By taking steps to conserve water, you will help keep our supply of clean water plentiful, while also saving money on your water bill. You are directly affected by the increase in water demand and by the additional strain on the sewer system.
“Keep in mind that as the population in Northern Virginia increases, our resources for drinking water stay relatively the same,” said Nicole Ethier, who is the Prince William Soil & Water Conversation District’s Conservation Specialist. “Practicing good habits will help prevent us from facing similar circumstances as the west coast; their water supply is depleting at an alarming rate.”
Even small adjustments can have a very big impact:
- Replace washers and worn parts on dripping taps and leaking toilets.
A leaking faucet or invisible toilet leak can waste up to 15 gallons of water per day; that’s 5475 gallons a year.
- Use your water meter to check for hidden water leaks.
Check the meter, and then check it again two hours later, but don’t use any water during the test period. If the readings are different, you have a leak! Call My Plumber, and let us help fix a small problem before it turns into a big problem.
- Install low-flow showerheads, taps, faucets and toilets.
Low-flow aerator faucets can reduce water flow by one-and-a-half gallons per minute, and low-flow toilets can reduce water loss by as much as 30 percent per flush.
- Only run your dishwasher or washing machine when full.
- Turn off the faucet while brushing your teeth, shaving, washing your hands, or rinsing vegetables.
For every minute your faucet is turned off, you save at least three gallons of water.
- Place plastic jugs filled with sand or stones in your toilet tank to reduce the amount of water per flush,
- Reuse dishwater in your garden.
Remember to only use biodegradable, phosphate-free detergents and soaps.
- Use mulch and shade netting to reduce evaporation in your garden.
The use of mulch and shade netting will help keep the soil moist and prevent weeds, which can draw water away from your plants. Water your garden only when your plants begin to wilt or when it becomes difficult to push a screwdriver into the soil.
- Consider xeriscape landscaping.
Xeriscape landscaping principles maximize water conservation. Select trees and shrubs that thrive on the normal amount of rainfall for your area (around 40 inches yearly in Washington, DC).
- Plant vegetation densely throughout your garden; doing so will store more water in food plants.
“Conserving our resources helps keep our water clean,” continued Ethier. “We need to use water for drinking, cleaning, and watering our plants. If this water becomes polluted, and used in ways that are not beneficial to our health or the health of the environment, then there’s less clean and safe water available for us.”
What water conservation methods do you already employ in your home?