Water Conservation

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Mr. Joseph Arnone


Featured Articles

Why Should You Conserve Water?

There are many good reasons to conserve water.

Water conservation can help meet future needs and helps preserve the environment. Plus, saving water will save you money. The typical family of four spends $820 per year on water and sewer charges, but costs can be twice that or more in some places because of higher rates or greater lawn watering and other outdoor uses. But that's just part of the cost. American households also spend an average of $230 per year to heat water. By changing appliances like the dishwasher and clothes washer and inefficient fixtures like shower-heads and toilets, a family of four can save as much as $210 per year in water, sewer, and energy costs. Here are some other ways for you to do your part in conserving water - and saving money at the same time!

Choosing Low-water Plants

You are not limited to cacti, succulents or narrow leafed evergreens when selecting plants adapted to low moisture require. ments. Many plants growing in humid environments are well adapted to low levels of soil moisture. Numerous plants found growing in coastal or mountainous regions have developed mechanisms for dealing with extremely sandy, excessively well-drained soils, or rocky cold soils in which moisture is limited for months at a time.

Plants adapted to sunny, dry conditions:

Yucca gloriosa, Broom, Yarrow, Nasturtium, California Poppy, Blanket flower, Sedum, Gold Dust (Alyssum), Moss Rose (Portulaca), Juniper, Artemisia, Lavender, Sage, Iris, Thyme, Crocus, and Evening Primrose.

Indigenous plants - plants that occur naturally in the local environment - will likely need less supplemental moisture most years than non-native species. These species have evolved under the local conditions and usually have well. developed mechanisms for surviving extremes in the weather.

Save Water Indoors

  • If you wash dishes by hand, fill one half of the sink with soapy water and the other with clean water instead of letting the water run.
  • Place a pitcher of water in the refrigerator instead of letting the tap run to get a cool drink.
  • Select one glass to use for drinking each day. If you do this, your dishwasher will take longer to fill up and it will not need to be run as frequently.
  • Thaw foods in the refrigerator or in a bowl of hot water instead of using running water.
  • Let your pots and pans soak instead of letting the water run while you clean them.
  • Scrape the food on your dishes into the garbage instead of using the disposal.
  • Wash only full loads in your washing machine, or adjust the water level to reflect the size of the load.
  • Purchase appliances that offer water-and-energy-efficient cycle options.
  • Fix leaky plumbing fixtures, faucets and appliances.
  • Show children how to turn off the faucets completely after each use.
  • Switch to an ultra low-flow showerhead. This could save you as much as 2.5 gallons every minute you shower.
  • Take shorter showers - try to keep it under 5 minutes.
  • Install ultra-low-flush toilets or place a plastic bottle filled with water or sand in your toilet tank to reduce the amount of water used in each flush.
  • Put dye tablets or food coloring in your toilet tank and wait to see if the color appears in the bowl (without flushing). If it does, you have a leak!
  • Check to assure that your toilet's flapper valve doesn't stay open after flushing.
  • When taking a bath, start filling the tub with the drain already plugged.
  • Turn the faucet off while you shave, brush your teeth and lather up your hands.
  • Don't use the toilet as a garbage can.
  • Buy an electric razor or fill the sink with a little water to rinse your razor, instead of rinsing in running water.
  • Take a short shower instead of a bath. While a five minute shower uses a 12 to 25 gallons, a full tub requires about 70 gallons.

Save Water Outdoors

  • Cover pools and spas to avoid evaporation.
  • Sweep your driveways and sidewalks with a broom instead of spraying them off with a hose.
  • Check outdoor faucets, pipes, hoses and pools for leaks.
  • Change your lawn mower to a 3-inch clipping height and try not to cut off more than one-third of the grass height when you mow.
  • Use a bucket of soapy water to wash your car, or simply place a shut-off nozzle on the end of your hose.
  • Visually inspect your sprinkler system once a month. Fix any tilted, clogged or broken heads.
  • Avoid watering your landscape during the hottest hours of the day (10 am until 6 pm) to minimize evaporation.
  • Water your landscape in cycles by reducing the number of minutes on your timer and using multiple start times spaced one hour apart. This allows the water to soak into the soil and avoids runoff.
  • Water your lawn only when it needs it. If you leave footprints on the grass, it is usually time to water.
  • Try to add more days between watering. Allowing your lawn to dry out between watering creates deeper roots and allows you to water deeper and less often.
  • Test soil moisture with a soil probe or screwdriver before you water. If the soil is moist, don't water!
  • Use a thick layer of mulch around plants and on bare soil surfaces - this reduces evaporation, promotes plant growth and reduces weeds.
  • Don't try to drown the brown spots in your lawn. Simply moisten the area up a bit and the grass will green up in a few days.

The Trivia Block

What area in the United States, now famous for expensive property and huge mansions, consisted of bean fields in the 1880s?

Beverly Hills, California was used for growing lima beans until the 1920s