difference in your water use. Many plants, such as white fir, yarrow, yucca, and sage are naturally adapted to thrive in low water conditions. Check with your local landscape professional for advice as to which species will do well in your area and on your specific property.
- A thick layer of mulch helps keep the root zone cool and moisture in the soil. Organic mulches such as wood chips and shredded bark will also contribute organic matter to the soil over time. Some mulches are more appropriate than others for certain applications, so choose carefully.
- Water the soil, not the leaves. Water at the root zone to keep evaporation to a minimum. Keeping water off your plants’ leaves will also help control fungal diseases and prevent sunscald. A professionally-designed irrigation system – drip or otherwise – is far better at proper water delivery than the simple lawn sprinklers you can buy in the hardware store. It is an investment that will pay for itself over time in reduced water bills and healthier plants.
- Mow high. Keeping your grass at the upper recommended limit (about 2 inches for most species) will help shade the soil and prevent excessive evaporation.
- Don’t overwater. It sounds simplistic, but more water is wasted through overwatering than for any other reason. Watering too much doesn’t just waste a precious resource. It is also very bad for your plants. Too much water in the soil stresses your plants’ root systems and contributes to root rot and fungal and bacterial disease. Consult your landscape professional for help in designing a watering system and/or schedule to deliver the correct amount of water for your landscape.
*Resource provided by Love Your Landscape
Water Wise Plants for Drought Tolerant Gardens
Here are some plants that don’t need that much water to maintain them which will help conserve water.
- Blanket Flower
- Saw Palmetto
- Longleaf Pine
- Sea Grapes
- Bluestem Palmetto
Check out the website for details on each one. https://www.wilcoxnursery.com/drought-tolerant-plants-for-your-florida-landscape/
Helpful Water Tips
What Causes Cloudy Water
A build-up of trapped air in your pipes can cause water to become carbonated and look cloudy, however this is harmless. Your water pipes may be contaminated with small particles such as rock, stone, sand or dirt. In which case you should contact a certified plumber for a treatment consultation.
Drinking a refreshing cold glass of water is a great feeling, but what if when you opened your tap, a cloud bubble flowed into your glass? The first thing you should do is set it aside, wait for a few minutes and you should see bubbles rise to the surface and clear up. Cloudy tap water, sometimes referred to as a milky or white water is likely due to trapped air or a build-up of dissolved particles in the water pipes. It is important to note that cloudy water from the tap is completely harmless.
- Air is pulled into the plumbing and is put under pressure, which can create a carbonated effect that causes cloudy water to form.
- Al water holds some form of air but pressurized water holds more air, which contributes to cloudy water.
What Causes My Water To Look Cloudy?
Cloudy tap water tends to be short lived. As tap water is fed through plumbing brought in from outside your home, the water distribution system could damaged in winter, due to an accident or a faulty plumbing fitting. This can lead to a rupture in the wall allowing air into plumbing system. This air can become pressurized, leading to many micro bubbles being trapped in your plumbing and your water, making it appear cloudy.
Is Cloudy Water Safe To Drink or Use?
If you are unable to immediately contact plumber or your water supplier, fear not as the water is safe to drink, possesses no health risk and should eventually clear. Bathing, consuming and washing are safe and encouraged.
What Should You Do?
If you notice the water appears to be cloudy, milky or even white, let it stand for a minute to see if there are any air bubbles
Air bubbles clearing from the bottom, means that air is trapped in your system and needs to be flushed out. Run the taps to help flush the cloudy water through and repeat the above to confirm whether your pipes have been completely flushed.
Air bubbles clearing from the top, means that your pipes may be contaminated with small particles such as rock, stone, sand or dirt.
Does Your Water Smell?